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Department of Political Science

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POLS0036 Policy Analysis and Evaluation

Course Code: POLS0036

Course Tutor: Samuel Sims (IoE)

Length: One Term (Spring Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours

Assessment: Two problem sets (10% each), one 2 hour exam (80%)

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US), 7.5 (ECTS)

Module Level: L6 (Advanced)

Prerequisite: POLS0008 Introduction to Quantitative Methods - or by course tutor approval       

About this course

This interdisciplinary module introduces students to quantitative evaluation methods and their use in policy analysis in the social sciences. The course will emphasise the application of experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation methods in the ‘real world’, and it potential impact upon government policy. Students will learn about key elements of evaluation methods, and be able to critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. The course has a high practical element, with students regularly analysing data using R. Topics to be covered include randomised control trials, regression methods, regression discontinuity designs, and difference-in-difference methods. Upon completing the course, students will be able to interpret and critique the results and quality of research using experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation methods and to critically consume empirical research.