Taught course

Values and Public Policy: Political Philosophy in Practice

University of Oxford · Blavatnik School of Government
Short course

Entry requirements

This eight-week short course is designed for you if you need to interact with, understand and interpret policy as part of your job. While there are no entry requirements, it is expected that you will have had some exposure to politics / political philosophy before joining and that you have career experience working with policy, in any industry. Also, please be aware that it is a master's level course, so will take a certain level of commitment. Learners are expected to dedicate 3-5 hours a week to their studies, with all activities and tasks taking place online.

You should consider this course if:

  • you are a mid-career professional working in an NGO, agency, public or private sector, are a journalist or a civil servant who wants to move into a specialised or management career and must learn to operate more effectively at a strategic level;
  • you are a concerned citizen looking to better understand the complex public policy-making process which directly affects you and your community;
  • you are an experienced professional in the Civil Service and are ready to move to a Senior Executive Officer (SEO) position or Higher Executive Officer role (HEO); or
  • you are highly experienced in strategy and need a programme which will provide you with the tools to help you remain effective and current in your position.

Months of entry

February, May, July, October

Course content

Delivered by Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government and the world's leading digital learning company, Pearson, Values and Public Policy: Political Philosophy in Practice promotes careful and critical evaluation of the thinking which should underpin good policy decisions and reflection on the moral complexities that policy makers must engage with.

It explores practical dilemmas when the idea of government’s purpose may conflict with fundamental values.

There are five key themes throughout the course:

  • Purpose – being able to evaluate the purpose of public policy and government, and understand the role of the individual
  • Decision-making – understanding the distinctions between what decisions to make and how to make them
  • Values – being able to apply philosophical approaches to evaluate values in public policy
  • Ethics – the application of ethics for moral leadership: weighing up different moral / ethical decisions
  • Problem solving – deal with wicked problems in a complex world and applying technical solutions.

It is part of a suite of online short courses in government and public policy from the Blavatnik School of Government and Pearson.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Short course
    part time
    2 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details