Not available in 2023/24
EU490      Half Unit
Evidence and Analysis in Policy-Making

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Miguel Pereira


This course is compulsory on the MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi) and MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Fudan) and MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to collect, analyse, and communicate evidence in order to evaluate policies and interventions by international organisations, the European Union or national and local governments, as well as to explore and analyse voters’ responses to such interventions. Students become familiar with research methods that will allow them to critically appraise policy interventions from the decision-making to the implementation stage as well as with the practical skills to communicate their findings professionally and effectively. The course starts by familiarising students with the principles of social science research methods and causal inference. It then covers applied policy analysis, drawing on observational and experimental approaches to evidence and discussing a policy’s effectiveness. For the final project, students are expected to demonstrate conceptual understanding and practical knowledge of the methods covered in the course.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Autumn Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Autumn Term.

Formative coursework

One formative assessment (1,000 words or equivalent worksheet/ problem set) to demonstrate conceptual understanding and practical application of a method of analysis.

Indicative reading

  • Abma, T.A. (2006). The social relations of evaluation. In Shaw, I., Greene, J., & Mark, M. (Eds.) (2006). The SAGE Handbook of evaluation. Sage: London.
  • Chalmers, A. F. (1982). What is this thing called science? (2nd ed.) Open University Press.
  • Dunning, T. (2012). Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences – A Design-Based Approach. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Gerring, J. (2007). Case Study Research: Principles And Practices. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Gilbert, N. (2008). Researching Social Life. London: Sage.
  • Groves, R.M., F.J. Fowler, M.P. Couper, J.M. Lepkowski, E. Singer, and R. Tourangeau (2009) Survey Methodology, 2nd Edition. New York: Wiley and Sons
  • Hancké, B. (2009). Intelligent research design: a guide for beginning researchers in the social sciences. Oxford University Press.
  • Kellstedt, Paul M. and Guy D. Whitten. (2008) The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. Cambridge University Press.
  • King, G., Keohane, R. O., & Verba, S. (1994). Designing social inquiry: Scientific inference in qualitative research. Princeton university press.
  • Llaudet, E., & Imai, K. (2022). Data Analysis for Social Science: A Friendly and Practical Introduction. Princeton University Press.
  • Versluis, E, Van Keulen, M. and Stephenson, P. (2011). Analyzing the European Policy Process. London: Palgrave.


Project (100%, 5000 words) in the WT.

The summative assessment requires students to engage critically with the conceptual framework introduced in the course and demonstrate a good practical knowledge of the statistical software studied.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 59

Average class size 2022/23: 15

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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