• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning.

Evidence-based thinking is an approach to conducting your professional life be it in the private or public sector. When you read a business case or a policy development argument that asks you to accept a conclusion that has implications for you – Are you confident that your decisions are grounded in clear evidence? Are you put in situations where you make decisions by a ‘gut-feeling’ or intuition?


Would you like someone you care about to be treated by a physician that has a ‘gut-feeling’ that treatment X or procedure Y is probably the ‘right’ choice? Using evidence-based thinking is akin to thinking as a clinician would – observing evidence – discarding the evidence that is irrelevant or invalid (think –fake news) - searching the evidence and removing ‘plausible alternative explanations’ before accepting it as supportive evidence for a decision.


Would you believe information provided on any website without question? Should you believe evidence from researchers funded by a lobby group? If you were faced with two conflicting pieces of advice – how – without turning to the sources of the advice – could you evaluate that conflicting evidence? Evidence based thinking gives you the skills to make those substantive evaluations for yourself.


The Evidence Based Thinking course will give you the understanding and knowledge to answer the following two questions:

Should I believe what this person is telling me?

How do I come to a credible decision that is evidence-based?

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate the evidence supporting arguments or propositions.
  2. Recognise relevant questions to be asked in analysing policy proposals and to answer those questions in a valid and reliable way
  3. Assess the validity of evidence offered by others in both public and private sector settings.
  4. Apply EBT to a major policy or business decision

Other Information

A range of applied case studies drawn form a library currently containing 70 EBT case studies held by the Higher Education and Research Group, Melbourne Australia.  

Indicative Assessment

  1. Quiz – conclusion of Day 1 (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Presentation in class in latter part of Day (30) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Individual Written assignment based on the EBT case in student’s own professional life (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.


Approximately 18 hours of direct contact and approximately 50 hours outside class.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Range of readings drawn from both the professional literature and scholarly research literature. This includes:


Barends, E and D.M Rousseau and R.B Briner Evidence Based Management: The Basic Principles, Center for Evidence based Management Amsterdam, 2014.


Assumed Knowledge

At least three years managerial experience,


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $2055
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $2940
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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