Department of Political Science


Public Policy Economics and Analysis

Course Code


Course Tutor

TBC (Department of Political Science)


One 2 hour exam

About this course

This is a course of ten lectures and seminars that prepares the student for the understanding and analysis of public policy and its reform. The aim of the course is to provide the student with the ability to understand the economic approach to public policy analysis, evaluation and implementation. It is taught through a mixture of lectures and case studies in order to provide practical as well as theoretical understanding to the student with little economic background. 

By the end of the course students will:

  • have an understanding of the concept of economic efficiency as a societal objective, and how it interrelates with other desirable societal objectives (such as equity);
  • understand the concept and methods of cost-benefit analysis, so that the student is able to formulate the framework that might be able to be applied to a specific public policy;
  • have a basic understanding of the concept of market equilibrium, its efficiency consequences and the imperfections that impact this relationship; and have a basic understanding of the economic approach to questions of public provision and regulation.
  • Topics include: market failures and regulation wealth and income redistribution policies; statistical value of human life in policy; valuing the environment; uncertainty and risk; valuing future benefits.

This module is only available to SPP students. This module is a core programme module for students on the following programmes; MSc Public Policy, MSc European Public Policy and MSc International Public Policy. Students with pre-requisite backgrounds with majors in economics or pure economic degrees may apply to opt out of this module.