POLS440-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Principles and Practice of Policy and Governance

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020


This course offers advanced theory and practice of policy making and governance in the not-for-profit, public policy and public and private sectors. The first part of the course will provide foundational knowledge of the principles, theories and historical dimensions of policy analysis and governance. The second part of the course will be composed of a series of intensive professional seminars and case studies, providing students with detailed practical insights into the practical world of giving advice and making decisions while working within the context of a political environment constrained by other institutions, time and resources.

This course provides an advanced introduction to the principles and practice of policy analysis and governance and a series of professional seminars to provide insights into the practical world of giving advice and making decisions while working within the context of a political environment constrained by other institutions, time and resources. In the first term, students will examine key theoretical works on policy and governance. In the second term students will develop their understanding of through policy development and governance seminars with practitioners.

Course Aims:

This course aims to provide students from interdisciplinary backgrounds, with an consolidated understanding and overview of the core theories of policy making and the practice of governance in the not-for-profit, public policy and public and private sectors. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to compliment workshop insight with practical problem solving in field based teaching, including teaching in collaboration with the McGuiness institute and NZ Parliament and Business trust, the Taiwan Foundation and other not for profit third sector and public agencies, and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. These activities will be extended through the teaching involved in the already established field trips in Wellington and Regional UC field centres.

Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this course students will have:
  • advanced technical and/or theoretical knowledge of the key principles of theories of policy analysis and governance;
  • understood and evaluated new knowledge and ideas in academic study and the professional practice of decision-making in complex political situations in a number of sectors including the not-for-profit and private sectors and central, regional and local government;
  • demonstrated the ability to identify topics for original research, plan and conduct research, analyse results, and communicate the findings to the satisfaction of subject experts;
  • engaged in self-directed learning and advanced study in historical and theoretical research, analysis, essay writing and preparing policy papers;
  • knowledge of contemporary Māori organisational structures in policy making and will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of bicultural and multicultural respect in their professional practice and in the community, e.g. rūnanga, hapū, iwi, whanau,
  • reflected on the nature of ‘knowledge’ and ‘norms’, in order to better understand the implications for governing in bicultural policy frame and a multi-cultural society.
  • demonstrated intellectual independence, and analytic rigour when giving advice or making decisions in the midst of difficult debates about competing institutional priorities;
  • demonstrated the ability to research, plan, present and implement a professional work related project and demonstrate an understanding of professional expectations and ethics;
  • an understanding of the pathways into a career in policy-making and governance.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

Course Coordinator

Lindsey MacDonald


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Policy Paper 20% 10 pages
Final exam 20%
Group presentations 10% 5-10min presentation, and lead class in discussions
Research essay 1 25% 2,000 words
Seminar papers 25% Five papers - 5% per paper, 500 words

Textbooks / Resources

Required Text:

Mintrom, Michael. (2011) Contemporary policy analysis. Oxford University Press.

Bromell D (2017). The Art and Craft of Policy Advising. Springer International Publishing. (e-text available via UC library)

Recommended Text:

Mény, Y., Rhodes, R. A. W., Binder, S. A., & Rockman, B. A. (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions. Oxford University Press.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,096.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All POLS440 Occurrences

  • POLS440-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020