Postgraduate taught 

International & Comparative Education MSc

Advanced Policy Enquiry EDUC51024

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This is an advanced course for policy analysis in education and its role in decision making. The course is also designed to help students to identify their dissertation topic, research design and methods. The course provides students with the depth of understanding and comprehensive skill set needed to conduct policy enquiry and apply this to the development of their thesis proposal.


The course runs over 11 weeks; 10 x 2 hour sessions with one reading week.

Excluded Courses



Policy Enquiry and Decision Making EDUC5249


There are two parts to the summative assessment: the first is a 2,800 word assignment that will use advanced research methods for the analysis of data in relation to a specific policy idea or policy design. This will comprise 70 per cent of the final grade. The second part is a 1,200 word assignment in which students will set out the overall design of their policy enquiry for their thesis. This will comprise 30 per cent of the final grade.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ to develop the understanding required to select and apply diverse and appropriate methods of policy enquiry to the thesis proposal

■ to equip students with the skills of data collection (primary and secondary, qualitative and quantitative), analysis, interpretation and presentation needed for policy analysis and policy evaluation,

■ to provide experience in using analytical software packages for qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods of policy enquiry

■ to support the development of strategies for project management and research design for the thesis proposal.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Design and plan research projects for policy enquiry.

■ Conduct advanced analysis of qualitative and quantitative data for policy analysis and policy evaluation.

■ Critically review the evidence base for policy decisions.

■ Communicate research findings to a policy audience in an effective and rigorous manner.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.