Breadcrumbs

Map NZ Map World

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.

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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Faculty:

Career opportunities

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

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 POLSC501, 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 POLSC591), POLSC501, 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 with at least a B grade average across the 300 level papers, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

b) a BSocSc(Hons) in Public Policy (or equivalent) with at least second class honours (second division).

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 POLSC501, and POLSC537, 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 POLSC592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to POLSC593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to POLSC594.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
POLSC100Playing Politics: Conflict, Co-operation and Choice19A (Tauranga)
This paper introduces students to some of the basic concepts used in thinking about politics: conflict, cooperation, collective choice, and power.
POLSC102New Zealand Politics and Policy19A (Tauranga) & 19B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a foundation for the study of political science and public policy, with a particular focus on the study of government, politics and policy in New Zealand.
SOCPY100Introduction to Social Policy19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the values behind social policy and introduces students to some of the important issues and debates in New Zealand and other democratic societies.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ECONS204Economics of Land, Water and Environment19A (Hamilton)
This paper provides students with a detailed understanding of the role of economic analysis in solving real world environmental problems including pollution, sustainable development, resource scarcity, and climate change.
EDSOC200Education and New Zealand Society19A (Hamilton)
This paper critically examines educational ideas and practices by considering philosophical, historical, political, socio-cultural and economic aspects. It examines how the interrelationships between education and society change over time.
LEGAL201Public Law19Y (Hamilton) & 19Y (Tauranga)
Part One examines the principles of constitutionalism and the framework of the New Zealand system of government. Part Two examines the exercise and control of executive power in New Zealand and the relationship between the state, its agencies and the individual.
POLCY212Power, Politics and Policy Analysis19B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to public policy analysis. Students focus on the role of politics, public participation and policy in addressing society's big problems, how they are framed and defined, and how solutions are developed and implemented within the context of the policy process.
POLSC211Political Systems around the World19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
The paper introduces the comparative study of political institutions, the study of the politics of a number of countries, their similarities and differences, from established democracies toauthoritarian regimes.
POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State19A (Hamilton)
Terrorism is an increasingly prominent global phenomenon. We will clarify it conceptually and situate it historically with theory and case studies in situating it in comparative political and International Relations analysis.
POPST201Population Studies19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Online)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Population Studies. Students will develop a sound understanding of the demographic drivers of population change and composition, while exploring some of the rich theories and methodological approaches which comprise Population Studies.
SOCPY200Social Policy and Social Issues19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
The paper continues the study of social policy at 200 level. The focus of this paper is on the welfare state, the policy cycle as well as social problems, such as poverty.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ECONS307Economics of Land, Water and Environment19A (Hamilton)
This paper provides students with a detailed understanding of the role of economic analysis in solving real world environmental problems including pollution, sustainable development, resource scarcity, and climate change.
GNSEX303Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities19B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the historical context for understanding contemporary issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class. It investigates micro and macro level experiences and the social construction of identities. In doing so, this paper looks at how power is distributed in society, the theories that...
POLCY318Global Environmental Politics and Policy19A (Hamilton)
This paper explores contemporary debates on environmental politics, sustainability, justice, and environmental governance. It examines the political processes underpinning the search for cooperative solutions to environmental dilemmas, including climate change.
POLCY390Directed Study19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19S (Hamilton) & 19T (Hamilton)
This course comprises a programme of individual research and assessment undertaken by a student working under supervision of an academic staff member.
SOCIO302Globalisation and International Development19A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the impact of globalisation on both developed and developing countries. Special focus is placed on the labour-capital relation. Applied methods of comparative analysis are also introduced.
SOCPY300Social Policy19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with experience of the ways in which policy is formulated and enacted. Theoretical perspectives are consolidated and extended to enhance opportunities for employment in the social policy field.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
POLSC501Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the fundamentals of policy analysis, and develops skills for higher-level research in public policy. A key focus is developing critical awareness of policy processes, of the drivers of change, and of the role of both 'evidence' and public participation in policy-making, in the pursuit of inclusive ...
POLSC504Gender, Justice and the Environment19B (Hamilton)
This paper draws on the interdisciplinary study of gender and the environment to look at how issues of gender and justice mediate human-environmental relations.
POLSC537Environmental Politics and Public Policy19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the complexities and challenges of environmental policy processes, and develops skills in scholarly research on environmental policy making. A significant focus of the paper is on analysing and understanding the complex intersections of institutions, culture, science and technology, and systems of ...
POLSC590Directed Study19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
POLSC591Dissertation19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLSC592Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLSC593Political Science Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
POLSC594Political Science Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
POPST508Population Health and Equity19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores population health within particular communities, emphasising the broader determinants of population health and social equity. It introduces students to aspects of epidemiology, considers demographic and social science perspectives, and explores the relationship between health, community and society. It examines ...
SOCIO503Comparative Criminology19A (Hamilton)
This paper surveys criminological theory from a sociological perspective and uses examples of criminological research to develop a critical awareness of New Zealand issues and policies related to criminal behaviour.
SOCPY508Techniques for Policy Analysis19B (Hamilton)
This paper exposes students to a selection of techniques in the policy toolkit that can be applied to problem solving in social policy issues. It also reflects on the values and assumptions underlying methods. Students wil be taught to apply policy methods critically and in context.

Graeme Mackenzie I chose Waikato as the political science and public policy department has a good reputation, and I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in Hamilton.

Read stories from other students


Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship


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.


Documents


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