SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MML325541
Module Leader Angela O'Hagan
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module will explore core theoretical and conceptual approaches to policy analysis, situated in 'real world' policy problems of social and economic justice, considering international trends and concerns and local and global policy responses to them. Consistent with the ethos of the programme, this module incorporates a feminist policy analysis approach to the policy process, political institutions, and resource allocation processes including gender and human rights, budget analysis and policy impact assessment. The module offers a particular focus on public sector risk and policy making, and applied health economics in setting priorities in public policy making.


-360 1. Conceptual origins of 'public policy' 2. Approaches to policy analysis 3. Agenda setting 4. Policy framing and discourse 5. Networks, Sub-systems and Advocacy Coalitions 6. Institutionalisms 7. Policy making for economic and social justice 8. Public money and policy 9. Risk and resilience in public policy 10. Evaluating public policy

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:1. Understand and explain key concepts, relationships and institutions in the public policy process. 2. Demonstrate critical understanding of approaches to policy analysis for economic and social justice, 3. Demonstrate expertise in analysing current issues, themes and debates.4. Critically assess how policy institutions and processes contribute to advancement or detriment of economic and social justice.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Topics will be introduced weekly using a combination of lectures, directed reading, flipped classroom, participatory methods, and guest lectures, supported through blended learning, including the use of video material, podcasts, and current policy documents. Taking a 'flipped classroom' approach, students will follow directed readings and on-line material in preparation for active discussion and engagement in class-time. Aiming to reflect current global issues, the module content will draw on a range of 'real-world' examples, reinforcing the focus in other modules on this programme on gender analysis, migration, economic development, health economics, managing resources, and the policy approaches that impact positively and negatively on the advancement of economic and social justice.

Indicative Reading

P Cairney, Understanding Public Policy. Theories and Issues, Palgrave, 2012; Campbell, J. and Gillespie, M. 2016. Feminist Economics and Public Policy . Routledge. Dunn, W.N., 2015. Public policy analysis . Routledge. F Fischer, G Miller and M Sidney Handbook of Public Policy Analysis, CRC Press, 2006; Fischer, F. 2003. Reframing Public Policy: Discursive Politics and Deliberative Practices . Oxford University Press. Goertz, G and Mazur, A.G. (eds) 2008. Politics, Gender and Concepts : Theory and methodology . Cambridge University Press. BW Hogwood & A L Gunn, Policy Analysis for the Real World, Oxford University Press, 1984; B D Jones, Reconceiving Decision-Making in Democratic Politics: Attention, Choice, and Public Policy, University of Chicago Press, 1994; Kanotla, J and Lombardo, E. 2017. Gender and Political Analysis J W Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies (2nd edn), HarperCollins, New York 1995; Le Grand, J, Smith, S, and Propper, C., The Economics of Social Problems 4th edition (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2008 Mazur, A. G. 2002. Theorizing feminist policy . Oxford University Press Moran, M. Rein,M and Goodin, Robert, E. 2006 The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy . Oxford University Press. J L Pressman & A Wildavsky, Implementation (3rd edn), University of California Press, 1984; Rai, S and Walylen, G. 2008. Global Governance: Feminist Perspectives . Palgrave. R Rose, Learning from Comparative Public Policy, Chatham House, 2004; Squires, J. 1999. Gender in Political Theory . Polity Press Rubin, Irene, S. 2014. The Politics of Public Budgeting:Getting and Spending, Borrowing and Balancing . Sage Publishing.

Transferrable Skills

Generic Skills -360b7 Presentation and communication skills. b7 Ability to critically engage in policy analysis and debate. b7 Understand the policy process and comparative policy contexts Employability Skills -360b7 Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to common problems. b7 Ability to work independently and construct knowledge as part of a team b7 Understand the political, economic and social context of policy making Digital Capabilities -360b7 Source and analyse data and policy evaluations concerned with a range of policy interventions.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Independent Learning (FT) 84.00
Seminars (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 45% Critical Essay (2000 words)
Exam 01 2.00 50.00 45% Unseen Exam