• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

The ability to influence and persuade is a key skill for policymakers and public managers, whether it’s presenting advice to Ministers and Secretaries, influencing a group in a meeting or building support with stakeholders.

This subject provides a practical introduction to persuasion, exploring both classical and contemporary theories and ideas. It draws on the art of rhetoric and the fields of social psychology, communication and management. Students will be introduced to the key concepts and tools underpinning persuasion and learn how to influence, build rapport and trust. The use of persuasion will be explored in a range of scenarios at the individual and group level through case study analysis and practice-based tasks which will develop students’ hands-on skills.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and apply theories of persuasion in a policy and public management context.
  2. Analyse and critique different persuasive techniques and their influence on audiences.
  3. Craft and present persuasive communication, both written and verbal.
  4. Appreciate the differences between power and influence and how these are exercised.
  5. Understand the key principles that underpin influence and develop effective strategies to build support.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Case analysis of 2 - 1500 words each (40) [LO 1,2]
  2. Campaign brief of 2000 words (60) [LO 3,4,5]

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Contact hours: 18 hours total. This is an intensively delivered subject which runs over three full days.

Students are also be expected to undertake reading and preparation prior to the first face-to-face session. Total non-contact hours including time spent on assessment tasks = 40-50 hours.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

There is no set text for the subject. The following texts are recommended for those interested in background reading.

Cialdini, R. (2009). Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. HarperCollins, US.

Lundberg, C. and Keith, W. (2018). The Essential Guide to Rhetoric. Bedford/St. Martin's, Boston.

Perloff, R. (2010). Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the Twenty-First Century, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.

Simons, H. and Jones, J (2012). Persuasion in Society, 2nd edition, Routledge, New York.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $2055
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $2940
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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