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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

The Dissertation in Policy Evaluation can be completed either as a research project or as a collaborative Monitoring and Evaluation project for a partner organization in the community seeking to have one of their policies or programmes assessed. In either case, this project is a major piece of independent work undertaken by the student with the guidance and supervision of a member of the teaching staff of the department. The project gives students an opportunity to investigate a policy or programme that excites their interest to a depth not otherwise available in the curriculum, and to develop either their research and gain experience of independent study or their M&E skills and gain experience working with a artner organization in the community. If choosing to complete a traditional dissertation the topic may derive from interests developed in other courses, or from subjects not otherwise covered in the curriculum. If choosing to conduct the hands on M&E project, then the topic will be driven largely by the needs of the partner organization. In either case, the project should involve the use and development of the research skills provided by the programme. Students and staff should attach appropriate effort to this important piece of work. 


Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Third Sub Session Credit Points 60 credits (30 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Gearoid Michael Millar

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The project must involve the collection of new primary data or the re-analysis of secondary data sets. Wholly theoretical projects, or reviews of secondary literature, are not permitted. However, it is feasible to use your new data to engage with theoretical debates or discussions in the literature. The new primary data can be narrative based (such as that collected through interviews or by means of ethnography), numerate (such as that collected through surveys and questionnaires), or historical and archival (such as by means of documentary research, letters, archives or oral history). The re-analysis of secondary data sets can involve survey data (such as longitudinal data sets) or archival data (such as edited collections of letters, manuscripts and the like). Common sense will need to be used to ensure that the project involves the collection of new data from either primary sources or the reworking of existing secondary data sets and is not wholly theoretical or a review of existing literature.

One or more of a variety of research techniques may be utilised to produce findings that bear upon the research or M&E problem. Methods employed may involve the collection of data from a small scale survey, the analysis of existing computerised data sets or official statistics, field research (including participant observation, individual or group interviews), and the analysis of historical documents or any other documentary sources relating to the research problem. Students completing a traditional research dissertation are expected to relate their work to a body of theoretical and empirical research previously conducted on the topic, and to produce research findings bearing upon it. Students completing an M&E project with a partner organization in the community are expected to relate their work to the mission, needs and operations of the organization and produce pertinent and useful recommendations for future policy or practice.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments


Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Mark and Feedbacks will be provided via the standard dissertation feedback form

Word Count 12000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionEvaluateEvaluating and Critiquing
ReflectionAnalyseAnalyzing and Attributing
ReflectionApplyapplying and implementing
ReflectionCreateCreating and Producing

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