Term 1 Courses (Fall 2022) 


PS 611 Government, Politics and the Public Service (required)

Prof. John Milloy

Public servants require a thorough understanding of Canada's political system. This course examines the structure and functions of the Westminster system of government, upon which Canada's is based, and explores the role of the public service in relation to other fundamental institutions of Canadian governance, such as the political executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Topics examined include the unique context of Canadian politics and public administration, the role of the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government within the Canadian federation, ministerial responsibility and accountability, and contemporary challenges facing the public service.

PS 612 Government Finance I: Accounting and Accountability

Prof. Trevor Anderson

The government work environment presents unique challenges in the realm of financial planning. This course explores the priority-setting, resource planing, and budget allocation processes in government, giving special attention to the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of key stakeholders. The aim is to provide students with advanced knowledge of the government financial planning process, which will place them in a stronger position to consult with and make recommendations to management. 

PS 614 Communicating with Diverse Audiences (required)

Prof. Danielle Deveau

Public servants often have to become communication specialists: they have to communicate with diverse audiences (e.g. citizen groups, politicians, lawyers, parliamentary committees and subcommittees) using a variety of genres (e.g. reports, records pamphlets, power point presentations, briefs) as well as different modes of communication (e.g. electronic, text, face-to-face). This course offers participants an opportunity to identify and interrogate the stylistic and visual strategies characteristic of the documents in their workplaces. Much of the course focuses on identifying the needs of different audiences and aligning stylistic and visual choices to those audiences. In the process of investigating documentation practices, course participants are offered opportunities to develop their own informal and formal communication skills.

PS 616 Spoken French in Context (optional course) (optional)

Prof. Louise Chaput

Some public service positions require proficiency in both of Canada's official languages, English and French. This optional course is taught at an intermediate level, and is designed to refresh and reinforce linguistic skills students have acquired through previous French language training (e.g. senior high school or university courses). It aims to strengthen proficiency in oral expression and comprehension, through the study of specialized vocabulary and situational learning scenarios, such as role-play exercises.

PS 624 Research Methods and Data Analysis (required)

Prof. Allison Mascella

To effectively support evidence-based decision making, public servants must be skilled in collective, analyzing, interpreting and presenting data. This course explores the principles and practices of effective research design, and equips students with essential skills in data collection and analysis. Topics may include methods of data collection, measurement, data coding, descriptive and inferential statistics, sampling, survey research techniques, questionnaire design, interviews, and research ethics.

PS 625 Economics and Public Policy I (required)

Prof. Horatio Rus

This course teaches students fundamental principles of microeconomics with an emphasis on cost-benefit analysis. Topics covered may include demand and supply, pareto-efficiency, surplus and deadweight loss, discounting, time-stream evaluation and investment criteria, the measurement of welfare change, shadow prices, and the valuation of intangibles. In order to ensure policy relevance, Treasury Board of Canada guidelines are used as a template for cost-benefit analysis techniques. Note: previously called Goverment Finance I

PS 627 Coding for Policy Analysis* (optional)

Prof. Elias Puurunen

Big data analysis is becoming increasingly relevant for policy analysis and there is a significant demand for coding skills. This course offers an introduction to data analytics tools such as R, Python, SQL and Tableau and their use with respect to structured and unstructured datasets. Students will be taught how to collect, clean, explore and analyze a variety of data and the art of extrapolating policy insights from such analyses. There will be an emphasis on different data visualization methods.  

*counts towards CDASH 

Term 2 Courses (Winter 2023 t.b.d.)


PS 620 Effective Leadership and Management 

Prof. Roy Norton 

An effective leader demonstrates mastery of skills in four key domains: personal, interpersonal, organizational, and contextual. Using these four areas as a guide, this course offers future public servants a comprehensive interactive program aimed at developing their skills as managerial leaders. Case studies drawn from government are examined and role-playing and problem-solving exercises are used to cultivate leadership capacity. Students explore the roles of values and ethics in the life of a public servant, the need to build community and foster a culture of collaboration, and the necessity of being an effective communicator and leader of people.

PS 621 Project Management in Government

Prof. Arubah Nadeem

Project management - the coordination of people, processes, and information to achieve desired goals - is a core competency required of public servants. This course provides students with training in the key elements of effective project management, including team building, priority setting, scheduling, resource management, communication, and project implementation and completion. Examples of projects taken from government are used both as case studies for analysis and for hands-on project management exercises aimed at honing skills. Because information management is a fundamental part of most government projects, the course explores tools, methodologies, and guidelines surrounding the access, evaluation, and use of government information.

PS 623 Government, Business and Civil Society

Prof. Anindya Sen and Prof Mitch Davidson

Public service work frequently involves ineractions wtih various levels of government, business, and civil society. This course aims to help students develop critical analysis skils to assess the resources and interests of stakeholders and to understand tensions among them. Drawing on political economy and social movement theory, the course examines several major current debates. Topics may include healthcare and social policy, inequality and poverty, environmental issues, and economic development.

PS 626 Economics and Public Policy II

Prof. Andres Arcila-Vasquez

This course focuses on the rationale for government intervention in a market economy. The course begins with a consideration of market successes through the analysis of the first and second theorems of welfare economics. The course then considers market failures through an analysis of distributional issues, public goods, externalities, non-competitive market structures, and asymmetric information. The role and degree of government intervention in health care, education, social assistance, employment insurance, and pension plans is also discussed. Note: previously called Government Finance II

PS 627 Coding for Policy Analysis* 

Prof. Elias Puurunen

This course focuses on the rationale for government intervention in a market economy. The course begins with a consideration of market successes through the analysis of the first and second theorems of welfare economics. The course then considers market failures through an analysis of distributional issues, public goods, externalities, non-competitive market structures, and asymmetric information. The role and degree of government intervention in health care, education, social assistance, employment insurance, and pension plans is also discussed. Note: previously called Government Finance II

*counts towards CDASH

Spring 2023


PS 629 Data Mining and Statistical Methods* (optional)

Prof. John Baker

This course will build on methods taught in PS 624 and PS 627 and consist of advanced applications of programming languages such as R and Python. The course will teach students on how to use such languages in the analysis of different types of data and employing complex statistical models, with the objective of extracting behavioural insights.

*counts towards CDASH