Introduction

The MSc in Policy Evaluation provides you with the skills required to contribute to evidence-based policy formation and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) processes across a range of fields in the public sector, voluntary organisations and private service providers.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen
Subject marketing image

Institutions and organizations are increasingly demanding evidence-based policy formation. However, there are few graduates with the necessary training to engage in policy evaluation and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) techniques to provide that “evidence”. As a result, there is a high demand for graduates with the specialist social research methods for M&E, who can critically understand and evaluate policies and social interventions in areas such as health and social care, criminal justice, international development, and inequality and poverty.

The MSc in Policy Evaluation meets this demand by equipping graduates with the skills necessary to provide effective policy evaluation and programme M&E for government and third sector organisations working in both domestic and international contexts.

You will acquire advanced skills in quantitative methods and analysis and research design, along with the theoretical and conceptual understanding of policymaking and programme implementation required to put M&E into practice across a wide array of contexts.

This programme will therefore provide you with a critical and informed understanding of policy evaluation to help you understand the need for specific M&E skills and how they might be best utilized across an array of work environments.

For the thesis component, instead of completing a traditional dissertation, students 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.

The staff teaching on this programme are all research-active scholars with methodological expertise central to policy evaluation and M&E practice.

Available Programmes of Study

Policy Evaluation

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September View

Programme Information

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
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Science (SL5512)

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 social science 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
Advanced Quantitative Analysis in Social Science (SL5513)

30 Credit Points

This course familiarises students with quantitative research techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It begins by covering the basic concepts underlying quantitative methods and the fundamental statistical techniques used for analysing relationships between two variables. The main part of the course focuses on multiple regression analysis, perhaps the most widely used technique in quantitative social science research. Students gain practical knowledge by undertaking two research reports to assess a substantive topic of their choosing.

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

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Science (SL5512)

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 social science 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
Advanced Quantitative Analysis in Social Science (SL5513)

30 Credit Points

This course familiarises students with quantitative research techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It begins by covering the basic concepts underlying quantitative methods and the fundamental statistical techniques used for analysing relationships between two variables. The main part of the course focuses on multiple regression analysis, perhaps the most widely used technique in quantitative social science research. Students gain practical knowledge by undertaking two research reports to assess a substantive topic of their choosing.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

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
Semester 3

Semester 3

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 social science 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)

30 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

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

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.
  • 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 programme implementation.
  • Graduates 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 recognized by the ESRC via the Master’s in Research (MRes) programmes for many years. 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.
  • 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.
  • You are taught by and you study with people from across the world at Aberdeen, which is a cosmopolitan city and centre of a global energy hub. We provide an excellent library on campus, and as much as possible digitally off campus, in a beautiful new building where you can view the beach and most of Aberdeen.

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 a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body.

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. Also taken into careful consideration is the trajectory of results, an applicant without an overall 2.1 but with 2.1 results in their final two years of study may be admitted.

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 - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 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 Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
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 x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be 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 employers, or other professional individuals

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • 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.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Careers

Policy evaluation is of growing importance for governments, NGOs, and international organisations involved in funding and delivering programmes in areas such as public health, education, transport, inequality, criminal justice, international development, humanitarian relief, post-conflict state-building, peace-building, and transitional justice.

This has led to a growth in the need for policy experts who can design, monitor and evaluate policies using the latest Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) methods. This programme provides you with the practical skills and critical and informed understanding of this subject to prepare you for a career in any of these areas of policy formation, evaluation, or programme implementation.

Previous graduates of this programme have gone on roles in civil society, the Scottish government, and the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

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
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX