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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5233M Global Transferability of Policies

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Paul Timms

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

TRAN5232M Global Transferability of Policies, Models and Methods

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Geographic transferability is defined as the process through which a policy that has been implemented in one location is subsequently implemented in a second location. It is of particular interest when the characteristics of the second location are highly different to those in the first location. The module addresses various aspects of policy transfer through a combination of state-of-the art theory and up-to-date information on specific case studies.


The aim of this module is to equip students with the ability to critically examine the applicability of policies in different geographical and political contexts from those where they originated. On successful completion of this module students will have acquired knowledge of the theories underlying the transfer of policy, and will have gained an understanding as to the ways that such theories are frequently framed as being geographically-specific.

The module gives students the opportunity to develop research skills through in-depth study of policy and policy-making transfer case studies whilst also developing breadth of knowledge through the participation in lectures and workshops. Students will be encouraged to share their own experiences of policy and policy-making transfer in these participation exercises.

The module allows the students to consider alternative futures with more sustainable transport systems in different geographical settings and will provide an overview of the history of past attempts to construct visionary futures. The module will emphasise the connections between different types of future and changes in society and lifestyles, and how these connections vary by geographic location. Distributional and ethical aspects are important elements to be considered.

Learning outcomes
1. Knowledge of the theories underlying the transfer of policy, and in particular an understanding of the distinction between the instrumentalist approach of policy transfer and the critical approach of policy mobility.
2. Understanding as to the ways that theories are frequently framed as being geographically-specific, particularly in terms of the global north and the global south.
3. Critical knowledge about the roles of transfer agents in the policy transfer process, and how these roles are impacted by global and local power contexts in detailed case studies.
4. Awareness of the openness of the future, i.e. the possibility of alternative futures, with particular emphasis upon the visioning of desirable futures and how policy transfer feeds into such visioning.
5. Critical understanding of the relative advantages and disadvantages of transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary and single disciplinary approaches, examining these in a variety of contexts.
6. Understanding of the various alternative philosophical approaches underlying different elements of the module.

Skills outcomes: Students will develop critical analytical and research skills through assessing articles from academic sources. They will develop and apply academic writing and presentation skills through the coursework assignments. Students will learn how to conduct participatory planning approaches through organisation of workshops. Students are required to work across interdisciplinary and international teams when preparing presentations and organising of workshops, and will need to develop skills of sensitivity to the issues raised by those from differing geographic locations. Students will need to practice presentation and writing skills for non-academic audiences and to employ creative and critical thinking.

Skills outcomes
- Academic and professional skills (academic writing, critical analysis)
- Theoretical knowledge of transferability concepts and their practical application
- Discursive discussion and strategy development skills


- Introduction: ´transferability thinking´
- From 'policy transfer' to 'policy mobility': theoretical approaches
- Transferability agents
- Role play workshop: Assessment of potentially transferable policies for specific locations
- Philosophical aspects of policy transfer
- Transferability of assessment methods and models
- Visioning and transferability: theory
- Historical and current examples of city visioning in the global south
- Visioning workshop

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours128.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will need to carry out independent learning in order to be able to pass the coursework element of the module. This will focus heavily on critical reviews of the literature associated with the module, along with original thinking about how transferability concepts can be applied in practical situations.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Many opportunities for formative feedback are given. Two workshops are devoted to formative feedback on the coursework whilst one workshop is devoted to formative feedback on the group visioning exercise. One-to-one formative feedback takes place on an ad-hoc basis through emails.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentEssay - 3,000 words75.00
PresentationGroup verbal presentation25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The assignment involves firstly a literature review of current academic theories on policy transfer and policy mobility, followed by an in-depth case study showing how these theories play out in a particular location. The group presentation involves a vision of future sustainable transport for a particular location, informed by examples of current (transferable) ‘good practice’.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 02/11/2023 11:05:46


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