Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico



Our modules deliver

High levels of interaction together with regular points of assessment and feedback.

Regular opportunities for live interaction with peers and tutors through weekly webinars and discussion forums.

Practical skills from senior practitioners and high-profile guest speakers related to contemporary governance issues.

somerset feature

Our current modules

Evaluation is critical. Understanding ‘what works’ is essential if we are to establish whether a policy is bringing about the outcomes we want.

There are a host of potential pitfalls, methodological mistakes and design issues that need to be recognised and mitigated if we are really to know whether our solutions to problems are really solving those problems.

In this module, we explore the role of evaluation of in policy making and provide an overview of the tools of evaluation.

Students will have the opportunity to critique existing evaluations and design an evaluation of their own.

- Cost per module: £950.

- Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

- Module no. 7SSO1001

In recent years governments around the world have been adopting a new way of building and improving public services, one that is built on practices common to the internet, rather than practices common to traditional public administration.

This new approach has been driven, across a range of nations, by a group of public servants and civil society actors who share enough similarities that we can meaningfully call it a movement.

This module seeks to explain what the User-Centred Digital Government movement is and why it matters to public servants and policy makers.

The module expands on the movement’s real highs and lows, of massive failures motivating positive changes, and fascinating new services being built using innovative approaches.

- Cost per module £950.

- Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

- Module no. 7SSO1002

The purpose of this module is to help you better understand the nature of the problems that could benefit from Robust Decision Making (RDM) and then gain a familiarity of the mechanics of using RDM to support a decision analysis or planning process.

Our aim is that by the end of the course, you will know a deeply uncertain problem when you see one and be able to work with your colleagues to design a study to use RDM to solve such problems.

The module explains the suite of ‘Decision making in deep uncertainty’ (DMDU) methods as well as appraises their strengths and weaknesses. Students also learn to interpret scenario discovery and produce an XLRM framework, utilising a variety of robustness criteria and multi objective trade off curves.

- Cost per module £950.

- Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

- Module no. 7SSO1003

In this module, students will be introduced to the policy process: how public policies are decided upon and implemented. Making policy requires the agreement and participation of many actors, such as politicians, bureaucrats, agency heads and staff, interest groups representatives, journalists, judges, local government heads, and citizen groups as well as international actors.  In this module, students are introduced to the process of making policy in this complex world. This requires an understanding of the stages of the policy process, the difference between policy outputs and policy outcomes, and how agenda- setting takes place. The module also covers the interface between politics and policy, especially the relationship between politicians and civil servants, and the role of ideas in public policy.

- Cost per module £950.

- Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

- Module no. 7SSO1004

Policy-making is about devising solutions to help society and make people’s lives better. Yet often it can be disconnected from the lives of people it is meant to serve, overlooking valuable insights, perspectives, and world-views that might yield more responsive, inclusive and comprehensive approaches.

Recent political developments have shown the effects of this disconnect. With the rise of technology, automation, and communications means the imperatives to engage with people will continue to increase.

This module sets out ways in which policy-makers can engage more with a diverse range of voices and connect with citizens through a greater appreciation of empathy, emotions, and the very human dynamics of policy-making.

- Cost per module £950.

- Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

- Module no. 7SSO1005

This module offers practical tools and approaches that can be employed in order to become a more effective policy communicator, and a theoretical and empirical exploration of the changing power dynamics of the media and communications industry in the context of the so-called post truth era.

It examines how policymakers successfully navigate the twenty-first century influence industry and explains how the influence industry works, how it affects and can also distort policy. It examines the issue of ‘post truth’ politics and its impact on policymaking, adopting both a philosophical lens and a more practical one on how policymakers can operate in this new dynamic environment.

- Cost per module £950.

- Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

- Module no. 7SSO1006

Experimental philosophy suggests that environment has an enormous effect on ethical awareness and motivation to act. Therefore, normalising routine engagement with ethical issues in appropriate contexts is hugely important in shaping behaviour. This is sometimes referred to as "ethical muscle memory", representing the idea that it is easier to do the right thing if you have engaged with a situation in advance and are already familiar with the ethical landscape of the problem.

This module looks at how, even when equipped with appropriate ethical decision-making tools, both individuals and organisations can act in unethical ways.

You will develop knowledge of different ethical decision-making tools and their relative strengths and weaknesses. You will explore ways in which the factors that can erode or hide ethical decision-making can be minimised by promoting the right kinds of behaviours at the individual, leadership and institutional levels. This module will enable you to recognise and implement the practical solutions needed to prevent ethical failures at every level of an organisation.

- Module no. 7SSO1007

This module critiques public management models and considers their application to different public policy problems in the UK and internationally. You will benefit from involvement in academic discussion and learn from relevant case studies. You will share your work-place experiences with peers to gain an understanding of how the models play out in real world situations.

You will consider the distinctive and broader set of actors apparent in public management reform processes, going beyond the traditional core of the civil service.

This module will provide you with a comparativist perspective; exposing a variety of public management trajectories across the world. You will critically discuss the key features of each model with your peers on the course; assessing the assumptions made, the differences between them and their strengths and weaknesses.

- Module no. 7SSO1008

Parliaments and legislatures are central institutions to a democracy. They are subject to numerous demands and whilst public reverence has long since declined, the expectations placed upon them has increased. While scrutiny principally targets the politicians, legislatures can only be as effective as the officials who work for them.

You will be introduced to the different functions that these officials are required to perform and the wider concerns involved before analysing the theoretical issues which commonly arise. Discussion forums and live webinars provide an opportunity to identify real life challenges facing yourself and your peers and evaluate appropriate responses in each context. You will also consider, from the perspective of parliamentary officials, how the institution of Parliament can support members in performing their representative roles.

This module is aimed at officials in legislatures, in particular those working in Westminster-model systems, whether in the single House of a unicameral legislature or either House of a bicameral equivalent.

- Module no. 7SSO1010

There are several key economic concepts that policymakers need to be able to understand and apply during the policy process, including devising policy, critiquing policy proposals and evaluating policy. This module equips you with the key tools and methodologies needed to focus these concepts on their real-world application.

You will learn to navigate the common difficulties and pitfalls that arise in a policy-making and will study detailed policy-relevant analyses produced by professional economists and other analysts.

This module will strengthen your analytical skills and enhance your performance at work. Notably, you will be able to assess the applicability of theoretical frameworks to real-life work situations, analyse and assess service provision from different perspectives, and devise policy solutions that make better use of economic data.

- Module no. 7SSO1011

This module introduces recent developments in participatory and deliberative governance. Through applied learning, you will study the theory behind democratic innovations. You will discover how implementing participatory and deliberative governance differs around the world and explore the underlying rationale.

The module will develop your skills in critical analysis and further your understanding of the role played by participatory and deliberative governance in contemporary public administration. You will be able to explain and evaluate the benefits and functionality of a variety of democratic innovations.

- Module no. 7SSO1012

Conflict is a key feature of international politics and all social relations. On this module you will focus on building the conceptual tools necessary for conflict analysis as well as providing insights into conflict resolution and mediation.

You will examine the causes, dynamics and options for resolution, in addition to gaining a comprehensive knowledge of conflict analysis applicable in different contexts; including political, corporate and public domains.

This module will equip you with the conceptual and empirical tools required to analyse international conflict. You will further develop your critical assessment and analytical skills which can be directly applied to progress your career, be it in business, government or the third sector.

- Module no. 7SSO1013

Future planning has long been indispensable in policy fields where long-term spending decisions need to be future proof. Defence procurement, pension systems, energy generation, and environmental protection are all such areas and they require policy officials who can effectively plan-ahead and forecast future developments to enable better decision making.

This module will develop your skills in policy planning, strategy, forward-studies and horizon-scanning and will focus on socio-political and foreign policy issues. You will learn how to improve the accuracy of probabilistic forecasts, whether they are done by individuals, groups or organisations. You will also develop an understanding of the major challenges related to foresight; an area where expert knowledge is faced with the challenges of uncertainty, complexity and political utility, but where more accurate forecasts can improve prevention, preparedness, resilience and performance.

The module harnesses insights from the growing institutionalisation and professionalisation of work within government, business and NGOs. You will also gain key insights from leading academic research in this area.

- Module no. 7SSO1014

Almost all policy affects the behavior of citizens. As policy makers, we make assumptions about how policies will be received and acted upon by individuals and so design policy accordingly. But the models we use to drive these assumptions are fundamentally flawed. We implicitly assume, for example, that information provided to citizens will be read, digested, and then used to change behavior. But very often it goes unnoticed. We assume that new tax incentives will encourage people to save for their retirement. But they fail to do so in ways that we hoped.

Behavioural science examines how people behave in practice, providing a set of tools to change the way that policy is delivered or implemented.

This module provides you with a critical understanding of the core concepts in behavioural science, and how they are applied to public policy. You will learn how new interventions can improve the outcomes of policy quickly and cheaply. You will also be able to explain and critique the way that behavioural science has been applied across the world to improve policy.

- Module no. 7SSO1015

This module explores leadership in the political context. You will analyse select situations to understand how the leadership process shapes the outcomes for a society. This module will further develop your ability to thrive in any socio-cultural context.

Interactive lessons will interrogate key leadership concepts and address the issues that arise both in popular literature and within the practice of leadership, including the interchangeable use of ‘leaders’ and ‘leadership’. You will learn and apply rigorous tools and frameworks, looking beyond popular perspectives of leadership to reflect on your personal workplace and analyse leadership experiences across the globe.

This module draws theoretical and practical lessons from political leaders, including interviews with former world leaders, and asks: How do leaders influence the larger goal of change within the society? How do they remain influential in driving change within and outside political institutions?

- Module no. 7SSO1009


Discover the International School for Government

About the School

About the School

We train policymakers to meet the challenges of the future & develop new models of governance

Our approach

Our approach

An innovative, flexible approach to the professional development of those working in and around…



Details of our staff and how you can contact them