Module code: SOCM004

Module provider


Module Leader

KING A Dr (Sociology)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Seminar Hours: 20

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 1 50
Coursework COURSEWORK 2 50

Alternative Assessment

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Module overview

This module brings together the theoretical and methodological aspects of social research, and applies them to salient policy concerns. Students will be asked to critically engage with how governments and organisations tackle important issues in key policy areas. 

Module aims

Provide an introduction to the salient policy concerns facing the UK today and the range of stakeholders involved in tackling them;

Introduce the basic principles of evaluation research;

Explore some of the conceptual, theoretical and technical issues associated with designing and implementing both quantitative and qualitative evaluation strategies;

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Map the key stakeholders involved in tackling social issues in the UK today (K); K
Understand the basic methodological principles underpinning evaluating policies and programme interventions (C); C
Use social research methods and methodologies to address evaluation questions (C and P); CP
Appreciate some of the theoretical, methodological, technical and practical problems encountered when evaluating policies and programmes (P); P
Draw upon social scientific knowledge and skills to discuss and debate the nature of evidence bases in relation to policies and programmes (T). T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

national and local policy frameworks in the UK
the nature of evidence bases across policy domains
types of evaluation: process/formative and impact/summative
evaluation research designs: quantitative and qualitative approaches; randomised control trials; experimental and quasi-experimental designs; comparative research designs
measuring inputs, outputs and outcomes
cost benefit analysis

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


encourage students to think critically about salient policy issues and to identify how social research is best used to evaluate specific policies and programmes


The learning and teaching methods include:


Ten 2 hour seminars based around lectures, group work and open discussions;
Students are expected to critically engage with weekly topics and will be asked to contribute to group presentations towards the end of the module.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have (a) understood the basic principles behind evaluation research, and (b) that they can assimilate this knowledge with their theoretical knowledge  and methodological skills to produce a research agenda that will adequately evaluate an important policy/programme intervention.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         one 2000 word written essay testing understanding of the principles behind evaluation research and how it is best implemented;

·         one 2000 word mock ESRC research grant proposal where the students will be asked to outline and justify a piece of evaluation research on a topic of their choice.


Formative assessment and feedback

Students will be asked to work in small groups in most sessions and then present and discuss ideas based on the topics covered for that week. Formal verbal feedback will be given at the end of the session.

Reading list

Reading list for EVALUATION RESEARCH : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/socm004

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.