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The Policy Process - SPY00002I

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. John Hudson
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module summary

In many fields of social policy it often seems there are obvious weaknesses in policy that governments fail to adopt. Why is this? This module explores the messy and often irrational process by which policies are made. It draws on a wide range of theories from the policy analysis literature to help us to understand the complex range of forces that influence policy and the barriers governments can face when creating and implementing social policies.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18

Module aims

  • to introduce students to the policy analysis literature
  • to give students a better understanding of the policy-making process

Module learning outcomes

  • be familiar with key concepts and theories from the policy analysis literature
  • be able to apply policy analysis concepts and theories to real world scenarios
  • have a deeper understanding of the richness of the policy process
  • be able to think more rigorously about the ways in which social policies might be formulated


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 1
Policy Report
N/A 1
Workshop Report
N/A 1

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reassessment Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will normally receive feedback within four weeks of submitting their essay. Feedback will be via the Department's standard marking matrix.

Indicative reading

The key text for this course is Hudson, J and Lowe, S (2009) Understanding the Policy Process: Analysing Welfare Policy & Practice. It contains a chapter relating to each of the weekly lectures.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

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Course changes for new students