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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Policy Research and Evaluation (SWM516)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description Knowledge and evidence are important elements in public policymaking. This unit considers the role of evidence-based research and systematic analysis in the development of policy. It demonstrates the key function of policy evaluation as part of policy learning processes. The iterative and innovative dimensions of policy research and evaluation will be explored through practical examples and exercises. The unit will assist students to acquire the critical capacities and skills used in the generation and development of policy initiatives.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate how research and evaluation independently and jointly contribute to policy development, implementation and improvement;
2. Demonstrate an awareness of and ability to apply ethical and practice standards that guide evaluation design, application and use;
3. Critically analyse more than one approach to policy evaluation;
4. Recognise key contextual factors and adapt policy research and evaluation appropriately;
5. Design and plan an evaluation of a policy in your area of work;
6. Defensibly link the empirical outcomes or results of evaluation studies to their practical decision-making or policy considerations.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit can be characterised as student self-directed and collaborative, with significant support provided via the LMS (including the development of a peer learning community) and direct interaction with the unit coordinator via email, online discussion forums, and face-to-face meetings. Students will experience a common, fundamental set of concepts and methods in policy research and evaluation. Students also have the opportunity, to tailor their learning in policy research and evaluation to their particular interests or course of study through the development of a policy evaluation plan for an extant policy specific to their own circumstances. Often, students develop these plans to align with tasks or roles arising from their own workplaces.
Assessment Students will be assessed on the basis of:
Participation and session related assignments - 15%
Policy Research Review/ Critique 1 (1,000 words) - 20%
Policy Evaluation Review/ Critique 2 (1,000 words) - 20%
Policy Evaluation Plan (Group and individual (4,000 words) - 45%
Prerequisites Enrolment in a graduate-level course.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed SSH616 Policy Research and Evaluation may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2013: SSH616
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Graduate Certificate in Health Administration, Policy and Leadership (GCHAPL) [New in 2015]
Graduate Certificate in Policy and Development (GradCertPDev)
Graduate Certificate in Public Administration (GradCertPAdmin)
Master of Development Studies (MDS)
Master of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership (MHAPL) [New in 2016]
Master of International Affairs and Security (MIAS)
Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM)
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Professor Rick Cummings
Emeritus Professor

e: R.Cummings@murdoch.edu.au
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S1-External
Professor Rick Cummings
Emeritus Professor

e: R.Cummings@murdoch.edu.au

MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Associate Professor Andrew McConney
Associate Professor

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6995
e: A.Mcconney@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.3.011 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
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