Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201600411
Policy and Evaluation Research
Course infoSchedule
Course code201600411
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (3 (Bachelor Advanced))
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Sociologie;
Contact personOnderwijs Sociologie
dr. J.J. Mandemakers
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dr. A.E. Nivette
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Course contact
Onderwijs Sociologie
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J. Pach
Feedback and availability
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drs. S.B. Soeparman
Feedback and availability
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Teaching period
2  (13/11/2017 to 02/02/2018)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotB: B (TUE-morning, THU-afternoon)
Study mode
Enrolment periodfrom 29/05/2017 up to and including 25/06/2017
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
Course placement processniet van toepassing
Course goals
By the end of this course students will be able to:
  • Distinguish between major strands in evaluation research;
  • Reconstruct, interpret and ultimately evaluate concrete policies (programs);
  • Apply qualitative research methods, such as open ended interviews and the subsequent analysis of qualitative data;
  • Understand and apply the basic concepts of a sociological analysis of specific policy field;
  • Formulate coherent policy recommendations based on supporting evidence.

There is a growing need for the evaluation of public policy, related programs or interventions and underlying program theories.

In this course students will learn to evaluate public policy. The course is centered around contemporary public policy and social problems. The course consists of two parts. In the first part, students will become familiar with the most important theoretical perspectives, concepts and tools of sociological evaluation research. In the second part, student will put in practice what they learned in the first part, by doing an evaluation research for a municipality or another real commissioner, using interviews and mostly qualitative data analysis. This research results in a policy advice.

This course aims to contribute to achieving the following learning outcomes of the Bachelor's in Sociology:
1a           The most important social issues in contemporary Dutch society in an international comparative and historical perspective as well as how these differ from sociological questions.
1b           The main issues/topics in sociology.
1c           The most important theoretical traditions in sociology and content of important theories; knowledge of influential empirical findings and understanding of their relevance.
1d           Analyse social issues and ‘convert’ them into sociological issues, and categorise these sub-issues under overarching sociological issues.
1e           Derive hypotheses from existing sociological theories which offer an answer to the questions formulated or devise new theories which can provide an answer.
1f            Make judgements about the urgency of a social issue; determine whether a sociological issue is well formulated (for instance in relation to the social issue).
1g           Determine how strong a suggested solution/theory is in the light of logical consistency and/or empirical findings.
3a           Know the course of policy processes, the social significance of policy interventions and their implications.
3b           Ways in which theoretical knowledge can be used to propose policy interventions and the manner in which implemented policies can be explained and evaluated.
3c            Assess the feasibility of proposed solutions and evaluate existing policy in relation to the often conflicting visions of stakeholders.
3d           Assess the efficacy of proposed or implemented policy.
Academic skills:
4a           Possess general professional and academic proficiency in both Dutch and English.
4b           Reading texts: understanding and interpretation; differentiate between main and side issues.
4c           Ability to report in writing at the level of a starting academic professional in such a way that a general audience can understand the importance of what is written.
4d           Ability to present orally as well as debate, clearly formulate ideas and produce satisfactory reports.
4e           Ability to work and plan work independently.
4f            Ability to participate actively in group discussions, provide constructive criticism and cooperate in small groups.
4g           Ability to look up and select relevant information in the library and on the internet, and to utilise ICT facilities.
5a          Be aware of the content of the Dutch Sociological Association's (Nederlandse Sociologische Vereniging) code of conduct.
5b          Ability to apply this code of conduct in specific research situations.
5c           Ability to reflect on ethical aspects of sociological research and how to deal with them.
Entry requirements
Prerequisite knowledge
This course specifically builds on the course Sociale sturing van Nederland in the first year of the Sociology bachelor. However, finishing Sociale sturing is not a prerequisite for following this course. In general, you are expected to have a basic understanding of the social sciences, at the level of bachelor level 1 (e.g. micro-macro, mechanisms, formulating a research question).
Required materials
To be announced on Blackboard.
Recommended materials
See coursemanual in Blackboard.
Instructional formats

Field work


Review session


Contribution to group work
Active participation.

Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade5.5

Written exam and a policy paper. Both have to be sufficient (5.5 or higher). See course manual for more information.

Kies de Nederlandse taal