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The Applied Policy Science Unit (APSU) (.pdf, 3MB)  is an independent political science research unit aligned with the Lancashire Law School at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and based at the Westlakes Science and Technology Park, near Whitehaven in West Cumbria.

The APSU’s mission is to make an original and independent contribution to policy and its implementation. This unit undertakes academic research, consultancy and dissemination in the field of political science with a special focus upon the application of current policy problems. In addition to UCLan staff involved in political science research and dissemination, the APSU also involves, as advisors, individuals who are professionally involved in politics, policy and government.

There has been a political science research unit at Westlakes for almost two decades. This UCLan unit is building upon and developing that work in governance architectures and institutions, the rescaling of policy and politics and belief and value systems. This long engagement in applied policy science at the Westlakes campus in West Cumbria has given the APSU a distinctive perspective on the role of communities in a globalised economy, and in the importance of individual perceptions and beliefs, and community-level interactions in achieving a nexus between global and local processes and optimising the untraded interdependencies between organisations.

In support of its mission, APSU’s objectives are:

  • to facilitate and undertake applied research into policy problems confronting public, private and social sectors
  • to make an independent and original contribution in the field of applied policy and political sciences
  • to combine rigorous academic enquiry with the insights of experienced policy practitioners
  • to act as a catalyst for the development and implementation of policy
  • to disseminate the results of research through teaching, publications, seminars and conferences

Events and News

Resilient Families: Working Proactively to Achieve Stability a symposium at the UCLan Westlakes Campus in West Cumbria, Friday 22nd March 2013

Working in Partnership with the Howgill Family Centre, the UCLan Applied Policy Sciences Unit held a one-day symposium on child poverty, family support and resilience pathways in communities. Focusing upon the family unit, this symposium was aimed at professionals, practitioners and policy makers. To give context, the symposium discussed the findings of the West Cumbria Child Poverty Action Group and the recent and widely publicised figures by End Child Poverty.

Presentations from the Day

A Reflective View from the Practitioner's Perspective - Kay Cartmell, Ashley Lloyd (.pdf, 3716 KB)

Resilient Families: Working Proactively to Achieve Stability - Roger Liddle (.pdf, 1318KB)

Resilience and early intervention: A voluntary sector perspective -   Maggie Jones, Children England (.pdf, 3219KB)

Children,Poverty, Resilience and Criminal Justice - Helen Codd (.pdf, 1429KB)

Harry Hedgehog’s Time To Share - Ashley Lloyd (.pdf,1771KB)

Proactive Interventions:Incorporating a Children’s Rights Approach - Dr Dianne Scullion  (.pdf, 88KB)

Resilient Families:Working Proactively to Achieve Stability  (.pdf, 1105KB)

Is Child Poverty an Issue - Russell Norman (.pdf, 1397KB)

Child Poverty, the West Cumbria Picture - Willie Slavin (.pdf, 72KB)

Towards a proactive approach to family support - Jamie Reed, Dr Rick Wylie, Helen Mitchell and Tracey Kendall (.pdf, 3479)

Courses and postgraduate study

MA Applied Policy Sciences

This course, which draws upon the experience and expertise of UCLan’s Applied Policy Sciences Unit, contains leading edge academic work, insights from practising professionals and case studies from the UK and further afield. It provides students with a powerful set of skills and knowledge to address complex issues confronting civil society in policy and governance, allowing them to compete and excel in this competitive field. The importance of an understanding of new styles of policy and the wider structures and processes of governance are reflected in the course content which spans individual, institutional and international levels. The course also includes a unique insight into the practical processes of policy and governance, through an intensive module delivered in the Whitehall and Westminster policy community.

More information about the Course (.pdf, 2MB)

Professional Doctorate in Applied Policy Sciences

This course is designed by professionals involved in applied policy research and practical political science. Drawing upon the experience and expertise of UCLan’s Law School, a leading Westminster-based think tank, and UCLan’s Applied Policy Sciences Unit this unique course contains leading edge academic work, insights from practising professionals and case studies from the UK and round the world. This qualification, which is equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, is aimed at individuals wishing to pursue a professional,career in or relating to public policy. The course addresses key issues affecting the governance of contemporary society. It is centred on a theorised understanding of the policy process and a conceptual and theoretical repertoire to provide students who successfully complete the course with the ability to apply these policy sciences to create, critically evaluate and communicate policy-relevant knowledge.

More information about the Course (.pdf, 1MB)

Members of the APSU

The APSU involves the following individuals whose professional expertise and extensive practical experience embraces the fields of politics, policy and government and academic research and dissemination.

  • Dr Lynne Livesey (ex officio Deputy Director of the APSU), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), UCLan
  • Dr Rick Wylie (ex officio Executive Director of the APSU), Samuel Lindow Academic Director, UCLan
  • Lord Liddle of Carlisle, Co-Chair of Policy Network, London
  • Dr Patrick Diamond, Co-Chair of Policy Network, London
  • Trudy Harrison MP, Member of Parliament for the Copeland constituency
  • Sue Hayman MP, Member of Parliament for the Workington constituency
  • John Stevenson MP, Member of Parliament for the Carlisle constituency
  • Sir Tony Cunningham DL
  • Professor John Fyfe CBE, International Strategic Development Specialist
  • Michael Heaslip, Chair of the Samuel Lindow Foundation
  • Professor Andrew Willard, University of Iowa, and President of The Policy Sciences Centre, Inc, USA
  • Professor Kai-Uwe Schrogl, Chief Strategy Officer, European Space Agency

Additional Information

For further information please contact :

Rick Wylie

University of Central Lancashire
Samuel Lindow Building
Westlakes Science and Technology Park
CA24 3JY

07595 590970
01946 517204

Related Projects

Recent Activities

Please see below the recent activities which the APSU have been involved in.

Globalising West Cumbria: The democratic vocation of the university in a globalised society

A lecture by Patrick Diamond, Senior Research Fellow at Policy Network, followed by a panel discussion. This event was held at the UCLan Westlakes campus on Thursday 26th April 2012.

Input into Britain’s Energy Coast: Policy Arenas and Untraded Interdependencies

More recently, and in the context of current work on relational economic development, local place and the global-local nexus, APSU were asked to comment upon the ‘Blueprint’ - an update and implementation plan - of the Britain’s Energy Coast policy initiative.

Risk Perception and a New Political Geography of Risk

Recently, the APSU made a written submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in its inquiry into ‘Risk perception and energy infrastructure’.

Defining an Affected Community

The Applied Policy Sciences made an input into the Community Waste Management in Practice EU Framework Six programme. This project was undertaken under the auspices of Westlakes Scientific Consulting. This project involved extensive fieldwork in West Cumbria and in Caithness.