The Australian National University: New graduate courses in public policy
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The Australian National University: New graduate courses in public policy

In a trying political era – much like we see today – it is the people of integrity and humility, with a deeper understanding of the issues and all related data, that are absolutely essential in public policy development. After all, these are the people who shape the future by guiding the hands of the politicians.

Crawford School of Public Policy (CSPP) at The Australian National University (ANU) aims to equip students with the skills needed to succeed as these influential people.

As Asia and the Pacific’s leading graduate School of Public Policy, CSPP’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) brings together interactive and case-based teaching to prepare you for policy-making roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. And the new Executive Master of Public Policy takes it even further, preparing you to be an effective executive leader in the field of Public Policy.

Both degrees start with vital foundations that make up the core of this crucial subject; evidence and analysis to determine effective policy.

Crawford-cafe  There’s no way to build successful policy if we don’t understand the data behind it. These courses equip students with the skills needed to interpret data, and appraise different quantitative and qualitative techniques for policy analysis, including cost benefit analysis, statistical analysis, and interpretive analysis – all of which are indispensable skills within public policy.

Students tackle the issues head on in debates on evidence-based policy-making, before delving into the details of the entire policy process.

Exploring the use of evidence and analysis in different stages of the policy process, students pick up the much-needed skills for effective policy evaluation. This data analysis and a deep-seated understanding of the evidence is the solid foundation that is so badly needed in our fragile social policies and turbulent political times.

“The world’s many policy challenges demand that we who are privileged to work in universities bring the best evidence to bear on the problems facing society,” says CSPP Director Professor Helen Sullivan. “This evidence will rarely provide the ‘silver bullet’ that many politicians want. But it will be defensible and it will help build towards the solutions we need.”

The MPP degree adds to this foundation by introducing students to the fundamentals of contemporary public policy-making, and exploring the key debates that resonate through the field.

This background is the springboard for more in-depth modules that pick apart public policy specifics, aiding you in your mission to craft successful legislation that benefits the world.

As economics is absolutely central to policy conception, The Economic Way of Thinking course examines how consumers and firms make decisions and how they interact with each other within global markets, granting students a key grounding in the microeconomics that so regularly drive policy.

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Economics for Government expands on this, equipping students with a guide to basic economic principles, designed to create policy managers of the future by relating this knowledge to application in public sector activities.

By looking at the nature and role of markets, the economic role of government, and the nature of decision-making by individuals, firms and governments, students develop frameworks of understanding that will deeply enrich their careers.

While economics is a key player in policy outcomes, politics may be even more so. The Political and Institutional Architecture of Public Policy course strives to break through the complexities and examine how various political, regulatory, administrative and communicative institutions shape the process and outcomes of Public Policy.

To guide students in putting their policy knowledge and data expertise into practice, the Public Sector Management course looks into approaches in this area and encourages students to consider the relevance to their own countries and workplaces, making it a pivotal module for those wanting to make a material difference through effective management. Public sector reform in developing countries is examined, and relevant issues such as corruption and accountability are scrutinised.

The EMPP degree takes a universally applicable approach with modules that help students understand current governing models and how to practically go about implementing change and influencing Public Policy.

Taking into consideration the sweeping challenges of globalisation, the Governing Contemporary Public Policy course considers transformations in governance at the international level, as well as compares different forms of governing public policy observed nationally and transnationally.

With this understanding of different modes of governing behind you, the Leading and Influencing Public Policy course then explores the challenges of leadership within the public policy process and equips participants with the skills to surmount those challenges.

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Being able to build and take leadership of an effective and dedicated team can be at the crux of whether your policy design is implemented and the first step in pressing for change.

In the shifting geopolitical climate surrounding the Asia-Pacific region, International Policy Making in the Shadow of the Future is a course that undoubtedly stands out for more globally-minded students. Considered one of the most dynamic regions in the world, the policy developed today will have economic, political, and environmental implications for generations to come. It is essential they get it right.

In a world of rapid economic change, unexpected political events, and social and technological transformations, the need for solid, evidence-based policy has never been more pressing. And as a CSPP graduate, you could be integral to that aim.

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