Department of Political Science


Impact Evaluation Methods

Course Code


Course Tutor

Prof Lorraine Dearden (Institute of Education)


One 2 hour exam

Credit Value


This course considers methods for quantifying the causal impacts of social and economic programmes in both the government and non-government sectors. How many more people are in work because of a policy to help those on the margins of the labour market? Does including a free pen in a charity mail shot increase the probability of response? Does more education for girls in developing countries promote child outcomes in the next generation? 

The course covers a range of experimental and quasi-experimental methods of impact evaluation that can be used to answer such questions, in and outside government. The methods covered include randomised control trials (‘field experiments’), ‘before and after’ and interrupted time-series designs, ‘difference in differences’ methods, matching methods (including propensity score matching), instrumental variables and regression discontinuity design. The course will also cover cost benefit analysis.

*This module is only available to EMPA/MPA students in the first instance. If additional spaces are available they will be opened up to other MA/MSc students.