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Public Policy Project: Process and Practice

2014 unit code: SOC30007 (formerly LSS331)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours36 hours over the teaching period (normally 3 hours per week)
Prerequisites100cps including any two sociology units

Related course(s)

This is a prescribed unit of study in the ex-Social Science Major/s.
As from 2014, students enrolled in ex-Lilydale degrees will need to take HAS304/SOC30008 Research Project to replace this unit in their Sociology major.

Aims and objectives

The unit reviews and evaluates major theoretical and ideological approaches to important aspects of policy development, such as problem identification, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Projects enhance professional skills such as team work, project management and self-direction. Exploration of stakeholder relationships in the context of selected policy issues such as, for example, environmental, water, aboriginal issues and other policy areas at the state and federal government levels with the notion of bringing about positive social change as the motivating factor. This process will help to enhance discipline knowledge, critical and lateral thinking skills as well as activate a broader sense of the value of engaged citizenship.

The unit will enable students to:
• Expand their knowledge and understanding of policy processes
• Appreciate the complexities involved in the policy process and practice
• Develop their abilities to critically analyse policies, utilising a range of sociological and other theoretical frameworks
• Explore the processes and structures that shape the formation and implementation of policies
• Understand the relationship of citizenship rights and duties to policy development
• Identify the different areas of responsibility in the process
• Delineate the match between policy areas and levels of government
• Understand the extra government participants in the policy development process
• Develop a policy taken from the current political domain
• Understand the policy development process from an independent lobbyist’s position

Teaching methods

Units will be taught in a variety of modes including face to face, online, distance and blended modes. Delivery of this unit may be through a mixture of lectures, tutorials, laboratories, seminars and online.


Item 1: Oral Presentation 10-20%
Item 2: Oral Presentation 10-20%
Item 3: Individual/Group Written Report in Wiki Format (min 3,500 workds): 20-40%
Item 4: Individual/Group Written Report in Wiki Format (min 5,500 workds): 40-50%

Generic skills outcomes

This unit will provide discipline-based knowledge and professional capabilities and experiences contributing to students’ progress in attaining generic skills such as:
• teamwork skills, developed through group projects
• analysis skills, developed through the application of the sociological literature to real world issues
• communications skills, develop, developed through written and oral presentations , developed through written and oral presentations ed through oral and written presentations
• ability to tackle unfamiliar problems, developed through dealing with material and processes that have not been part of the discipline up until now.
• ability to work independently, developed through responsibility for independent tasks within the group project.


Topics that support project development will be explored. These may include:
• What is Public Policy? Policy and Social Change
• State Activism versus State Atrophy
• How Can Public Policy Bring About Social Change? Methods and Strategies in Public Policy
• The Australian Political System: the Background for Policy
• Agents of Public Policy. Who Drives the Policy Process?
• Guest Lecturer from Lobbying Organisation
• Publicity Campaigns and Government Advertising: Affecting Attitudes and Forming Public Opinion
• Assessing the Effectiveness of Policy
• The Future of a Policy: What to do about Policy Success or Failure: Unintended
Consequences of Policies.

Reading materials