Introduction

The MSc in Policy Evaluation will provide students with the skills necessary to contribute to evidence-based policy across a range of exciting and dynamic fields.

This programme is studied on campus.

Institutions and organizations are today commonly demanding evidence-based policy formation. As a result, the necessary social research methods for Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) are in high demand. The MSc in Policy Evaluation will equip graduates to provide programme monitoring and evaluation for government and third sector organisations by providing advanced skills in research design, qualitative and quantitative methods and data analysis. For the thesis component, instead of completing a traditional dissertation, students will have the option to work with a partner organization to produce a real M&E project with local government, a non-profit organisation, or within the University itself.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc or PgDip
Duration
9 months, 12 months, 18 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

Study Options

Semester 1

SO5011 Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods (30 credit points)

SO5015 Policy Evaluation (30 credit points)

Semester 2

SO5523 Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods (30 credit points)

SL5511 Approaches to Quantitative Analysis in Social Research (30 credit points)

Semester 3

SO5916 Dissertation or M&E Project (12,000 – 15,000 words)

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011) - 30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative sociological research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course

Policy Evaluation (SO5015) - 15 Credit Points

Institutions and organizations are today commonly demanding evidence-based policy formation. As a result, the necessary social research methods for Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) are in high demand. This course in Policy Evaluation is the core course in the MSc in Policy Evaluation and will equip graduates with the knowledge necessary to understand the current demand for, existing practices of, and substantial challenges to monitoring and evaluation of policy, implementation procedures, and impacts. The course serves as the primary topical course for this MSc and provides student with the theoretical and conceptual understanding of policymaking and programme implementation necessary to put M&E practices in context, and to better understand the need for specific M&E skills and how they might be best utilized across an array of work environments.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods (SO5523) - 30 Credit Points

All researchers need to understand quantitative research, not only those who carry it out themselves. Everyone comes across quantitative research in literature reviews and even in the press. In this course students will acquire an understanding of the most common quantitative methods they are likely to use or come across in published sociological research. The module will encompass different types of quantitative study and address issues such as when quantitative methods are appropriate, how quantitative questions are formulated, research design, sampling (both online and offline), scale construction, reliability and validity and ethical practices in quantitative research and design.

View detailed information about this course

Approaches to Quantitative Analysis in Social Research (SL5511) - 30 Credit Points

The course utilises secondary sources to demonstrate approaches to data analysis of social surveys. It provides a review of techniques suited to different data types, including categorical data in the form of tables and 'yes' and 'no' outcomes in multivariate analysis. The course makes comparisons among social groups and between societies in cross-sectional and longitudinal designs that include control, moderating and mediating factors in explanatory models. Students identify a topic and undertake their own analysis of a secondary data source to produce two research reports. Those two report comprise the total assessment for the course.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Policy Evaluation (SO5916) - 60 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

PgDip 9 months or 18 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011) - 30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative sociological research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course

Policy Evaluation (SO5015) - 15 Credit Points

Institutions and organizations are today commonly demanding evidence-based policy formation. As a result, the necessary social research methods for Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) are in high demand. This course in Policy Evaluation is the core course in the MSc in Policy Evaluation and will equip graduates with the knowledge necessary to understand the current demand for, existing practices of, and substantial challenges to monitoring and evaluation of policy, implementation procedures, and impacts. The course serves as the primary topical course for this MSc and provides student with the theoretical and conceptual understanding of policymaking and programme implementation necessary to put M&E practices in context, and to better understand the need for specific M&E skills and how they might be best utilized across an array of work environments.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods (SO5523) - 30 Credit Points

All researchers need to understand quantitative research, not only those who carry it out themselves. Everyone comes across quantitative research in literature reviews and even in the press. In this course students will acquire an understanding of the most common quantitative methods they are likely to use or come across in published sociological research. The module will encompass different types of quantitative study and address issues such as when quantitative methods are appropriate, how quantitative questions are formulated, research design, sampling (both online and offline), scale construction, reliability and validity and ethical practices in quantitative research and design.

View detailed information about this course

Approaches to Quantitative Analysis in Social Research (SL5511) - 30 Credit Points

The course utilises secondary sources to demonstrate approaches to data analysis of social surveys. It provides a review of techniques suited to different data types, including categorical data in the form of tables and 'yes' and 'no' outcomes in multivariate analysis. The course makes comparisons among social groups and between societies in cross-sectional and longitudinal designs that include control, moderating and mediating factors in explanatory models. Students identify a topic and undertake their own analysis of a secondary data source to produce two research reports. Those two report comprise the total assessment for the course.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The programme consists of 180 credit points taken over the duration of one year. A weekly timetable consists of an average of 6 teaching hours per week with some courses running over 3 week periods. Teaching includes a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning in order to enhance students’ critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills. Courses are assessed through essays, presentations, examinations, group and project work.

The variety of assessment in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practice and become expert communicators and team players. The programme is designed for full-time or part-time students.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by a combination of essay work, class presentations, examination, and a hands-on M&E Project in collaboration with a partner organization.

Why Study Policy Evaluation?

The MSc in Policy Evaluation builds on the extensive methodological expertise of the School of Social Science and its history of providing excellent methodological training via the Master’s in Research programmes. Further, the programme takes advantage of the University’s relationships with government and non-governmental organizations to provide students with the option of a hands on M&E experience with real world organizations engaged in policy formation and implementation. Graduates will therefore have unique academic and practical experiences which will help them compete successfully in the job market.

The School of Social Science has been providing excellent methodological training via the Master’s in Research (MRes) programmes for some time. For this reason, across the disciplines of Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and International Relations, the School boasts an excellent faculty with substantial experience in training social scientists in research methods. Further, as an ancient Scottish University with over 500 years of history, the University of Aberdeen has a long relationship and established connections to the city of Aberdeen and the region of Aberdeenshire. These relationships provide exceptional opportunities for post-graduate students in the MSc in Monitoring and Evaluation for Policy Impact to engage in active learning with governmental and non-governmental organizations via their final project.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with at least 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body. In exceptional circumstances, applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience, appropriate to the field of study.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,700
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
International Students £15,900
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
PgDip 9 months or 18 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

As noted above, demand for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) professionals is expanding swiftly as requirements for evidenced-based policy formation gain traction. Qualified M&E professionals may work in the domestic market for governmental, non-governmental organizations or private industry in fields such as healthcare, education, transportation, social services, or other policy fields. Globally, M&E is a highly valued skill in fields such as international development, humanitarian relief, post-conflict statebuilding, peacebuilding, and transitional justice, as well as in all areas of international education and healthcare provision.

Professional Links

This MSc Programme builds on and further foster’s links with local governmental and non-governmental organizations in the vicinity of the University of Aberdeen, the city of Aberdeen, and Aberdeenshire.

Demand expanding in domestic & international field

While few graduates can claim valid qualifications, demand for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) professionals is expanding in both domestic and international fields of practice.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Marta Trzebiatowska
Professor Bernadette Hayes
Dr Christopher Kollmeyer
Programme Coordinator
Dr Gearoid Millar

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Social Science
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen
AB24 3QY