Breadcrumbs

Public Policy

Explore how national, regional and local state institutions formulate and implement policies when you study Public Policy at Waikato. You'll also examine how non-profit organisations, individuals and businesses address issues of public concern.

Chuluun Munkhbat

Master of Social Sciences
Chuluun is passionate about New Zealand and Mongolia, and he manages to combine his love for both countries for a job – as New Zealand's Honorary Consul-General in Mongolia.


Megan Smith

Master of Social Sciences
Prior to coming to Waikato, Megan was running her own business as a Career Consultant. She was also President of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ). It was the frequent policy focus of this role, along with a career spent in the public sector, that led her to want to study public policy.


Government decisions influence our lives on a daily basis. They affect the price of our housing, clothes, food, transport and water. They determine the types of jobs we do, how much we are paid and where we live.

Studying Public Policy equips you with the skills to understand and interpret current affairs, deal with government in your future profession or business, and work within government or for groups that lobby government. It is particularly suitable for students who want a career in the public sector, and for employees of organisations that are seeking to influence public policies.

At Waikato, Public Policy is an interdisciplinary subject. That means you can combine it with programmes from a variety of other disciplines, creating a programme of study to suit your needs. The major in Public Policy offers both structure and flexibility – there's a compulsory paper at each level of study, but you'll also have the freedom to focus on the particular policy areas that most interest you. Choose from papers on economic, educational, environmental, ethnic, foreign, population and social policy.

In your studies you'll discuss theories of organisation, decision-making and administration, public management, and how public officials work and interact with the public sector and the political executive. You'll learn to examine policies in the context of political values and culture, economic constraints and political party agendas, and come to understand how and why particular policies are adopted by governments.

 Career opportunities

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Foreign Policy Advisor
  • Health Sector Analyst
  • Māori Development Policy Adviser
  • Policy Analyst and Planner

100 level

200 level

300 level

400 level

Prescriptions for the GradCert(PP) and GradDip(PP)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Public Policy at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(PP), PGDip(PP), BSocSc(Hons) and MSocSc

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Public Policy papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Public Policy papers or all their undergraduate Public Policy papers.

To complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including POLS501, and a further 60 points from the papers listed for Public Policy.

To complete a BSocSc(Hons) in Public Policy, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally POLS591), POLS501, and a further 60 points from the papers listed for Public Policy. Students will be permitted to substitute a maximum of 30 points with papers from another subject or subjects.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MSocSc in Public Policy, a student should have completed either:

a) a BSocSc with a major in Public Policy and have gained at least a B+ average in either the best three of their 300 level Public Policy papers or all of their undergraduate Public Policy papers, or

b) a BSocSc(Hons) in Public Policy (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average across all 500 level papers.

Completion requirements for the MSocSc in Public Policy vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including POLS501, one of POLS531 or POLS537, and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B average to be admitted to POLS592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to POLS593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to POLS594.

Subject links

Public Policy Programme

Public Policy is available as a major for the BSocSc. Public Policy may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in Public Policy, students must gain 120 points above 100 level in Public Policy, including POLS212 and at least 60 points above 200 level. It is recommended that students intending to major in Public Policy include POLS105 in the first year of their programme of study.

Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4702
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: pubp-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: pubp-grad@waikato.ac.nz