programmes

Course Descriptions 2019-20

(I) Compulsory courses:

  • POLI7002 Public Administration: Scope and Issues (6 credits)Every morning we travel to work or to school on roads that are "provided"; we enjoy education, public safety, drainage services, and so on that are "provided"; we engage in numerous economic transactions of which the regulation is "provided". Many of us simply take these provision and production activities for granted. Each of these activities, however, does involve a whole array of problem-solving efforts; Public Administration (PA) is concerned with how these efforts are arranged, maintained, and implemented. This course provides the intellectual foundation for the study of PA.
    Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% examination
  • POLI8017 Workshop in Public Affairs (6 credits)This course introduces the latest developments in the study of public affairs in a workshop format emphasizing intensive learning, hands-on training, as well as active participation of the students. Distinguished visiting scholars and/or practitioners from different fields of public affairs will be involved in this workshop. Topics to be covered may vary each year, and may cut across the boundaries of different subfields in public administration and policy.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8026 Workshop in Managerial Skills (6 credits)The purpose of the course is to enable students to acquire knowledge and develop practical managerial skills in public administration, such as the knowledge and skills required for handling the media, dealing with civil society, coping with issues of public accountability, managing crises, and providing leadership in the departmental context. Distinguished practitioners will be invited to share their experiences with the students. Role-play and other exercises may also be conducted. The choice of topics, learning activities and format for assessment may vary each year.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8027 Public Administration in Hong Kong (6 credits)This course begins with an overview of the history of Hong Kong public administration since the early colonial days and covers coordination, budgetary allocation, consultation and civic engagement, and civil service management. Guided by academic research on these administrative functions, we will discuss more recent changes in institutions and practices as well as traditions that continue to shape the way the civil service works today. We also cover the major developments in local politics in the last two decades to better make sense of the challenges they pose to the civil service and the public sector at large.
    Assessment: 100% coursework

(II) Dissertation or Capstone Project:

  • POLI8012 Dissertation (12 credits)The dissertation presents the results of a student’s research and should demonstrate a sound understanding of the field of study and appropriate research methods. A topic is selected in consultation with relevant teaching staff in September and the title of the dissertation is submitted for approval by 31 January of the final academic year of study. The dissertation is then researched and written and submitted for examination by 31 July of the final academic year of study.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8028 Capstone Project (12 credits)The Capstone project in the Master of Public Administration is a group-based learning-in-action project. It addresses and proposes possible solutions to a contemporary issue in public administration in Hong Kong. Its underlying purpose is to ensure that students grasp the essentials of applied research and analysis in a selected area of public affairs. A topic is selected in consultation with relevant teaching staff in September and the title of the capstone project is submitted for approval by 31 January of the final academic year of study. The project is then researched, written and submitted for examination by 31 July of the final academic year of study.
    Assessment: 100% coursework

(III) Elective Courses

  • POLI7001 Human Resource Management (6 credits)This course addresses public service human resource management in and beyond Hong Kong from a variety of perspectives. It appreciates the key significance of aligning organisations, people and power in government and governance. The alignments are forged within contexts and traditions and, more specifically, are bound by capacity needs and by associated laws, policies and practices. They involve the appointment, promotion, development, motivation, remuneration and performance of people, subject to leadership, change and reform.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI7003 Public Policy: Issues and Approaches (6 credits)This course introduces students to the key concepts and theoretical approaches in the study of public policy process. The course is organized into three parts. Part one examines the basic concepts used in analyzing the policy process and the political and institutional contexts of policy making. Part two discusses the major theoretical approaches to the study of policy making and, policy implementation and assesses their strengths and limitations. Part three analyses the politics of policy making in Hong Kong and discusses the applicability of the concepts and theories in public policy studies to the real world. Selected policy issues will also be examined to illustrate the dynamics of the policy process in Hong Kong.
    Assessment: 60% coursework, 40% examination
  • POLI7004 Public Management Reform (6 credits)This course recognises and addresses that, over the last three to four decades, established systems of public management around the world have been subject to widespread reform embracing significant issues of organisational integration, autonomy, verticalism and horizontalism. Many people, organisations and power alignments have been affected by the adoption particularly of various forms of decentralisation, corporatisation and privatisation. This has resulted in numerous mixes of state, market and civil society activity involving contractual relationships, partnerships, networks and other strategic alliances.
    Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% examination
  • POLI8002 Ethics and Public Affairs (6 credits)This course focuses on the normative aspects of public policy and public administration. Using concepts and arguments, which are mainly derived from moral philosophy, the course examines the ethical justifications for, and the moral implications of, the policy choices and conduct of public officials. It will also examine the issues and challenges in maintaining responsible conduct in public organization and the strategies to maintain and enhance public administration ethics.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8003 Financial Management (6 credits)This course examines the nature, processes, causes and effects of budgeting as a fiscal instrument to enhance economic growth, as a mechanism for the allocation of scarce resources, and as a management tool for executive planning and financial control. It will also analyze the macroeconomic and political contexts of budgeting and other key concepts and issues in financial management in the public sector.
    Assessment: 60% coursework, 40% examination
  • POLI8004 Government and Law (6 credits)This course examines the legal regulation of governmental powers at the constitutional and administrative levels. Topics include: the constitutional development of Hong Kong under “One Country Two Systems” and the Basic Law; principles of constitutional and legal interpretation; constitutional protection of human rights under the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights; the nature of judicial review of administrative actions; exercise of discretionary powers by administrative officials; principles of judicial review and their application in actual cases.
    Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% examination
  • POLI8008 Public Administration in China (6 credits)This course examines the context and key issues of public administration and the policy process in contemporary China; including the political system, legal reform, civil service system, fiscal system, party and state institutions; performance management and central-local relations. It also addresses recent developments in major policy areas such as social security, education reform and economic reform.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8009 Policy Design and Analysis (6 credits)This course focuses on conceptual and analytical skills and techniques required for understanding, and suggesting solutions to, policy problems. It examines major components of public policy analysis – problem definition, policy design, and policy assessment.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8011 Selected Topic in Public Policy (6 credits)This course examines selected topics addressing the key issues in the theory and practice of public policy. It is offered from time to time as resources permit.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8014 NGOs and Governance (6 credits)This course examines the relationships between and among the state, market and civil society with particular reference to the work of those not-for-profit organizations and associations which are normally referred to as NGOs. It focuses on the legal-structural dimensions of NGOs and the ways in which they operate in the production, provision, ownership, regulation and facilitation of various goods and services.
    Assessment: 60% coursework, 40% examination
  • POLI8019 Comparative Public Administration Reform (6 credits)This course recognises that public administration remains an essential feature of government around the world, alongside and coupled with significant developments in public management and public governance. As with these developments, it has been subject to significant ongoing adaptation and transformation. The pressures for change have been founded in, and beyond, the nature and demands of the political systems and societies in which administrative decisions are made, action occurs and evaluations undertaken. The result has been increased structural, operational and review diversity, involving numerous organisational responses and challenges which are valuably studied from comparative perspectives.
    Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% examination
  • POLI8021 Public organization and management (6 credits)The course is designed for practitioners in the field of public administration and public policy. It seeks to enhance students’ understanding of organizational phenomena and discusses potential strategies for enhancing the management and performance of public organizations. Studies and practices of organizations from different sectors are drawn on as learning materials. The course aims to develop students’ ability to understand and analyze the characteristics and functioning of public organizations. At the end of the semester, students will also be equipped with some basic tools for improving organizational performance.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8023 Selected Topics in Public Management (6 credits)This course examines selected topics that address the key issues in the theory and practice of public management. It will be offered from time to time as resources permit.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8029 Non-profit Management (6 credits)This course will advance students’ understanding of nonprofit management and how government could work with nonprofits in carrying out public policies or delivering public services. It will draw upon theories advanced by the scholarly community and provide case studies for in-depth analysis of key themes in nonprofit management, such as legal framework and institutional environment, governance, public and nonprofit partnership, accountability, contracting, strategic planning, and leadership.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8030 Institutional Analysis for Public Policy and Management (6 credits)Public policies and management do not take place in a vacuum. It is essential for public managers to possess a good awareness and understanding of their embedded political context. The course applies various institutional approaches to understand the political-institutional structures and processes in which various public policies and management were practiced. It is a master–level course designed for practitioners in the field of public administration and policy who need to master the skills of managing various projects, programs, and particularly larger-scale public policy and management reforms. In this course, learning resources will be drawn on from theories and practices proposed by both academics and practitioners.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8031 Collaborative Governance (6 credits)Recent transformations of state, private, and society have increased the importance of collaborative governance in terms of formulating, determining, and implementing public policy. Collaborative governance requires the governments to engage the public, private, and civil society stakeholders at multi-levels. Students will gain a solid understanding of the role of collaborative governance in contemporary public administration.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
  • POLI8032 Selected Topics in Public Administration (6 credits)This course provides an introduction to a range of contemporary program evaluation techniques. The main objective of this course is to familiarize students with a wide range of methods that are increasingly being used to evaluate programs and inform their design and implementation. Students will begin by reflecting on the inherent complexity involved in program evaluation. This will be followed by an introduction to the fundamental concepts underlying evaluation methods. The remainder of the course will focus on the application of evaluation methods to case study examples. By the end of the course, students will be able to: (1) fully engage with the design and implementation phases of a wide range of program evaluation methods; (2) and interpret the extent to which programs have been effective across a range of different evaluation criteria.
    Assessment: 100% coursework
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