• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Australian Studies, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, Social Research, Sociology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Darren Halpin
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

A current mantra of governments worldwide is that they are committed to 'evidence-based policy making'.  This course critically examines that commitment.  It begins by focusing on the question of how we might asses policy success, emphasising that this does not simply involve policy evaluation.  Rather, there are also process and political dimensions to success and often tensions between these dimensions which shape policy developments and outcomes.  One particular issue we shall consider is the argument made in some critical literature that, in Westminster democracies like Australia, we have politically-driven evaluation, rather than evaluation-based policy.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

i) Use specific examples to explain key concepts in policy and program evaluation.

ii) Develop a critical analysis of policies and programs based on application of these concepts.

iii) Understand the contribution of sociological theory and research methods to policy and policy evaluation

Indicative Assessment

i) Essay of 1,500 words on the key concepts covered in the course 30%.

Learning Outcomes 1 and 3

ii) Essay of 3,500 words in which students apply the concepts to a particular area of Australian public policy 70%.

Learning Outcomes 2-3

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


There will be one two hour lecture and one one hour tutorial every week. Students will be expected to undertake 6 hours independent learning each week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level SOCY or POLS courses; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts

McConnell, A. (2010), Understanding Policy Success: Rethinking Public Policy, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke.

Marsh, D. and McConnell, A. (2010), "Towards a Framework for Establishing Policy Success", Public Administration, Vol. 88, No 2, pp. 564-583.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4797 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions