• Class Number 2850
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Maria Maley
    • Dr Maria Maley
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course will provide an introduction to the study of public administration and public policy. Topics to be covered include: the role and nature of governmental bureaucracy; administrative politics; theories of bureaucracy and bureaucratic behaviour; governmental failings and corruption; governments, markets and 'the community'; trends in modern government; and the policy-making process.  The course will contain a blend of theory and case studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. understand the theoretical debates about the nature of government and bureaucracy, including administrative theory and bureaucratic behaviour;
  2. understand the rationale, legacy and critiques of major models of public administration, including New Public Management and its successors;
  3. understand the history and development of the public service in Australia and its current challenges, including politicisation, accountability and corruption;
  4. analyse case studies of policy making using a variety of policy making theories; and
  5. demonstrate advanced skills in oral and written communication, research and critical analysis.

Research-Led Teaching

This course draws on research being undertaken by Dr Maley as part of her Australian Research Council grant, examining political staff and their impact on political-administrative relationships.

Required Resources

There is no prescribed text book for this course. We will be working in tutorials with required readings which will be available on Wattle.

Cairney P (2012) Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues New York: Palgave Macmillan

Althaus C, Bridgman P and Davis G (2017), The Australian Policy Handbook, 6th edition, Allen & Unwin. Earlier editions are OK.

Hill M (2005), The Public Policy Process, 4th edition, Pearson Longman, London.

 Howlett M, Ramesh M and Perl A, (2009), Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.


The following journals contain a wide range of valuable material relevant to the course:

Administration and Society

Administrative Science Quarterly

Public Administration

Australian Journal of Public Administration


International Review of Administrative Sciences

Policy Sciences

Policy Studies Journal

Public Administration Review

International Journal of Public Administration

Australian Journal of Political Science

Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory

Public Policy and Administration

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Individual comments on return of assessments and discussion and feedback in tutorials

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.


All assessment items must be submitted to pass the course. The course has been designed on the basis of face-to-face delivery and learning principles, and there is compulsory assessment in the tutorials, which relies on student attendance to function properly. Tutorial attendance will be recorded and participation will be assessed. You must attend 7 out of 10 tutorials during the semester in order to be eligible to sit the final examination or to complete the final assessment.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 The course provides an introduction to the study of public administration and public policy – in other words, how government works and how public policy is made. It will help you understand why certain decisions are made by ministers, where power lies in government, why disasters occur, why some issues are considered to be problems and some aren’t, and everything you wanted to know about the shadowy world of political advisers. We look at how ideas, events and actors come together to produce the policy decisions we read about everyday in newsfeeds. The first half of the course provides an introduction to public administration (how bureaucrats behave, their relationships with ministers, why rules prevent but also create disasters, why governments outsource their activities and what the results of this are). The second half of the course focuses on public policy (using a range of theories to explain why policies are made or not made, which actors and factors are powerful in policy making, why policy implementation almost always fails, and how to know if a policy is a success or a failure). The course uses case studies as ways of learning about theories and current controversies. For more detail, please see the course guide on wattle.

Tutorial Registration

Details on wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Essay 40 % 15/04/2020 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Group Presentation 15 % * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Tutorial participation 5 % * 5
Exam 40 % * 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 15/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


You must submit a 2,500 word essay. Please see wattle for word length rules.


Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Group Presentation

You must attend 7 of the 10 tutorials to be eligible to complete the final assessment. You will be notified if your attendance level reaches this point.

You will give an assessable Seminar Presentation as a member of a group and lead teaching and discussion.

 Allocation of group members and case studies will occur in Tutorial groups in Week 2.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 5

Tutorial participation

Your participation in tutorials will be assessed based on your attendance, your preparation and your contribution.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


An end of semester Exam will be conducted during the Examination period. [this part of the assessment will be discussed with students in the first week of lectures]

You must attend 7 of the 10 tutorials to be eligible to sit the Final Exam or complete the final assessment task. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request it in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date. Please note medical certificates must be from medical practitioners. Notes from pharmacists will not be accepted.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Maria Maley
6125 3982

Research Interests

Political advisers, ministerial careers, political leadership, Australian politics, the public service and impartiality, public policy theory, gender and leadership

Dr Maria Maley

Monday 13:00 14:00
Dr Maria Maley
6125 3982

Research Interests

Dr Maria Maley

Monday 13:00 14:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions