The University of Southampton
Courses

GERO6025 Policy Evaluation for Ageing Societies (DL)

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to the study of policy and programme evaluation in ageing societies. You will be introduced to the theories surrounding the process of evaluating policies and programmes. You will examine the different methodological approaches to conducting an evaluation and you will understand how theory and method links to produce a good evaluation. You will be introduced to examples of policy and programme evaluations for ageing societies, in areas such as health and social protection. These case studies will be from developed and developing countries.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module aims to develop your understanding of the importance of assessing the quality and impact of policies and programmes in ageing societies. The importance of linking theory and methods in conducting policy and programme evaluations will be demonstrated through case studies.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the link between theory and methods in evaluating policies and programmes.
  • Discuss the basic evaluation tools needed to assess policies and programmes.
  • Compare different policy and programme evaluations in developed and developing countries.
  • Critically evaluate the methods used in a policy or programme evaluation.
  • Design an evaluation of a policy or programme using the appropriate theory and methods.

Syllabus

The module will include online lectures on: the importance of conducting policy/programme evaluations and how this has developed over time; the different theories surrounding policy evaluation; methodology for conducting evaluations including experimental and quasi experimental designs, mixed methods, and longitudinal research designs; realistic evaluation and ethics in evaluation; the role of the evaluator and stakeholders; Monitoring the evaluation process and delivering the report; using the evaluation to inform policy and programme practice.

Special Features

One or two experts from outside the University of Southampton may be invited to give guest lectures on particular topics; for example, an academic from other universities researching a particular topic, an international author, a policy analyst, or a senior manager in local government or in the third sector. All lectures are audio-recorded and placed on Blackboard, therefore students can access the learning material in their own time zone.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module involves lectures and case studies of evaluations of policies/programme on ageing or older people. Learning activities include audio lectures, which include trigger questions, tutor-led tutorials discussing lecture content, the case studies, and the assessments, discussions forums on Blackboard and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance or after listening to each session in order to make the most of the sessions.

TypeHours
Independent Study176
Lecture24
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Bryman, A., (2012). Social Research Methods. 

McDavid, J.C., Huse, I. & Hawthorn, L.R.L. (2013). Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement: An Introduction to Practice. 

Other. Module resources will be available on Blackboard, such as lecture PowerPoint slides, audio recordings of lectures, key readings, coursework details, discussion boards, references and module updates. Students will be provided with guidance to use Skype for verbal/visual communication with tutors.

Gertler, P.J., Martinez, S., Premand, P., Rawlings, L.B. and Vermeersch, C.M., (2011). Impact evaluation in practice.. 

Khandker, S.R., Koolwal, G.B. and Samad, H.A., (2010). Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices.. 

Cartwright, N. and Hardie, J. (2012). Evidence-Based Policy: A Practical Guide to doing it better. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical review  (2000 words) 30%
Policy/ Programme evaluation proposal  (4000 words) 70%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (2000 words) 100%

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Stationery: You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile. Textbooks: Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available electronically on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books. Students on the DL programme receive key textbooks as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of the programme via post. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Conference expenses

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as any conference registration fees).

Hardware

Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to already have access to a PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard. Headphones are sent to the Distance Learning students in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves.

Other

All students on the MSc Gerontology (DL) or MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme are invited to attend a 4-day Residential Course in Southampton, however for those students who are in receipt of Commonwealth scholarships, this Course is obligatory, and the travel, accommodation and basic subsistence costs are covered as part of their Scholarship.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. Module Outlines) via the post at the beginning of their programme, as part of their tuition fees. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.

Software Licenses

Licenses relating to software used in the programme (eg. SPSS, NVivo) are purchased by the University, and students can download them from the iSolutions website using their username and password.

Travel Costs for placements

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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