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Public Policy and Administration (MA)

Overview

Launched in 2005, this program offers students the unparalleled advantage of engaging with public, non-profit and private sector organizations in Canada’s largest metropolis. Our downtown Toronto location is a significant asset in supporting student research, networking and elective placement/internship opportunities. In 2007-08, the program received the highest possible evaluation from an Ontario Council of Graduate Schools (OCGS) review, and in 2008 was the first program in Canada to earn accreditation from the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA). The program is offered in full- and part-time options.

Degree awarded: MA

Administered by: Faculty of Arts

Public Policy and Administration graduate program website

PDF filePublic Policy and Administration graduate program calendar 2021-22

Curriculum

Course Code Degree Requirements: Master of Arts Credits

PA8100

Public Admin & Governance

1

PA8101

Policy Analysis and Challenges

1

PA8102

The State & the Economy

1

PA8103

Research Methods

1

 

Two elective credits

2

  AND one of the following Options:  
  THESIS Option:  
 

Master's Thesis

(Milestone)

  MAJOR RESEARCH PAPER Option:  
 

Major Research Paper

(Milestone)

 

Two elective credits

2

  COURSE Option:  
 

Four elective credits

4

Electives

Course code Course name Credits

PA8201

Citizen-Oriented Governance in Canada

1

PA8202

Comparative Public Policy

1

PA8203

Comparative Public Admin

1

PA8204

Intergovernmental Relations

1

PA8205

Provincial Government in Ontario

1

PA8206

Urban Governance

1

PA8207

Public Sector Financial Mgmt

1

PA8208

Public Sect Union-Mgmt Relatns

1

PA8209

Chng Boundaries: Third Sector

1

PA8210

Diversity & Equity in the Public Service

1

PA8211

Topics in Public Admin

1

PA8212

Directed Studies: Public Admin

1

PA8213

Co-op Placement

1

PA8214

Topics in Public Policy

1

PA8215

Global Governance

1

PA8216

Intrnational Devlpmnt Policy and Politics

1

PA8217

Ethics and Communication in Public Policy

1

PA8218

Indigenous Law and Pol in Can

1

PA8219

Policy Enrichment Seminar

1

PA8220

Gender, Politics and Policy

1

SS8000

Stat Analysis in Soc Sci Rsrch

1

Master’s Thesis

In the thesis option, students conduct an advanced examination of a topic in public policy or public administration. Students propose and carry out the research under the direction of a faculty supervisor and a thesis supervisory committee. On completion, the research is submitted in a thesis format to the supervisor and defended by the student before a thesis examining committee. This is a “Milestone.” Pass/Fail

Major Research Paper

The research paper option is intended for students following a professional or research-oriented career path in public policy or public administration. Students propose and carry out in-depth research or applied analysis of a policy or public administration issue or problem under the direction of a faculty supervisor and a second reader. This is a “Milestone”. Pass/Fail

PA8100 Public Administration & Governance

This course focuses on the principles, organizational features and decision making processes of Canadian public administration in the broader context of shared governance, public sector reform and globalization. The course covers the relationship between the political and administrative institutions and actors of government; the role of public administration in a diverse democracy; the role of values and ethics in public administration; and the structures and processes of accountability for governance and public sector management. The course also introduces the enduring and current challenges facing public sector organisations and public administrators in Canada. 1 Credit

PA8101 Policy Analysis and Challenges

This course focuses on current challenges in public policy. It situates contemporary Canadian public policy in the environment in which it is lived and developed: first by examining the contemporary context of policy making; secondly by introducing some of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings and tools of policy analysis; and thirdly by examining contemporary challenges faced by policy makers and stakeholders relating to, for example, scale, diversity, global forces, and change. 1 Credit

PA8102 The State & the Economy

This course examines the relationship between the state and the economy and the role that economic ideas have played in shaping this relationship. It is designed for students to understand key economic theories, concepts and practices and the way in which they have influenced public policy and administration, including: critically examining the multifaceted relationship between the state and economy in market society; assessing the usefulness of economic theories for public policy; and uncovering key economic and social science concepts and understanding their uses and limitations. The balance struck between social policy and economic development, will be given special attention with a focus on macro level economic policy analysis. Topics include: the structural and economic context in which state budgeting occurs, the role of federalism and globalization & global institutions such as WTO, in shaping the limits of Canadian public finance, and new economic models and their impact on public policy. 1 Credit

PA8103 Research Methods

This course examines the relationship between the state and the economy and the role that economic ideas have played in shaping this relationship. It is designed for students to understand key economic theories, concepts and practices and the way in which they have influenced public policy and administration, including: critically examining the multifaceted relationship between the state and economy in market society; assessing the usefulness of economic theories for public policy; and uncovering key economic and social science concepts and understanding their uses and limitations. The balance struck between social policy and economic development, will be given special attention with a focus on macro level economic policy analysis. Topics include: the structural and economic context in which state budgeting occurs, the role of federalism and globalization & global institutions such as WTO, in shaping the limits of Canadian public finance, and new economic models and their impact on public policy. 1 Credit

PA8201 Citizen-Oriented Governance in Canada

This course examines public decision-making processes in Canada from a citizen-oriented perspective. It begins with an overview of the wider socio-cultural context that gave rise to this model of governance, and follows with an examination of specific engagement practices used in Canada. Throughout the course we will ask: what is the best way to engage citizens and include their views in public policy, and what is the role of public administrators specifically in these processes? 1 Credit

PA8202 Comparative Public Policy

Comparative public policy is the study of how and why different governments pursue particular courses of action or inaction. The course focuses on some of the major theoretical and methodological approaches to the comparative study of public policies and programs, helping students develop the skills needed to study and explain convergence and divergence in government policy and program choice, implementation, and outcomes. The course draws from approaches in comparative politics and policy studies, and uses domestic and global examples to consider and examine the factors that are shaping government decision- making today. 1 Credit

PA8203 Comparative Public Administration

Comparative public administration is the study of how, why and to what effect governments select certain instruments and organizational arrangements to implement policy decisions. These decisions have put public administration at the core of evolving neoliberal definitions of good governance and have resulted in a growing literature on comparative public administration. This course focuses on the varying impact of globalization on developed and developing countries, public sector reform in comparative context, emerging supra-national and global bureaucracies, and the role of international organizations in public administration and public sector reform. 1 Credit

PA8204 Intergovernmental Relations

This course examines the division of political and administrative power and the nature of relations between governments which result from Canadian federalism, including federal-provincial-municipal or "tri-level" relations. Specific topics will include the role of the courts in constitutional interpretations, the instruments of "fiscal federalism” (including equalization payments, conditional grants, tax sharing arrangements and shared cost programs), regional, cultural and linguistic differences, administrative relationships, the intergovernmental challenge of Aboriginal self-government and the concept of "executive federalism". Finally, an investigation of intergovernmental policy capacity will provide an opportunity for a more intensive examination of the impact of intergovernmental relations on public policy and administration in Canada. 1 Credit

PA8205: Provincial Government in Ontario

This course examines both the historical and contemporary development of the government of Ontario, and will include an analysis of economic, social and political features that have shaped the evolution of this province and influenced its governance. Attention is devoted to: the political economy and political culture of Ontario; the determinants and structures of policy making, public administration; public policy fields; and the interaction and roles of government institutions. 1 Credit

PA8206 Urban Governance

Different actors and institutions that span global, national, provincial, and local interests are increasingly making decisions that affect Canadian citizens in their daily lives. Through the lens of contemporary urban policy issues, this course examines the role of urban governance by addressing a selection of current subjects facing Canadian and selected comparative cities. This course explores the interplay of institutions, interests, and ideas in shaping urban governance in the following areas: the evolution of municipal government, finance, employment, immigration, intergovernmental relations, restructuring, civic participation, social inclusion, voluntary sector relations, diversity, and sustainability. 1 Credit

PA8207 Public Sector Financial Management

This course examines public sector budgeting: the raising of revenue, the allocation of expenditures and the evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of spending. A central theme of the course is the “politics” of the budgetary process. This includes the process of making budgetary decisions within government, the role of public sector organizations and interest groups in the budgetary process, and how government evaluates its direct spending and monies allocated to fund programs and services delivered by hospitals, schools and other public sector institutions through program evaluation, performance management, auditing and public reporting. The course will focus on what the study of public sector budgeting reveals about changes in the scope and nature of government responsibility and the potential for both greater public participation in the budgetary process and improved accountability. 1 Credit

PA8208 Public Sector Union-Management Relations

Public administration is conducted in a highly unionized environment. Public policies and services, therefore, are significantly affected by union-management relations. This course explores current issues and trends in public sector union-management relations. Particular emphasis is placed on the state's dual role as law-maker and employer, and whether this is compatible with labour rights, diversity and equity, and the public interest. Topics explored include: the rise of public sector unionism, current public sector labour relations legislation, employment restructuring in the public service, and public sector union resistance to government policy. Another major theme of the course will involve an analysis of the changing nature of work, focusing on how new information technologies and public sector reform have affected the distribution of power and control in the workplace with a focus on recent organizational changes in the public sector. 1 Credit

PA8209 Changing Boundaries: The Third Sector

This course offers an in-depth examination of the changing role of the Third Sector in our modern governance structures. Because of the influence of new political developments and public administration reforms such as reinventing government and alternative service delivery (ASD) the Third Sector has taken on a greater importance in society with respect to serving the public good. New partnerships between the state and nonprofit bodies have changed the boundaries in which we have traditionally come to view the public sector. This course will critically assess these developments with public administration and public policy and explore the various roles played by the Third Sector in contemporary Canadian society. 1 Credit.

PA8210 Diversity & Equity in the Public Service

Diversity and equity are important features of public policy and are central to the debate about the renewal of the public service in Canada. An increasing concern with human rights, significant demographic developments, and a citizenry conscious of both the democratic deficit and the need for a representative public service workforce, call into question the values and ethos of public service in Canada. The broader public sector has an opportunity now to make up ground in the representation of historically disadvantaged groups in ways that will help to create an exemplary workplace. The imperative to renew and rejuvenate the public service is matched with the reality of a labour market that is increasingly diverse. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Multiculturalism Act, the federal Human Rights Act and provincial Human Rights Codes have embedded in them a core set of rights, values and responsibilities. Part of the challenge in a democratic society like Canada is navigating between competing rights, claims and values. In this course specific emphasis is devoted to the following policy fields: immigration policy, multiculturalism, native self- government, human rights, employment equity, gender relations and language rights. 1 Credit

PA8211 Topics in Public Administration

This course focuses on selected topics in public administration. The content may vary from year to year. Through an examination of one or more policy areas this course will focus on analyzing the political, legal, social, economic complexities of public administration. 1 Credit

PA8212 Directed Studies: Public Admin

This course is designed for individual students with specialized interests that may not be satisfied through course offerings in a given year. It will normally be a directed reading course under the direct supervision of an assigned faculty member with expertise in the chosen subject field. It is also designed for students wishing to pursue research on a policy or public administration topic where there are no related course offerings in the program. Individual directed study of subject areas in public policy and administration not addressed in the current curriculum will be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member. A program of supervised, advanced study related to the student’s area of concentration will be negotiated on an individual basis with the supervising faculty member. The directed study course is normally intended for students in the final semesters of study. 1 Credit

PA8213 Co-op Placement

Co-op Placements provide a mechanism for students to earn academic credit for relevant work experience, normally outside the university. Co-op Placements must be related to public policy and administration and to the student’s learning objectives in the program. Co-op Placements offer students the opportunity to link theory with practice, to conduct empirical research, to learn about professional practices in organizations in the field of public policy and administration, and to gain appropriate work experience. Pass/Fail. 1 Credit

PA8214 Topics in Public Policy

This course focuses on selected topics in public policy. The content may vary from year to year. Through an examination of one or more policy areas, this course will focus on analyzing the political, legal, social, economic and administrative complexities of various public policies and their implementation. 1 Credit

PA8215 Global Governance

This course examines global governance, a system within which states, international organizations, global actors and networks make critical governance decisions globally. Theories and concepts related to international law, institutions, and actors as well as   various global governance challenges related to security, peace-keeping, trade, public health, crime, human rights and the environment will be covered. Particular emphasis focuses on how effective global and international actors and organizations are in terms of policy making and global governance. 1 Credit

PA8216 Intrnational Devlpmnt Policy and Politics

The chief objective of this course is to enable students to acquire a deeper understanding of the processes and structures that shape the character and outcome of policy-making aimed at improving conditions of life in developing countries. The course begins by providing students with some historical and theoretical context to the emergence of international development as a field of study and practice. It then goes on to examine debates around policy-making and implementation in a number of key areas, such as environmental management, gender, education, health, poverty alleviation, agriculture, urban development, and post-conflict reconstruction and aid. 1 Credit

PA8217 Ethics and Communication in Public Policy

This course examines questions of values and ethics in public policy with a special focus on government communication. We will begin by studying ethical conundrums in policy making, as well as the ways in which policy is informed by value conflict. Next, we will turn to the theoretical study of successful and ethical political communication. Finally, we will study communication in practice, developing skills in day-to-day communication and in communications management and strategy. 1 Credit

PA8218 Indigenous Law and Policy in Canada

This course takes a critical look at the legal issues which most affect the lives of Aboriginal peoples, their communities and organizations in Canada. The challenges faced by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal governments in addressing legal issues such as Aboriginal and Treaty rights, Aboriginal title, land claims, Aboriginal identity and self-government are often played out in the courts, federalism and the bureaucracy. Some of the legal and policy decisions in Canada have advanced the position of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, while others have hampered progress. These legal decisions also have a significant impact on federal and provincial policies in relation to Aboriginal peoples. Similarly, Aboriginal communities must address these legal issues within their own governments and organizations. The objective of this course is to engage graduate students in thinking critically about these legal issues with a view to advancing their own ideas about how to address the resulting policy implications for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal governments in Canada. 1 Credit.

PA8219 Policy Enrichment Seminar

This course is designed to enrich students’ knowledge of the policy process and enhance career readiness for policy work in the public, non-profit and private sectors. Developed with policy practitioners, modules in the seminar are designed to advance students’ capacity for policy work through in-depth analysis of current, high-profile policy case studies using a team-based, skills-focused approach. The emphasis is on enrichment through real-world policy problem-solving, experiential learning, and delivery of presentations to policy practitioners.  Pass/Fail 1 Credit

PA8220 Gender, Politics and Policy

Many contemporary policy issues shape women’s and men’s lives differentially. This course begins with an overview of existing theories of feminism and gender politics and broader sociocultural contexts to frame discussions of the relevance and meaning of feminism, gender, and intersectionality in policy analyses and debates. The course will consider the role of public policy in magnifying and/or reducing disparities in society across multiple axes of marginalization. Issues and topics covered will include gender mainstreaming, gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) and gender budgeting. Some international comparisons will be drawn upon to help contextualize Canada’s approach to these issues. 1 Credit

SS8000 Statistical Analysis in Social Science Research

See SOCIAL SCIENCE

SS8000 Stat Analysis in Social Science Rsrch

This course introduces students to advanced quantitative methods for generating and analyzing large social science data sets such as those produced by Statistics Canada and other national and international statistics bureaus. Following a review of basic statistics and probability, the course will cover topics such as the linear probability model, logistic regression, models for categorical and count data and factor analysis. The substantive questions and particular data sets to which these tools will be applied will be driven by student interests. While students will gain knowledge of statistical theory, special attention will be paid to the practice of carrying out analysis of complex data. For example, issues related to coding, missing data and the reporting and presentation of quantitative results will be covered. 1 Credit

SS8001 Advanced Qualitative Methods

This course is specifically targeted at students who want to learn advanced qualitative research methods related to their MRPs, theses or dissertation projects. It will provide advanced understanding and analysis of qualitative research and methods. This course offers an opportunity to customize learning on various qualitative research methods directly related to graduate research projects. 1 Credit

SS8100 Urban Policy

This course is specifically targeted at graduate students from a number of different social science graduate programs who want to gain an understanding of the major urban problems facing cities today and the effectiveness of alternative policy solutions to address those problems. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the Canadian case compared to cities around the world. 1 Credit.

SS8200 Justice Policy

Criminal Justice policy is an important part of social policy. This course will provide graduate students with an understanding of criminal justice policy in Canada. This course will consider the process by which justice policies are established, revised, and administered as well as the social and economic issues associated with individual or group involvement in the criminal justice system. This course will provide foundations for further research in the criminal justice field. 1 Credit