Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM015M: Behavioural Public Policy and Administration

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover the following topics:

 -          What is Behavioural Public Policy?

-          Bounded Rationality; The Automatic and the Reflective System

-          Key Insights and Heuristics from Behavioural Economics

-          Applications of ‘Nudge’ in public policy

-          The politics of Libertarian Paternalism

-          Ethical issues in behavioural public policy

-          Combining policy tools: How Regulation and Nudge can be complementary

-          Insights from psychology and behavioural economics for Public Administrators

 Throughout the module we discuss a variety of policy applications including areas such as Health & Lifestyle; Environmental Behaviours; Payment of taxes; Savings and financial behaviour, linking these to the underlying theory from behavioural economics and social psychology and reviewing evidence of their effectiveness.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities55 x 1 hr lectures (1 introductory lecture in week 1, 4 lectures in week 2)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities105 x 2 hr seminars (1 seminar in week 1, 4 in week 2)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities31 x 3 hr guest presentation/ seminar discussion
Guided independent study92Reading and seminar preparation, including formative reading, reflecting and formative assessment tasks
Guided independent study45Preparation for policy briefing
Guided Independent Study45Preparation for essay

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

 The module will be supported by ELE materials, including links to core texts, podcasts and lectures.