PP402      Half Unit
Quantitative Methods for Public Policy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Mark Schankerman


This course is compulsory on the Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.


This course has no pre-requisites.

Course content

The course will introduce several key principles and tools of quantitative and empirical evaluations which can be applied to policy-making. The emphasis is on the practical application of these skills and tools to real-life situations and policy-making interventions. Specifically, course content includes using randomised experiments to evaluate policy interventions including difference-in-differences regressions, regression discontinuity approaches and matching. In the final weeks the course gives students an overview of the key principles of cost-benefit analysis and how to apply this to real-world scenarios.


20 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars and 10 hours of help sessions in the MT.

Formative coursework

There will be weekly formative course work to give students the opportunity to develop fluency with the tools covered in the course.

Indicative reading

Joshua D. Angrist and Jom-Steffen Pischke, "Mastering Metrics";

James Stock & Mark Watson, "Introduction to Econometrics"

Jeffrey Wooldridge, "Introductory Econometrics".

The given texts are preparatory reading only. A full reading list will be provided at the start of the course.


Coursework (30%, 2000 words) and class participation (10%) in the MT.
Online assessment (60%) in the LT.

For the online assessment students will have a fixed window to access the assignment questions and to respond to them. No outside research will be required. Questions will be based on topics covered in lectures and seminars.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills