The course equips you with transferable quantitative and qualitative research design skills, including the design of policy evaluations, and an in-depth understanding of the role of different types of research in the social and public policy-making process.

It is an advanced course and students are expected to already have a grasp of basic research design principles and their application to social and public policy, for example as covered in MY400 Fundamentals of Research Design or SP401 Understanding Policy Research, both of which run in the MT, although these courses are not a formal pre-requisite.

Lectures are given by leading academics engaged in research using the methods under consideration, many of whom have achieved substantial policy impact. Students are encouraged to critically assess applications of complex research methods to contemporary national and international social and public policy questions.

Topics include uses of: mixed methods, policy evaluation; participatory research; researching organisations (including organisational anthropology); longitudinal and life history analysis; systematic reviews, meta-analysis and meta-ethnographies; and internationally comparative research. The relationship between research and policymaking is a theme that runs throughout the course.