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Master of Science by Coursework in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation (EBSIPE)

  • 1. Candidates must follow for at least three terms a course of instruction in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation.

  • 2. Every candidate will be required to satisfy the examiners in the following:

    • (i) A compulsory core paper, in either Evidence-Based Social Intervention or Policy Evaluation, examined by an unseen written examination; 

    • (ii) A compulsory Evaluation Methods paper, for which students will be examined on the basis of five assignments (consisting of one research methods essay and one statistics assignment of up to 2,500 words; and two critical appraisals, one qualitative (up to 2,500 words) and one quantitative (up to 2,500 words)). These are to be submitted throughout the year anonymously and in Word format via the University approved online assessment platform. Technical information on the requirements for online submissions is provided in the Course Handbook.
    • (iii) One Option paper examined by an unseen written examination;

    • (iv) One research thesis on a topic related to, and attentive to evidence-based intervention, policy evaluation or evaluation methods. The subject of the thesis must be approved by the supervisor on behalf of the Department and should not exceed 10,000 words in length.

  • The thesis must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform no later than noon on 15 August or the weekday nearest to 15 August of the year in which the examination has been taken. The thesis must be anonymous, and submitted in Word format. Successful candidates may be required to deposit a hard copy of their thesis in the Social Science Library.

  • 3. A candidate who fails the examination may enter for one subsequent examination only, provided this is within six terms of his or her initial registration. A candidate who has attained a satisfactory mark in any one of the four components (i through iv) of the examination in item 2 above will not be required to retake the component(s) that received a pass mark.

  • 4. Each candidate must attend a viva voce when required to do so by the examiners.


  • (i) Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation (core course): Candidates will be expected to have a knowledge of major theories underlying evidence-based social interventions or policy evaluation research. The course will use exemplary intervention and evaluation research studies to illustrate important theoretical, ethical, methodological, and practice issues.

  • (ii) Evaluation Methods (core course): Candidates will be expected to have a knowledge of major quantitative and qualitative techniques, and research designs for understanding social problems and evaluating social interventions and policies. In the event of failure of any of the five methods assignments, candidates are able to resubmit that assignment once. The maximum mark awarded for re-submitted elements is 50 except in exceptional circumstances. Candidates must pass all five assignments to successfully pass the methods workbook.

  • (iii) Option course: This will enable students to link evidence-based solutions to a range of social problems. The list of options will be published annually by Friday of the sixth week of Michaelmas Full Term in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Candidates are expected to take options offered through the EBSIPE course. Only in exceptional circumstances and with the special permission of the Course Director, the optional paper may be from subjects outside this list.