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Public Policy and Public Administration Courses

Public policy and public administration courses examine how governments make and implement public policy, how the public sector operates and why government programs are managed the way they are. Political Science courses with a "6" as the second number have been designated as delivering primarily public policy and administration content. (note: applicable credit restrictions and prerequisites not shown -- see courses page for detailed information)

Political Science Honours and Majors candidates may wish to apply public policy courses towards an optional concentration in Canadian Government. A recommended course sequencing for students interested in public policy and administration is as follows:

  • Begin with 1000 Introduction to Politics and Government. Also, consider taking one of 1010 Issues in Canadian Politics or 1020 Issues in World Politics.
  • Next, take 2600 Introduction to Public Policy and Administration.
  • Then, take some 36xx courses (more specialized policy and administration content).
  • Finally, take 46xx courses (advanced seminars in policy and administration).

1000 Introduction to Politics and Government: An introduction to the study of politics, power, law, public policy and government, touching on major areas of political ideologies, institutions, and current domestic and international political issues. Suitable for students in all disciplines seeking an introduction to political science.

2600 Introduction to Public Policy and Administration: Outlines major concepts in, and issues relating to, the fields of public policy and administration. Examines and assesses government organization and decision-making. Topics may also include social, economic and health policy.

3600 Public Policy in Canada: An examination of the relationship between public policy development in Canada and changes in the social and economic policy environment.

3610 Public Administration in Canada: An introduction to public administration, history of the public service in Canada, an examination of the structure and functioning of contemporary federal and provincial governments. Topics covered include cabinet organization, financial and personnel management, collective bargaining, and bilingualism.

3620 Law and Society: Reviews traditional theories about law, discuss their inadequacies, and consider the benefits of a policy-oriented approach to the study of the role of law in society. The concept of law as a process of authoritative decision will be used to examine the function of the judicial authority.

3650 Canadian Political Economy: Introduces students to major debates about the role of the state in Canadian economic development and public policy. Topics may include: the challenges of natural resource dependency, regionalism, globalization, and the relationship between Canada and the United States.

3681 Corrections Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador: Examines how various political, social and economic forces have helped shape correctional policy and practice in Newfoundland and Labrador.

4600 Public Policy Work Internship: Provides career-related policy work experience with government, a political party, a non-governmental organization, a union, or another employer involved in public affairs. Job placements are for 12 weeks at eight hours per week and are typically unpaid. Class meetings and course work are required. Admission is selective and competitive. Details are available on the Department's Web site (

4630 Policy Analysis: A survey of the major frameworks for the study of public policy, including decision-making theories. The course examines different stages in the policy-making process, such as policy initiation, priorities planning, choice of governing instruments, implementation and evaluation in relation to the objective and normative factors in Canadian policy environment, key institutions, dominant interests, and political leadership.

4650 Public Policy in Resource Dependent Economies: Examines the political economy of Canada's human and natural resources, such as labour, energy, fisheries, forestry, mining, and water. The political consequences of natural resource dependency on the environment and Aboriginals are also discussed.

4680 Public Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador: A study of public policy in Newfoundland and Labrador. Examines the formation, implementation and impact of policies in one or more of the following areas: fisheries, resources, industrial development, agriculture, social policy.