University of Technology Sydney

15627 Foundations in Public Policy

6cp; block: 2-day + 2-day, involving 4 modules; via live video link (Zoom)
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is one of four core modules in the Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy (C11263), the Graduate Diploma in Applied Policy (C06121) and the Master of Applied Policy (C043223).

This subject examines the manifold resources policymakers use to maximise the responsiveness and effectiveness of policy processes and enhance its democratic credentials through presentation of case studies and discussions of their practical implications. The subject includes topical issues of behavioural public policy and the assessment of risk, the principles, techniques and uses of evidence in decision-making, and the means by which policymakers construct evidence bases and assemble alternative policy options. It describes resources for measuring performance, and selecting indicators that enable the monitoring of function and the improvement of policy outputs. It explores areas of evaluation and learning: whether evaluation helps improve public policy, and the basis on which policy evaluations are conducted; and the ways in which policy structures generate and use knowledge regarding the design, workings and impacts. It concludes with a consideration of the purposes and rationales of policies and policy systems and how different disciplines across the social sciences have attempted advancing our understanding of policy and policy learning.

Undertaking this subject, participants are able to:

  • Conceptualise the resources available for making policy within a framework that enables policymakers to track the various influences and demands, and provide a rational process through which they can consider their response.
  • Explain the circumstances under which policy actors might search for solutions from other countries for potential utilization in their own country aimed at delivering innovation and optimizing of approaches to common challenges.
  • Conceptualise and respond to demands for policymaking to deliver great co-ordination and coherence in terms of outputs across traditional administrative and social groupings and distinctions.

Typical availability

Autumn session

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.