For more information about Policy Officer (Level 4) at University of Kent, please visit the webpage using the button above.
The emphasis of the programme is to link the knowledge and learning to work-based learning and employment wherever possible.
Teaching and learning are delivered using a blended learning approach, primarily through the extensive use of e-learning materials, which include: videoed lectures; links to related reading; individual guided study; activities with feedback provided; and discussion forums.
Whilst most material is in the form of e-learning, apprentices have regular contact online and face-to-face with the lecturers through bimonthly review meetings, webinars; and Saturday intensives.
This Certificate of Higher Education is defined by the integration of employer involvement and having work-based learning at the core of the programme. A supervisor in the workplace provides on-job training and support for the apprentice. This allows the opportunity for apprentices to apply their knowledge and understanding in a work context.
Progress and attainment of learning outcomes are determined by a variety of methods of assessment including: portfolios; oral presentations; and short written assignments.
Knowledge and understanding
The programme provides opportunities for apprentices to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas.
History of the policy area; policy aims, challenges and issues; how to engage relevant organisations; political context; relevant policy tests; legal implications; international aspects as applicable; consideration of sustainable development duties.
Organisational structure; strategy; purpose; activities; aims; values; visions; structures; how to support and achieve these through own role
Political Environment: Government and Parliament - history, structure, relationship and responsibilities; electoral systems and processes; the British constitution and legislative processes; parliamentary committees; local government; public sector bodies; groups and movements influencing policy
Contextual Factors: Economic; social; technological; legal and environmental factors and the subsequent impact of these on policy; internal and external barriers that exist and how to overcome them
Programme and Project Management: Basic concepts, language and principles; importance of effective project management including delivering to plan, on time and in budget; advantages and disadvantages of different planning methods; importance of identifying risks and issues upfront; importance of continuously reviewing and updating plans
Commercial Awareness: The steps involved in making commercial decisions; organisational procurement processes; the requirement to achieve value for money; how to achieve best value; engaging customers and suppliers; elements of risk; financial and reputational implications
Consultation Process: Purpose of consultation; the importance of taking into account stakeholder and public views; engagement with local communities; consultation planning; timescales and deadlines; sample size and quality; advantages and disadvantages of different consultation methods; legal requirements
Policy Delivery: Policy aims and intended outcomes; what successful implementation looks like; basic delivery systems available; the delivery environment including other organisations involved; user-centred design; reputational risks and public perception; how to measure success of the policy
Evaluation: Use research and trials to inform policy; consider evaluations of previous policies; read graphs and tables; understand simple descriptive statistics; consider advantages and disadvantages of evaluation methods including validity and reliability
Presentation Skills: Select and present information in a clear and effective manner; present information according to the audience; use correct grammar and punctuation; structure work in a logical order; write accurately, briefly and clearly; speak confidently and coherently; plan for and be able to answer questions
Communicating with Influence: Communicate confidently; be personable; ask insightful questions; recognise levels of authority; be able to influence others; be able to negotiate effectively and respectfully; confidently represent your organisation; recognise importance of objectivity and impartiality in policy-making
Time Management: Identify risks and issues; monitor progress of actions; demonstrate effective use of resources; manage conflicting priorities and pressures; work to agreed deadlines and timescales; dedicate time to specific activities
Evidence Gathering: Apply analytical techniques; make use of analytical support and key statistics related to policy area; work with experts outside of policy; apply the basics of economic appraisal; handle sensitive information securely
Evidence-based problem solving: Define the policy problem; demonstrate hypothesis-based thinking; seek advice from relevant experts; make decisions based on sound reasoning and evidence previously gathered; know when to escalate issues
Big Picture Thinking: Takes an active interest in understanding organisational priorities and strategy; looks beyond the immediate role; keeps abreast of wider issues which may impact on policy area; keeps a clear focus on the overall policy aim.
Continuous Learning and Agility: Takes responsibility for self-development; reflects on lessons learned and feedback to improve performance; champions continuous improvement; seeks out opportunities to improve ways of working; looks to create effective change
Looking to the future: Is mindful of future trends and influences; considers potential risks and opportunities and adapts working style accordingly; anticipates how the future can support actions in the present; considers multiple possible outcomes
Working Collaboratively: Shows consideration for others; seeks to develop trusting and effective relationships; shares knowledge; encourages collaboration; is a team player; promotes diversity; listens to others; appreciates different perspectives and respects alternative opinions
Resilience: Is proactive; has a ‘can do’ attitude; is open to receiving feedback from others; is tenacious and remains motivated under pressure; deals positively with setbacks
Self-Awareness: Reflects on own performance and feedback from others; is mindful of the impact of own actions on others; adapts style to suit circumstances; understands limitations of own knowledge and uses networks to inform own work
The Certificate of Higher Education in Policy Studies aims to educate individuals who want to progress their career as a policy officer within central or local government or within public, private, statutory, non-profit and third sector organisations that interact with and strive to influence government policy.
This apprenticeship has been designed to develop policy officers’ knowledge and understanding of government and how their role fits into the bigger picture of shaping the policies which affect and impact the general public.
Notes about fees for this courseTBC
Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.
Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.
“Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.
“The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.
“I was very fortunate to be awarded an International Scholarship, which meant I could dedicate myself to my studies.”
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“I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.
“The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”
Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.
“I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.
“Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”
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