Politics and Public Policy

Why ‘Politics and Public Policy’?

Why do we need politics, or politicians for that matter? What do policies, and the ideological positions that underpin them, actually say about the world – past, present and future?

Explore these questions and more across cultures, continents and centuries - from the Ancient World and Imperial China to present-day Europe, Russia and South America. Ponder the causes of the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli conflict and Apartheid. How do politics and policies affect specific groups: women, children, minorities, religious groups? Explore cultural, historical, educational, legal, philosophical, religious dimensions.

Make the most of your discovery modules

Remember, you should be aiming to to put together a good, coherent set of discovery modules, based on what you're most interested in. Here is a reminder of our two suggested approaches:

  1. Choose a range of modules that build up your knowledge around a particular theme. These might be all from one academic discipline, or they might offer different disciplinary perspectives on the same topics.
  2. Choose an academic discipline (eg law, ethics, sociology, theology, history) and choose a set of modules which will enable you progressively to deepen your skills in that discipline.

Once you have identified some possible modules to take, look at which school or subject-area is providing them. This will help you understand what perspective on the subject they will take, and what methods they will be using. This is important in helping you to understand what you should (and should not) expect from particular modules. For example:

  • If you want the tools and skills to answer questions about politics and public policy directly (“What should our policy be on taxation? or on education? Or on international development?”), the disciplines most likely to provide this are sociology and social policy, political science, ethics and philosophy.
  • If what you are interested in is how these questions have in fact been approached in the past (history), in literature (English, various modern languages, classics), in art (fine art), or if you are interested in how different attitudes to political issues shape people’s interactions and behaviour (sociology, psychology, criminology), there are different disciplines devoted to each of these approaches.
  • The first 4 characters of the module code tell you which subject area provides the module. 

If you’re attracted to this sub-theme, you might also like to explore the discovery modules in ‘Power and Conflict'.

Politics and Public Policy modules

modules available, use the filters to narrow the selection further

This information is for the 2019/20 academic year. You can you use the filters to show only results that match your requirements.


When you find discovery modules you are interested in, you can add them to a shortlist by clicking ‘ADD TO MY DISCOVERY MODULES’.

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