Evidence for Policy and Practice: A Critical Stance (529X8)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

Evidence has become a major part of governments' approaches to policy making, practice intervention and part of the machinery of evaluation, 'what works' and best value. There are undoubtedly many competing ideas about evidence led policy and practice, and many models from which we can learn a great deal. The competing ideas are complex and involve not only highly technical problems of logic and scientific fact but also larger philosophical considerations about the nature of meaning and knowledge, as well as questions about the relation between research, policy and practice.

This course will take a critical stance in analysing the relationship between research, knowledge production and policy, practice dissemination and professional decision making. You will explore research from the perspective of researchers, policy makers, practitioners and professional decision makers, and explore methods of evidence informed practice. You will draw on the extensive emerging literature of a theoretical nature, research synthesis and systematic reviews to provide a critical understanding, and practical models based on real examples.


100%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 12 hours of contact time and about 138 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.