University of Technology Sydney

15628 Making Public Policy

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


This subject is one of four core subjects in the Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy (C11263), the Graduate Diploma in Applied Policy (C06121) and the Master of Applied Policy (C04323).

As a core subject for the postgraduate study of applied policy, this subject explores the themes of defining policy problems, assembling evidence, implementing policy, evaluating outcomes and learning lessons from them. It enables participants to build an analytical capacity to identify the theoretical, institutional and domestic factors that confront policymakers in their use of evidence and decision-making activity on a day-to-day basis at the national and sectoral level.

This subject introduces students to the role of evidence and different types of knowledge in policy making. It considers how these issues shape the definition of policy problems by examining differential impacts derived from practical examples in the field. It considers debate surrounding the issue of transparency in public policy and examines how policymakers have met demands for increased access and participation in an increasingly complex world. It considers the interface between science and policymaking, and the extent to which policymakers allow scientific method and use of evidence bases to broker knowledge and inform policy development and analysis. It examines how, and the extent to which, the lessons of policy evaluation, formulation and development are transferable across national and sector boundaries. The subject also describes the role and importance of professionals and street-level bureaucrats in shaping policy goals and reform initiatives, offering a range of teaching and learning strategies including debates, group discussions, case studies, presentations and guest speakers. By the end of the subject, students have a deeper understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects relating to evidence and its use in policy and decision making.

After undertaking this subject, participants are able to:

  • describe the interface between science and policy making, the extent to which policymakers allow scientific method and use of evidence bases to broker knowledge and inform policy development and analysis
  • understand the major contemporary demands that confront policymakers in the task of responding to social problems and developing policy responses
  • conceptualise the limitations of the policy process and how these might be mitigated, and the process reformed, in the interests of delivering social and political change that satisfies the wider public.

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.