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The University of Southampton

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

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.


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.

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.

Independent Study185
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

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

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. 

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

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

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.



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


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

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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:

Accommodation and Travel

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. All students are invited to attend a 4-day online workshop focusing on Ageing in the 21st Century and on preparation for the MSc Dissertation.

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).


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. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. All learning information, including the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and lecture handouts, is available online through Blackboard. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.


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.


All readings in all modules are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books, however students may prefer to buy their own copies of specific textbooks. These can be purchased from any source. Students on the modules GERO6014 and GERO6015 receive one key textbook via post. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module. 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

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

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