Engineering skills are in demand in policy professions around the world.  From analysing challenges to guiding innovations and managing risks, engineers are central to the ability of governments, corporations and non-profits to understand and shape strategic responses to the rapidly evolving technological and social environments in which they operate.

This minor will expose you to the diverse public and private sector career opportunities at the interface between engineering and public policy, and will provide you with the practical skills and knowledge to thrive in those careers.  Through a unique combination of two taught courses and one hands-on studio project course, you, as engineers, will develop an understanding of policy institutions and processes, and gain experience in analysing and designing options for addressing several modern public policy challenges with engineering at their core.


Module 1 (Year 2, Term 2) – Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy

This course consists of a practical introduction to policy processes and the way that they influence or are influenced by engineering. You will begin by building your own professional toolkit, which will enable you to critically engage with policy makers and the types of knowledge and evidence that they use. You will also take your first steps in policy analysis – the cornerstone of policy-making practice.

We aim to give our students an understanding of modes of governance, the people, their roles, the institutions of policy and how they function together which focuses on the policy-technology-science interface and the career structures within it. We will equip you with a grounding that will help navigate future career choices.

and you will have the opportunity to learn directly from government scientists and policy makers, to gather evidence from them and to practice writing policy documents.

Module Outline – Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy

Module 2 (Year 3, Term 1) – Engineering for Society: Practicing Policy Entrepreneurship

This module is a 10-week project-based course aimed at supporting you to develop craft skills of policy analysis and design. The course consists of a design studio, through which our students undertake a semester-long project.

The project consists of two major elements. In the first five weeks you will work on a detailed analysis of a single policy problem. Building from this analysis, you then go on to develop one or more entrepreneurial policy alternatives that address the problem in the second five weeks.

Policy problem statements will be assigned to each individual so that everyone gets experience of all the stages of the analysis process from problem definition to final recommendation. The fact that projects focus on the same topic will give you the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and support although everyone will be assessed individually.

By the end of this course you will have completed every stage of the policy process and will have gained the craft skills that will enable them to work at higher level in their future modules.

Module Outline – Engineering for Society: Practicing Policy Entrepreneurship

Module 3 (Year 3, Term 2) – A choice of modules from the Masters in Public Administration, Science Technology and Engineering

In the last of the three modules in this minor, you will have a choice of a number of topically themed modules that are also offered to students undertaking a Masters in Public Administration.   In these courses you will utilise the skills and knowledge that you have developed during the first two modules to undertake an in depth study of policy in a topical field that particularly interests them.  Subject to timetabling restrictions. Topics on offer include:

  • Science, Technology and Engineering Advice in Practice;
  • Clean Energy and Development

View electives on the STEaPP website

Lead Academic

Dr Adam Cooper
Dept Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP)
Email: ku.ca1547982148.lcu@1547982148repoo1547982148c.mad1547982148a1547982148

Choose your IEP Minor

Please select your preferred minor via the IEP Minors Moodle Poll