MPHIL/PHD IN PUBLIC POLICY

Course List

Core Courses
  • PPOL 5110
    Foundations in Public Policy
    3 Credits


    This course is required for all first-year MPhil/PhD students in Public Policy. The course will provide an advanced foundation in the study and practice of public policy at the level required for graduate study. The course will cover both the historic foundations of policy studies, as well as emerging approaches and directions. As the study of public policy is inherently interdisciplinary, it will include perspectives from political science, public policy, economics, business and other aspects of social science. It will take a broad view of public policy, including taking up some of the core literature on public management and public administration.


    Intended Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

    • Demonstrate solid fundamental knowledge on how public policies are developed, approved and implemented.

    • Apply a public policy perspective to evaluate and compare core literature and current issues on public management and public administration.

    • Apply a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods to public research studies.

    • Develop holistic perspectives including political science, public policy, economics, business and other aspects of social science.

  • PPOL 5120
    Research Methods in Public Policy
    3 Credits


    This course is required for all first-year MPhil/PhD students in Public Policy. The purposes of the course are to introduce to students the key concepts in research methods, and to help them develop skills in the design of empirical research used in the analysis of policy problems. The course aims to train students to be able to apply various research designs in conducting rigorous policy research in their chosen fields, as well as develop the ability to critically evaluate policy research products. A specific emphasis will be on the use of quasi-experimental designs in policy research, as well as on their potentials and limitations.


    Intended Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

    • Identify the logic of policy research on causal relationship.

    • Demonstrate solid knowledge on key research designs for generalized causal inference and their potentials and limitations.

    • Design and develop a research proposal on a given research topic in their chosen fields.

    • Apply practical experiences and techniques in conducting qualitative analysis.

  • PPOL 5130
    Microeconomics and Public Policy
    3 Credits


    The course covers Microeconomic core modules concerning consumer, firm, and market with emphasis on public policy application. A policy topic follows each module enquires students to apply economic model to analyze real world cases and evaluate policies.


    Intended Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

    • Apply economic reasoning to the analysis of selected contemporary economic problems.

    • Compare and exemplify how individual, business and government interact in various market structures to determine pricing and quantity of goods and services produced and consumed.

    • Analyze the efficiency and equity implications of government interference in markets.

    • Apply economic problem solving skills to evaluate the opportunities and challenges of the increasing globalization of the world economy.

  • PPOL 6690
    MPhil Thesis Research
    3 Credits


    Master's thesis research supervised by a faculty member. A successful defense of the thesis leads to the grade Pass. No course credit is assigned.


    Intended Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
    Design, develop and conduct a research proposal on science/technology-based public policy research in their chosen fields.

  • PPOL 7990
    Doctoral Thesis Research
    3 Credits


    Original and independent doctoral thesis research. A successful defense of the thesis leads to the grade Pass. No course credit is assigned.


    Intended Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course, students will be able to design, develop and conduct a research proposal on science/technology-based public policy research in their chosen fields.

ELECTIVE COURSES
  • PPOL 5180 Risk and Regulation 3 credits

    The emergence of regulatory systems is one of the major government advances of the 20th and 21st century. These regulatory regimes are responses to different types of risks-economic/financial, environmental, health, safety and others. This course will examine the concept of risk, and introduce students to the different types of regulatory structures that have been developed to address these.

  • PPOL 5190 Policy Analysis and Design for Sustainable Development 3 credits

    Sustainable development problems pose some of the greatest challenges for policy makers around the world, and effective policy design requires analysts with strong subject matter understanding, creativity, and the ability to incorporate diverse perspectives and approaches. The goal of this course is to advance students' abilities to apply tools and methods, including analytical techniques and presentation skills, which are required for effective policy analysis and decision making in this area. Coursework in the course will be largely case based, and topical issues will be presented and mastered alongside different analytical skills and techniques.

  • PPOL 5200 Aging, Demography and Policy 3 credits

    Changes in the age structure of populations are likely to have highly significant policy outcomes. Perhaps the most significant relates to population ageing which can result in the twin effect of shrinking the labour force and increasing dependency (including pensions and healthcare). This course will explore how these transitions come about, what the policy challenges might be, and how policies can serve to ameliorate them.

  • PPOL 5210 Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management 3 credits

    This course is intended for students interested in environmental policies and management of the natural environment and its resources. The course provides students with a basic toolkit of quantitative and qualitative techniques used in resource planning and analysis, together with case studies with which to gain experience of their application. Students will also gain knowledge of regional and global directives affecting the environment, as well as approaches to policy evaluation.

  • PPOL 5220 Complex Systems for Policy 3 credits

    Many of the problems facing policy makers are considered to be complex, dynamic, socio-technical systems that display emergent structures and behaviors. This requires policy makers and administrators to develop competencies in both analysis and management. The course will focus on applications in policy, with a focus on science and technology such as natural systems with policy making, and complex engineering systems. Students will be introduced to some of the key elements of complex systems, including non-linearities, emergence, networks, and system dynamics. They will also learn about management techniques, specifically learning and adaptive management, that are needed for policy related to complex systems.

  • PPOL 5230 Technology, Innovation and Public Policy 3 credits

    This course will explore the nature of science and technology, their funding, and their use in policy. The course will have two parts: technology and innovation policy. In the first part, students will learn about how science, technology and innovation are influenced by policy, including R&D funding, education, and other policies that governments use to promote the development of new knowledge. In the second part, which will focus on how knowledge and expertise are used by policy makers, students will investigate how science and engineering (quantitative) evidence and knowledge are integrated with social science (quantitative and qualitative) knowledge, and the limitations and types of uncertainty attached to different types of knowledge.

  • PPOL 5250 Innovation and Sustainability 3 credits

    This course examines the role of innovation in achieving sustainability. Among the issues to be discussed include models of technological change, systems approaches to innovation, intellectual property rights, research and development, and case studies in various sectors concerning sustainability. The mechanisms of co-evolution of technology and institutions in facilitating innovation for sustainability are examined from a global perspective.

  • PPOL 5270 Finance, Financial Crises and Economic Development 3 credits

    The global financial crisis was not just an economic calamity. It also precipitated a crisis in economic and political ideas. The pre-crisis faith that free markets produce optimal outcomes has been significantly eroded. A decade on, global policymakers still struggle to engage with a more empirically-grounded and less dogmatic brand of economics, and the differing prescriptions that it might suggest. Students of economics need to have an overview of the causes and consequences of the crisis, the ideas that contributed to it, and how those ideas and their policy implications are being challenged and debated. Most importantly, students of public policy need to be able to understand what went wrong – both in economics, and in policy.

  • PPOL 6000 Independent Study 1 - 3 credits

    Independent study in a designated subject under direct guidance of a faculty member to provide students the advanced knowledge and research skill sets on a public policy topic. Required readings, tutorial discussions, and submission of report(s) will be used for assessment. The course may be repeated for credit if different topics are studied. Graded P or F.

  • PPOL 6100 Special Topics in Public Policy 1 - 3 credits

    This course covers emerging topics of public policy concerns not covered in the present curriculum. The course aims to provide students with the advanced knowledge and research skill sets on a public policy topic, Required readings, tutorial discussions, and submission of report(s) will be used for assessment. The course may be repeated for credit if different topics are studied.