Summer Course in Project, Programme and Policy Evaluation


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Due to the situation surrounding Covid-19, we are currently looking into alternative options for teaching our programme this year. Full details will be announced soon, but in the meantime please get in touch with any questions you may have.

Evaluations play an increasingly important role in the policy process. Stakeholders, including the public in general, hold expectations that governments demonstrate the results and effects of public interventions and their capacity to deliver value-for-money services. Nowadays, evaluations are often made for projects and programmes funded by super-national organisations, international organizations and donor institutions. Evaluations are also increasingly required by governments and audit institutions in many countries.

Developing the knowledge and skills to design, execute and appraise evaluations is fundamental for everyone who works in or with the government nowadays. Managers who are responsible for a project or a programme, elected civil servants who are held accountable for public policies, and auditors who review and appraise the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending are expected to understand or carry out evaluations on their own.

This course will provide the theoretical and methodological foundations for conducting evaluations. Students will learn how to evaluate projects, programmes and policies from the very design until the reporting and dissemination stages. The course will make use of several cases and examples of evaluations from various countries and regions of the world.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand what evaluation is and its role in the policy process
  • Explain how evaluations are designed, executed and appraised
  • Design evaluations and select appropriate methods to implement them
  • Carry out data collection and analysis for doing evaluations
  • Report and disseminate evaluations to stakeholders


This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits are equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.

Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further information and assistance, please contact

Key Facts

  • Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
  • Start of programme: 29 June – 17 July 2020
  • Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry Requirements

You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Programme Schedule

Week 1: Aims, functions and context of evaluations

  • History, types and uses of evaluations
  • Conceptual resources for evaluation: evaluation framework, programme theory and theory of change
  • The importance of the context and of the stakeholders

Week 2: Conducting evaluations

  • The design of an evaluation project
  • Qualitative methods, quantitative methods and mixed methods
  • Data collection and analysis

Week 3: The use of evaluations

  • Evaluations in the policy process
  • Reporting and disseminating evaluations
  • Being an evaluator

Indicative Reading Materials:

  • Athey S, and G W Imbens (2017) ‘The state of applied econometrics: Causality and policy evaluation’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 3-32.
  • Bamberger M, J Rugh and L Mabry (2012) RealWorld Evaluation: Working Under Budget, Time, Data, and Political Constraints, Second edition, London: Sage
  • Clifton J and D Diaz-Fuentes (2010) ‘Evaluating EU policies on public services: A citizens’ perspective’, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 81(2) 281–311
  • Flynn, N. and Asquer, A. (2017), Public Sector Management, 7th edition. London: SAGE
  • Hogwood B W and L A Gunn (1984) Policy analysis for the real world, Oxford UK: Oxford University Press
  • Nigel L and L Harrington (2012) ‘The challenges to effective outcome evaluation of a national, multi-agency initiative: the experience of Sure Start’, Evaluation, 18:93.
  • Osman F A (2008) ‘Health policy, programmes and system in Bangladesh: achievements and challenges’, South Asian Survey, 15(2) 263–88
  • van Oudenhoven N and R Wazir (2003) ‘Replicating social programmes: approaches, strategies and conceptual issues’ UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST) Discussion paper 18:
  • Palfrey C, P Thomas and C Phillips (2012) Evaluation for the real world, Bristol UK: The Policy Press.
  • Roche C and L Kelly (2012) ‘The evaluation of politics and the politics of evaluation’, Birmingham University UK: Developmental Leadership Programme Background Paper No 11:
  • Staffan B, E Vedung and CG Larsson (2013) ‘A Triangulation approach to impact evaluation‘, Evaluation 19: 56.

Teaching & Learning

Course Convenor:

Dr Alberto Asquer

Contact Hours:

50 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core Hours:

Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).


Assessment will be in the form of a group presentation (30%) and a 2,500-word essay (70%) to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.

If you have opted to study for credit, you will be required to complete all course assessments. Should you complete the assessments with success, you will receive a transcript confirming your marks and credits. If you have not chosen to study for credit, you will be exempt from any course assignments and not receive a mark.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

  • Credit assessed: £1,750
  • Non-assessed: £1,600

Application Fee

  • A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


  • 10% discount if you apply by 31st March
  • 10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks
  • 15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
  • 20% discount for our partner institutions
  • Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.


Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2020

  • The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.
  • The scholarships will cover the tuition-fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2020.
  • Application Deadline: 2020-03-02 00:00


Entry Requirements

In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in the English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
  • TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with a minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with a minimum 20 in all skills.
  • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
  • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help.

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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