Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3089: Policy in Action

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Eva Thomann (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


While politicians talk, argue and decide, there is also a world in which decisions are put into practice. Arguably, most of our experiences with “the state” are through our encounters with those people who implement public policies, such as teachers, police officers, welfare workers, car inspectors, and so on. In these processes a lot can go wrong. Ultimately, what matters is that in practice our air is clean, the homeless get shelter, students get good education, et cetera. Clearly, the policy in action is as important as the policy on paper. In this module we examine the role of implementation for making public policies a success. How can we think about implementation and compliance, and what is its role for performance? What is “successful implementation” (spoiler: it lies in the eye of the beholder) and how can we achieve it? We will look at a wide range of fascinating examples, including the EU’s asylum crisis, black lives matter, environmental policy, for-profit welfare-to-work programs and many more.

Module created


Last revised