Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3094: Global Policy Challenges

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

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr David Benson (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Multiple transnational challenges face policy-makers in the 21st Century, raising questions over how they should be governed in practice. In this respect, the United Nations has set out a normative agenda for future global policy up to the year 2030 via its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by national governments in 2012. These goals encompass the critical issues of our times, including reducing poverty, ensuring access to clean water, promoting clean energy, preserving oceans, reducing inequality and maintaining global security. Achieving them will require innovative critical thinking and novel, interdisciplinary policy solutions. In this module you will therefore seek to identify, discuss and evaluate emerging policy responses to these challenges at multiple institutional levels as basis for lesson-drawing. Drawing on theories of governance as an analytical lens you will: examine the context to the SDGs; provide an overview of the UN targets; introduce a range of governance theories (for example, multi-level governance, network governance, global governance, regulatory governance, collaborative governance, urban governance); and provide an empirical and theoretical analysis of critical policy challenges to attaining the SDGs. The module will be of interest to students from many disciplines, including political science, international relations, geography, Flexible Combined Honours, Science Technology Society and can be taken by physical scientists with an interest in policy.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students, and is thus very suited to students on interdisciplinary pathways. 

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