School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Policy Studies (Public Administration)

NOTE: Most courses are 3.0 credit units in weight; however MPA-808 and MPA-823 are 1.5 credit units in weight, and MPA-825 is 6.0 credit units in weight.

MPA-800*     Governing Institutions     
An examination of the institutions and processes involved in addressing policy problems. While particular attention is given to Canadian governments, the course considers other influences on the decision making process emanating from the third sector and the global environment.

MPA-802*     Approaches to Policy Analysis     
This course introduces students to a broad range of research strategies, methods and techniques used in policy analysis. It explores recent developments in analytical techniques, with particular reference to their underlying assumptions and their relevance to problems facing policy analysts and decision makers.

MPA-804*     Principles of Economics     
This course introduces basic concepts in microeconomics and macroeconomics to students who have had limited exposure to economics. It focuses on issues relevant to the public sector.

MPA-805*     Quantitative Analysis     
This course introduces basic statistics and multivariate regression to students. The focus is on interpreting quantitative information contained in reports and studies commonly found in the public sector.

MPA-806*     Analytical Tools for Policy Research     
This course introduces students to a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and helps them understand their use and limitation in policy research. Students will apply selected techniques, interpret data, assess results and report findings relating to specific policy issues. Open to PMPA students only.

MPA-808     Analytical Methods for Public Policy     
This course provides intermediate level training in applied statistics for students studying public and non-profit management, policy analysis, and related areas. The aim is to provide students with the knowledge of analytical methods to effectively and responsibly interpret and apply statistical analysis conducted by others.1.5 credit hours.

MPA-809*     Management in the Public Sector     
This course provides students with practice in the skills required for effective leadership of public organizations. Focusing on the general management level, the course addresses the tasks of integrating managerial functions, establishing organizational goals and executing organizational strategies. Particular emphasis is placed on problems of adaptation and innovation under fiscal restraint.

MPA-810*     Policy Challenges     
This course introduces basic policy concepts, the policy process and elements of the machinery of government showing the links between the foundations of policy analysis and contemporary public issues. (3.0 credit units).

MPA-811*     Government, Society and Public Policy     
This course looks at the role of the state and the interaction between the state and society in making fundamental choices in western nations. It examines a number of theories of the state, and then explores major challenges to contemporary governance, such as globalization, nationalism, the politics of diversity, and changing conceptions of democracy.

MPA-812*     Law and Public Policy     
An examination of the ways in which common law and constitutional law shape the exercise of statutory authority, with special reference to how judicial review influences policy making.

MPA-813*     How Governments Decide     
Successful government depends upon the smooth meshing of the political and bureaucratic dimensions of the state. This course examines how different governments organize, staff and operate their executive management systems. A second theme is to highlight the necessity of global comparison to gain knowledge through reference to different public policies and processes.

MPA-814*    Intergovernmental Policy 
This course examines how policy making and the substance of policy are affected by federalism. Attention focuses on patterns of interaction among governments, and between governments and organized interests in Canada, and in other federal or quasi-federal systems. A major subject is how such patterns of interaction are affected by the structure of political institutions, the allocation of powers, and fiscal considerations.

MPA-815*     Economic Analysis     
This course focuses on economic issues relevant to the public sector. A variety of microeconomic and macroeconomic topics related to the analysis of policy issues in included.
Prerequisite: MPA-804 or equivalent

MPA-816*     Quantitative Program Evaluation     
This course focuses on program evaluation and cost benefit analysis including program theory, impact analysis and implementation analysis. PREREQUISITE: MPA-805 or equivalent

MPA-823 Public Policy Leadership
This course introduces students to concepts of leadership and their applicability to the analysis, development and implementation of public policies, with the objective of enhancing their effectiveness in the workplace. Through readings, presentations and independent study, as well as group exercises and case studies, students will learn to distinguish between leadership and management, develop an appreciation of the qualities for successful leadership in public policy and begin to assess their own strengths and weaknesses for leadership roles.  They will also compare diverse models of leadership in western organizations and indigenous communities. (1.5 credit units)

MPA- 824* Policy Leadership in Practice
Building on the first-year core curriculum, students will identify and assess the competencies for effective policy leadership to mobilize human and material resources to transform good ideas into effective actions with measurable results. Through simulations and case studies, led by proven policy leaders, students will analyze the successful or failed application of leadership and followership qualities in the development and implementation of policy responses to real-world problems. Prerequisite: MPA-823

MPA-825 Policy Integration Project
This team project provides an integrative experience, requiring students to apply their learning to a specific policy issue through the stages of problem definition, research and analysis, diagnostic recommendations, stakeholder identification and engagement, implementation issues including budgeting, communications and measuring performance. Students will produce a set of incremental papers and presentations, culminating in a complete project plan. (6.0 credit units) Prerequisite: MPA-824*

MPA-826*     Ethics in the Public Service     
This course examines ethical problems that typically arise in the formulation and implementation of public policy. It considers how conceptions of ethical problems have shifted over time; strategies for thinking about and resolving ethical issues; and the design of institutional arrangements that minimize the risk of harm from ethical lapses in the public sector.

MPA-827*     Financial Management in the Public Sector     
An examination of the principles of financial management applicable to the public sector, including an introduction to budgeting, financial planning, capital and current expenditure forecasting and program costing.

MPA-832*     Defence Management     
This course examines key policy decisions that shape the formulation and administration of defence policy in Canada. Seminars will be constructed around various current policy and administrative issues including applied defence economics and budgeting; personnel administration; capital procurement; armed forces and society; and the governmental and Canadian Forces organization for national defence.

MPA-836*     Health and Public Policy in Canada     
This course introduces students to the social, economic and political forces that shape health policy, and the institutions that are responsible for its design and implementation. The course also surveys some of the major current issues in the field.
Exclusion: EPID-803* Health Services and Policy Applications

MPA-838*     Economic Analysis of Health Policy     
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to economic concepts and analysis relevant to health, health care and health care systems.

MPA-839*     Social Policy     
This course examines the historical development of the welfare state in Canada in comparison with other western nations. It focuses on the major social security programs and their recent restructuring in response to demographic, economic and political changes at the national and international levels.

MPA-840*     Economics of Social Policy     
This course applies microeconomic analysis to the field of social policy. The course briefly considers the role of economics in policy analysis and the rationale for government intervention. Policy areas to be analyzed may include: poverty, income maintenance, unemployment insurance, welfare, childcare, child benefits, the retirement system.

MPA-842*     Field Work     
This course focuses on providing practical policy experience to the students in the field. The content may vary. It will be graded on a pass/fail grade.

MPA-843*     Trade and Public Policy     
An introduction to the public policy issues associated with international trade, with particular reference to the World Trade Organization.

MPA-844*     Canadian Economic Policy     
This course brings an economic perspective to major policy issues facing Canada and its trading partners. The topics selected for discussion will vary from year to year. This course assumes that students have completed a basic course in economic analysis. (Offered jointly with ECON-881*.)

MPA-846*     Public Policy Issues in Africa     
This course presents students with an introduction to policy making in Africa with a particular focus on Ghana. It will examine the influence of history and context upon policy actors, structures and policy choices. The role of the state, civil society, external actors and institutions in policy making and shaping policy outcomes will be explored. The major challenges to policy making and policy development in Africa will be discussed. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. (Delivered at the University of Ghana, Legon to the participants in the SPS-University of Ghana interchange program).

MPA-847*     Environmental Policy     
This course surveys the factors that influence the actions of major institutions, such as governments, industry and public interest groups, with respect to environmental issues. It looks for broad designations of competing approaches, such as command and control versus incentive-based instruments, to such tasks as the setting of standards, regulation and compliance, management of risks and the realization of effective public participation. It also attempts to look behind the pragmatic policy formulations to identify the fundamental values that shape attitudes toward environmental issues.

MPA-848*     Immigration Policy in Canada     
This course examines the factors contributing to the development of immigration policy in Canada, the changing trends in immigration in Canada, the impact of immigration and refugee movements on public policies and programs, jurisdictional issues and the role of nongovernmental organizations.

MPA-849*     Behavioural Public Finance     
Behavioural public finance introduces students to a psychologically rich perspective on human behaviour for economic analysis. This powerful new framework reshapes core public finance concepts such as moral hazard, deadweight loss and incidence, and provides a deeper analysis of government intervention, market failure and social welfare.

MPA-850*     Risk Management     
Every day governments manage risks, from the safety of new chemicals to security from terrorism, from ongoing financial risks at the aggregate level to financial risks at the individual program/policy level.  Managing risks and ensuring accountability is especially challenging when public services are delivered by third parties.  This course reviews basic concepts used to assess and manage risks, and to communicate risk to the public.

MPA-851*     Public Policy and the Third Sector     
This course examines the diverse nature of the nonprofit sector, its expanding role in policymaking and service delivery, and the evolving relationship among government, nonprofit organizations and the corporate sectors. Key issues include accountability and governance, leadership, law and liability, ethics and values, and policy influence.

MPA-852*     Stakeholder Management     
This course is designed to familiarize students with various forms of political participation and representation in Canada. The course examines practical approaches and tools for fostering stakeholder engagement in decision-making. Students will also learn how to plan and design a stakeholder engagement initiative.

MPA-853*     Topics in Public Policy and the Third Sector     
This course focuses on selected topics relating to public policy and the third sector.   The content may vary from year to year.

MPA-857*     Policy Issues and Debate in China     
This course presents students with a introduction to terms and dialogue used in current policy debates in China.  It will provide students with a general introduction to Mandarin Chinese and focus on terms that are often used in debates and dialogues with officials.  Students will also be taught the interpretation of certain expressions and phrases that politicians in China commonly use and in what contexts should they be employed.  (Delivered at Fudan University, China, to participants in the SPS-Fudan interchange program.)

MPA-858*     Chinese Economic Reform     
This course is broadly concerned with the political economy of the economic reform in China.  It will also provide students with a general introduction to the Chinese history, geography, culture and pre-reform economic system.  With this background in place students will learn lessons from recent Chinese experience concerning privatization and the reform of the state-owned enterprises, dual economy and reforms in rural and financial sectors, impacts of deregulation and reforming of state monopolies.  Finally, students will discuss globalization and the current challenges facing the Chinese economy. (Delivered at Fudan University, China, to participants in the SPS-Fudan interchange program.)

MPA-859*     Indigenous Law and Policy     
An introduction to Indigenous and Canadian Law (treaties, legislation, cases and practice) and how it affects the lives of Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada.

MPA-890*     Internship     
This non-credit program allows students to combine their formal academic studies with on-the-job experience, normally through a four-month placement with a government department or other public sector organization. The internship is normally scheduled in the fall term, following a student's completion of three terms of academic study and open only to students registered in the MPA Full-time program.

MPA-891*     Topics in Health Policy     
This course focuses on selected topics in health policy.  The content may vary from year to year.

MPA-892*     Topics in Social Policy     
This course focuses on selected topics in social policy. The content may vary from year to year.

MPA-893*     Special Topics
2018-19 Topic: Data Analytics   
This seminar, offered by a regular or visiting faculty, focuses on a topic related to the faculty member's specific research interests and expertise.

MPA-894*     Professional Placement     
This field course provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge, enhance their professional skills and gain practical experience by combining formal studies with a cooperative or internship work placement. Students selected by host employers are placed with a government agency normally for a minimum 10 week period in approved positions. To consolidate their learning from this practical experience, participating students are required to submit a final report, in accordance with specific guidelines, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis, by a faculty member. Work-study placements may be paid or unpaid. This is a 3.0 credit unit course, is graded on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards the requirements of the degree.

MPA-895*     Topics in Public Management     
This course focuses on selected topics in public management. The content may vary from year to year.

MPA-896*     Topics in Public Policy     
This course focuses on selected topics in public policy. The content may vary from year to year.

MPA-897*     Directed Reading     
This course is designed for individual students with special interests that may not be satisfied through course offerings in a given year. It will normally be a directed reading course, under the close supervision of an assigned faculty member with expertise in the chosen subject field. Permission of the Graduate Coordinator required.

MPA-898     Master's Research Project    

Other Elective Courses     
The School also offers other elective courses each year, typically in the spring term. The specific topics of the seminars vary annually but generally include issues in economic and social policy, public management, urban government, regulatory administration, etc. A list of spring courses is available from the School in the late fall. These courses are offered under the following numbers, MPA-860* to MPA-889*.