Policy and Programme Evaluation Research (511X8)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

Since the 1990s evaluation research has become a key tool in assuring and heightening quality, reliability and accountability in services within a number of areas including social services, education and health care. In this context there is a growing discourse on the importance of grounding interventions on 'what works' in policy or practice, based on empirically informed knowledge.

This short postgraduate module is offered as an introduction to research in the field of policy and programme evaluation. The primary orientation of the teaching and learning is the role and nature of evaluation in public sector interventions in the UK. A particular emphasis is on the evaluation of interventions by the social professions directed at social care, health and well-being and on research utilisation in programme, policy and practice development. Set in a political and organisational context, this module will provide you with an understanding of what evaluation researchers may have done when they claim to have evaluated a policy, intervention or programme.

The module will identify the main approaches taken to evaluation and the key design and measuring problems that evaluation researchers must resolve in various areas of intervention and policy. It will also critically examine what values, assumptions and perspectives underlie evaluative discourse and its methods. By examining evaluation as a 'transdiscipline' analytical tool it therefore identifies 'spearhead issues' of evaluative research from a critical and applied perspective.


100%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Report)

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 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.