• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Sociology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

A great deal of research, in many guises, is undertaken to support the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policy. Moreover, many stakeholders in policy questions also engage in research to support their advocacy. An informed awareness of the practices and pitfalls of researching around the public policy process is crucial. Beginning with a focus on how policy questions are identified, defined and prioritised, we examine the role of research in assisting with the formulation of policy proposals within government. This necessarily involves the role of research in making sense of policy input - especially from stakeholder groups - garnered from inquiries and consultations. We also critically examine this in the context of calls for Evidence-Based Policy Making. Finally, research may be conducted by government or stakeholders seeking to evaluate impacts, efficiency or effectiveness of policy and programs. This course critically examines a range of styles of research and evaluation activity, as students develop research and evaluation skills suitable for the public policy realm.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

1. Understand the contribution of social research to public policy formulation, implementation and evaluation;

2. Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of calls for evidence-based policy making;

3. Demonstrate skills in applying desk-based methods of social research appropriate for policy evaluation;

4. Produce written analytical work on a research topic in an area of public policy; and

5. Present, discuss and critique their ideas, and the ideas of others, in a constructive fashion.

Indicative Assessment

Policy Brief and critical reflection, 2500 words (45%) LO 1,3,4
Program Evaluation, 2500 words (45%) LO 1,2,3,4
Tutorial Participation (10%) LO1,2,5

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and, b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

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. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed SOCY3123.



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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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