Course specification and structure
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PMSCLEVL - MSc Social Policy and Evaluation

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Subject Area School of Social Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The social policy field, both in the UK and internationally, is experiencing widespread and rapid change – austerity, globalisation, migration, environmental and technological change all challenge existing models for policy and its implementation in public services and the role of government and other stakeholders in defining and addressing social needs. Providers and practitioners increasingly engage in a range of evaluative activities to help ensure they meet expectations of sustainable improvement, accountability and equality via programme outcomes, policy and performance assessment frameworks in often complex settings. The course will enable students to develop policy and evaluation skills in a context of critical engagement with their meaning and value, especially in relationship to issues of equality and diversity.

The course offers a grounding in social policy themes and priorities at local, regional and global levels together with critical attention to their implications for equality and social justice. It introduces students to the principles, development and use of a range of contemporary evaluative activities and designs, locating them in policy and service demands. An optional work-based learning opportunity customised around students’ needs, interests and aptitudes is also included. Students also benefit from teaching by experienced researchers and practitioners from a variety of policy areas, including the Centre for Evaluation within the Faculty Advanced Institute for Research.

Course aims

The MSc Social Policy and Evaluation aims to:

  1. Provide students with the high-level critical, analytical and practical skills required to inform reflective and effective practice in the field of social policy and evaluation;
  2. Equip students with a solid grounding in contemporary themes and priorities in the social policy arena across local, regional and global contexts;
  3. To provide students with an awareness of and critical engagement with key theoretical perspectives on equality and social differences of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, disability and belief, and their intersections;
  4. Introduce students to the principles, development and use of a range of current evaluative approaches, activities and designs, locating them in policy and service demands and enabling them to:
    - Generate appropriate evidence and indicators;
    - Devise a theory of change, or assess service and user outcomes, needs and performance, programme impacts and cost-benefits;
    - Engage in related commissioning, contracting and quality assurance activities for service and performance management roles;
  5. Equip students with the knowledge and skills to undertake independent research on a topic in the social policy and evaluation area.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in the field of social policy and evaluation;
  • apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in social policy and related social science disciplines;
  • critically appraise current research and advanced scholarship in Social Policy and Evaluation and in related social science disciplines;
  • evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;
  • advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level;
  • exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
  • learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Assessment strategy

A range of assessment is used in the core modules in order to develop and evaluate students’ knowledge and communications skills across different forms and formats. These include academic essays, short answer coursework, case study analysis and reports, peer-assessed essays, evidence portfolios, an evaluation outline plan, interpreting evaluative data from an evaluation design, comparative appraisal of evaluative reports and the dissertation. Options incorporate a wide variety of assessment forms including essays, policy evaluation reports, group and individual oral and poster presentations, learning logs, and the planning and piloting of an evaluation data collection tool. The work-based learning option is assessed through a learning log and a final report.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

An optional work-based learning module is included in the list of designates. This can comprise an agreed programme of reflective practice and learning in the student’s current place of work (if appropriate) or a placement organised by the Faculty. One of the important links we have to offer is a possible placement with Project Oracle http://project-oracle.com/about-us/

Modules required for interim awards

MSc Social Policy and Evaluation: SS7152, SS7153, SS7154,SS7155, SS7156, SS7P62, plus one designate
PG Dip: 5 taught cores plus one designate
PG Cert: SS7152, SS7155, SS7156

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Career opportunities

The course will appeal to current and aspiring practitioners in UK, EU and global public, voluntary, NGO and community sectors wishing to acquire or upgrade their social policy evaluation skills. These include roles where evaluative activity of some kind is one aspect of the role in a service/policy context; service managers who may have responsibility for managing, interpreting, and communicating evaluative activity as well as utilising outputs/outcomes data; those in local government who are increasingly placed in commissioning roles; those in sectors where there is an increasing need to assess ‘ICT rich’ systems and processes for delivering services.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a social science or related subject. Students with substantial relevant experience in a related area of employment are also encouraged to apply.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2014/15 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 13 Jun 2014 Last validation date 13 Jun 2014  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L400 (Social Policy): 100%
Route code SCLEVL

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SS7152 Social Policy Themes and Priorities: Local, Reg... Core 20        
SS7153 Equality and Social Difference: Theory and Policy Core 20        
SS7154 Social Research: Principles, Practice and Contexts Core 20        
SS7155 Making Sense of Evaluation: Turning Theory into... Core 20        
SS7156 Using and Applying Evaluation: Contexts and Pra... Core 20        
SS7P62 Social Policy and Evaluation Dissertation Core 60        
HR7152 Diversity and Inclusion: Policy, Practice and t... Option 20        
SH7003 Health in the City Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7014 Developments and Management in Community Care Option 20 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
SS7036 Community Development Option 20        
SS7131 Housing Strategy Option 20        
SS7144 Understanding Public Protection and Risk Option 20        
SS7147 Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Po... Option 20 NORTH AUT    
SS7157 Doing Evaluation: Skills and Techniques Option 20        
SS7159 Global Work and Working Lives Option 20        
SS7160 Global Urban Policy Option 20        
SS7161 Education and Social Policy for Children and Yo... Option 20        
SS7W58 Work-based Learning for Social Policy and Evalu... Option 20        

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SS7152 Social Policy Themes and Priorities: Local, Reg... Core 20        
SS7153 Equality and Social Difference: Theory and Policy Core 20        
SS7154 Social Research: Principles, Practice and Contexts Core 20        
SS7155 Making Sense of Evaluation: Turning Theory into... Core 20        
SS7156 Using and Applying Evaluation: Contexts and Pra... Core 20        
SS7P62 Social Policy and Evaluation Dissertation Core 60        
HR7152 Diversity and Inclusion: Policy, Practice and t... Option 20        
SH7003 Health in the City Option 20        
SH7014 Developments and Management in Community Care Option 20        
SS7036 Community Development Option 20        
SS7131 Housing Strategy Option 20        
SS7144 Understanding Public Protection and Risk Option 20        
SS7147 Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Po... Option 20        
SS7157 Doing Evaluation: Skills and Techniques Option 20        
SS7159 Global Work and Working Lives Option 20        
SS7160 Global Urban Policy Option 20        
SS7161 Education and Social Policy for Children and Yo... Option 20        
SS7W58 Work-based Learning for Social Policy and Evalu... Option 20