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Program Description:

Comparative Public Policy and Law
in London

LondonBritish cottageLondon

Program At-a-Glance

WHEN:  March 15 - 23, 2019
Note: Applicants will participate in a spring semester course on the CSU campus with an international travel component over spring break. Participants will depart the U.S. on March 14 to arrive in London on March 15.

CREDITS:  All committed students will be registered for POLS 482B Study Abroad Comparative UK and US Policy in London (3 credits) or POLS 482C: Study Abroad London Experience (1 credit) through CSU's Division of Continuing Education. All tuition and program charges will be billed at the start of the spring term.

COST: See Budget Sheet for details. The program fee includes tuition and fees for 3 credit hours through CSU Online, accommodation in shared hotel rooms in central London, local transportation pass, program excursions, cultural activities, faculty/on-site support, international medical and evacuation insurance, and some meals. The above cost does not include international airfare, most meals, passport, books and supplies, and personal spending money.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Applicants for this program are eligible for scholarships through the Office of International Programs.

PROGRAM LEADER: Dr. Susan Opp, Associate Professor, and Dr. Matthew Hitt, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Minimum 2.5 GPA. Instructor Approval. Good disciplinary standing. Open to undergraduate students and graduate students.

Academic Overview

This CSU faculty-led education abroad program will begin coursework on the CSU campus at the start of the spring term.   Students will then travel to London over spring break to explore first-hand public policy issues in the United Kingdom.  Public policy is "an intentional course of action undertaken by a government official or institution for resolving an issue of public concern."  This course introduces students to the academic study of public policy through the examination of key public policy making theories, the roles of various policy tools across the world, and the relationship public policy has with key institutional partners.  Through an in-depth comparative study of the central features of the American and UK policy-making process, administration, and legal system this course will provide students with an understanding of why policies vary so significantly in similar democracies. 

Alongside the study of the approach of public policy, this course will also focus on the content of policy.  Students will review a variety of substantive policy issues and existing public policies from a comparative perspective. We will identify the major institutional and political actors shaping U.S. and U.K. domestic public policies and assess the quality of life as it is shaped by governmental decisions.   

This course seeks to balance the theoretical (so your knowledge can grow and prepare you for future discussion, education, and public decisions) and the immediately practical (so you can better understand the challenges in making and implementing sound public policy). Students will spend time touring various policy-making and legal institutions in both the US and the UK.  Students will complete a major project on a real world comparative case study of a topic that spans both the US and the UK.

Course Objectives
  1. Students will acquire a basic understanding of the policy formulation process and how social conditions impact that process.
  2. Students will be able to think and write critically about the variation in public policy and use academic theories to write about cross-national variation in different policy areas.
  3. Students will be able to describe the key and essential elements of public policy in the US and UK contributing to their personal and professional growth as a future public servant.
  4. Students will be able to reflect and explain how American and British political institutions affect the development and implementation of public policy. This will contribute to a specialized knowledge in public policy and legal issues in two nations.
  5. Students will be completing a semester-long project that links academic theories with a real-world comparative case study.  This theory-practice linkage exercise will translate into a transferable skill set useful for future academic and professional endeavors.  These semester-long projects will be developed with extensive feedback from instructors and from key public sector partners in the US and the UK. 
  6. Students will understand and be able to analyze key public policy issues in the US and the UK.  Through weekly application activities students will engage with their peers and provide opportunities to build important and lasting relationships.  


Situated in the heart of Europe's largest capital city, London, is a true cosmopolitan melting pot known for its theater, entertainment, fashion, history, pubs, museums, and markets. Students will learn about and tour Parliament, the Institute for Government, the Inns of Court, the Law Commission, NHS England, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the UK Supreme Court to name a few activities!

Housing and Meals

Accommodations include shared hotel rooms. Daily breakfast, 4 lunches, and a welcome and farewell dinner are included in the program fee.  
uk_LondonEnglanduk_Theateruk_Prof Prince and Students

CSU Deadlines / Program Dates:
CSU Deadlines / Program Dates:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2019 10/01/2018 10/15/2018 03/15/2019 03/23/2019
Final Deadline: October 1 (pending spots available)
Students will depart the U.S. on March 14