Taught course

Values and Public Policy: Political Philosophy in Practice

University of Oxford · Blavatnik School of Government
Short course

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

The course is designed for you if you need to interact, understand and interpret policy as part of your job. You should consider this master-level course if:
  • you are a mid-career professional working as 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 UK Civil Service and are ready to move to a Senior Executive Officer (SEO) position or Higher Executive Officer role (HEO).
  • you are highly experienced in strategy and need a programme which will provide the tools to help you remain effective and current in your position.

Months of entry

January, May, July, October

Course content

Our Values and Public Policy: Political Philosophy in Practice course 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.

There are no entry requirements for this short course though it is expected that you will have had some exposure to politics / political philosophy before joining. It is also expected that you have career experience working with policy, in any industry.

Fees and funding

UK students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Online courses