POLS440-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022

Principles and Practice of Policy and Governance

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


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 a 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 academic scholarship with seminars led by policy makers and those in governance positions from around Canterbury including Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, ChristchurchNZ, ECAN, University leadership, Private Company Board Chairs, and central and local Government officials. 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;
  • Understand & evaluate 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;
  • reflect 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;
  • demonstrate intellectual independence, and analytic rigour when giving advice or making decisions in the midst of difficult debates about competing institutional priorities;
  • demonstrate 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;
  • transition from academic waffle to Policy writing developed;
  • elevator pitch;
  • starting to understand ‘what’s the problem’ is the essential tool.
    • 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.

Timetable 2022

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 12:00 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
21 Feb - 10 Apr
2 May - 5 Jun

Timetable Note

Please be aware that this class is taught through student-led discussion. There will be no lectures, except where a mini presentation on a topic is necessary. Students will need to come prepared to participate and discuss the course readings, material they have gathered of interest, and the politics they have experienced in their day to day lives.

Each week the first two hours of class will be organised into, roughly, the following sections:

• 2-minute self-reflection on the readings and what your assigned reading has meant to you, your values, and your analysis of your own and others (via media etc) experiences relevant to the readings.
• 5-10 minutes of exploring those self-reflections with others in groups.
• 10-15 minute presentations by groups of their reading.

Course Coordinator

Lindsey MacDonald


Literature summaries (5 papers in total), 500 words each, 5% per paper - total 25%

Group/class presentation + participation - 10%

Ministerial/CEO Brief, 2,000-2,500 words - 25%

Weekly reflections - not graded

Cabinet paper, no longer than 10 pages - 25%

Final exam, 2 long answer questions - 15%

Textbooks / Resources

Students can find all required and supplementary texts for each lecture under the corresponding sections on LEARN.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,155.00

* 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

  • POLS440-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022
  • POLS440-22S1 (D) Semester One 2022 (Distance)