Module code: ECOM078

Module Overview

How do we enable 'evidence-based' policy? This module will explain various techniques that are commonly used to measure causal effects in microeconomics. The module will critically evaluate the potential of the various techniques and their actual application, equipping students with a toolkit for policy evaluation.

Module provider


Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 56

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 5

Guided Learning: 40

Captured Content: 27

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The Evaluation Problem. Randomised Control Trials. Regression. Matching. Instrumental Variables. Differences in Differences. Synthetic control models. Regression Discontinuity.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Written Report 20
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Individual Project 20
Examination Online Examination (120 min within a 4hr window) 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved the module learning outcomes. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • An initial written report, which builds students confidence in interpreting published empirical work

  • An individual project that enables students to apply their growing practical skills using suitable specialist software

  • An examination that provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of policy evaluation methods and their applications.

Feedback Individual feedback will be provided on students work during the workshops and when the report and individual project marks are released.

Module aims

  • Develop an understanding of the 'evaluation problem'
  • Introduce advanced key methods of policy evaluation and how they address the evaluation problem
  • Develop students' ability to understand and evaluate empirical strategies, giving them the skills needed to apply them in novel settings
  • Develop an understanding for the role of suitable evaluation methods in addressing quantitative applied microeconomic questions

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of any method of quantitative evaluation, and the role of the counterfactual CK
002 Display a comprehensive understanding of and assess critically policy evaluation techniques CK
003 Engage with empirical studies that are at the forefront of the literature on policy evaluation CKP
004 Identify appropriate evaluation methods in different contexts, carry out the corresponding estimation using a specialist software package and interpret the results obtained CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to enable students to achieve the module outcomes. There will be 22 hours of lectures and five hours with practical tutorials.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ECOM078

Other information

In line with the University's curriculum framework, the School of Economics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:


This module provides empirical skills, which are important skills in the labour market for graduate economists.

Resourcefulness and Resilience

The module develops students' capabilities to engage with the research literature and apply the skills and techniques in novel settings.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Economics (Policy Evaluation and Data Analysis) MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Economics (International Economics) MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.