• 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
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Bjoern Dressel
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course is available for on-campus & remote (online) learning. All students participate in interactive, real-time classes.

In this course students examine the role of evidence, knowledge production and politics in policy analysis. Particular emphasis is placed on equipping students with skills to critically evaluate common techniques used for policy analysis, such as modelling, impact evaluation and cost benefit analysis. Students begin with an overview of the logic and rationale for commonly used techniques, before moving on to consider the practical, political and epistemic considerations necessary to effectively contextualize these (and similar) techniques. Through applied exercises students will gain skills in interpreting and evaluating the appropriateness and applicability of evidence in policy analysis.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of key terms and concepts associated with evidence and policy analysis.
  2. Appraise the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to generate policy-relevant evidence.
  3. Critically evaluate the appropriateness of using different types of evidentiary approaches in policy analysis.
  4. Contribute to informed discussions on evidence based policy making, and the politics of knowledge production and use.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to think independently and communicate persuasively and consider a range of scholarly positions in drawing conclusions.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Policy analysis practice reflection (1000 words) (20) [LO 1,4,5]
  2. Report evaluating potential forms of evidence (1500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Take-home exam (2000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in the course you must be currently enrolled in the Executive Master of Public Policy, or the Master of Public Policy, or the Master of Public Administration.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Argyrous G (ed) (2009) Evidence for policy and decision-making: a practical guide, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.

Cairney P (2016) The politics of evidence-based policy making, Palgrave MacMillan, London.

Meltzer R and Schwartz A (2019) Policy analysis as problem solving: a flexible and evidence-based framework, Routledge, New York.

Moran M, Rein M and Goodin RE (eds) (2006) The Oxford handbook of public policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Parkhurst J (2016) The politics of evidence: from evidence-based policy to the good governance of evidence, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Radin BA (2019) Policy analysis in the twenty-first century: complexity, conflict and cases, Routledge, New York, NY.

Assumed Knowledge

POGO8401 Foundations in Public Policy

POGO8096 Policy Research


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:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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
On Campus
3969 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View
3970 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 Online View

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