Public Policy (Specialisation Seminar) - 2nd semester


The general aim of this module is to learn how to conceive a research project and a dissertation proposal in public policy. I also have the three specific goals: a) To develop skills to conceive and carry out research in public policy, following criteria of ethic and high quality; b) To elaborate a doctoral thesis project in public policy that contributes to advance the knowledge about public policy issues, using theoretical and methodological tools and attaining quality for publication; c) To develop skills in public policy design and analysis for policy making and makers.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Catherine Moury


Weekly - 2

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Anderson, James (2006) Public Policymaking. An Introduction, Wadsworth Cengage Learning: Boston.
Becker, Howard S. (1998), Tricks of the Trade. How to Think about Your Research While You´re Doing It, University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
Becker, Howard (1986) Writing for Social Scientists. How to start and finish your Thesis, Book or Article, University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
Wong, Paul «How to Write a Research Proposal»
Olk, Harald (2003) «How to write a research proposal»

Teaching method

Short lectures will be offer by the instructor. Students are expected to participate and share their experience with the rest of the class, so we can build on the common experience of the cohort for thinking about research projects and dissertations on public policy issues. Students are expected to come to class with the assigned readings done and to present the assigned readings to the classmates.
In addition to class participation, students are expected to present a critique of a research (oral and written) which could be done in pairs, and an individual research project as a dissertation proposal.

Evaluation method

Students will be evaluated on the basis of their active participation in the class (10%), submission of a problematization of thesis project (20%) in two occasions, and a final version of dissertation proposal (70%). Active participation includes student´s involvement, physical presence and presentations.

Subject matter

1. Basic definitions about doing research. Scientific research and objectivity. Research problems and hypotheses.
2. Methods of social scientific research: quantitative versus qualitative research, advantages and disadvantages. Characteristics of qualitative researchers. Ethics in social research.
3. Literature Review: what is it? How to conduct a literature review? Plagiarism in academic research.
4.How to think about a research project.
5.How conceive a dissertation on public policy. What are the steps? What should be taken into account? How to think about issues of public policy. Choosing an advisor/tutor.


Programs where the course is taught: