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Systematic Reviews for Public Policy and Practice - MSc

Course Description

The Systematic Reviews for Public Policy and Practice MSc equips students to work with the increasing number of national and international organisations committed to evidence-informed policy and practice. Students learn alongside early career and experienced researchers, policymakers and practitioners from a diverse set of policy sectors and disciplines.

Degree information

The programme will enable you to plan and appraise a systematic review of research in any policy area, to develop a critical appreciation of the full diversity of review approaches and types of research use, and equip you with understanding and skills to help ensure perspectives from the public, practitioners, policymakers and researchers are all considered in research and policy development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Systematic Reviews: Diversity, Design and Debate
-Research Engagement, Participation and Impact
-Social Theory

Optional modules - students choose an optional module from across the UCL Institute of Education's Master's-level offering, including the following:
-Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis
-Impact Evaluation Methods
-Understanding Research
-Promoting Health and Wellbeing: Planning, Practice and Participation
-Social Policy: Theory, Practice and Research
-Exploring Educational Policy
-Education and Development in Asia
-Planning for Education and Development
-Gender, Education and Development
-Education and International Development: concepts, theories and issues
-Principles, Frameworks and Context of Educational Evaluation and Inspection
-Evaluation and Inspection for Educational Improvement

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered via online learning or mixed mode (with face-to-face seminars or workshops with online learning). It is assessed by coursework assignments and a 20,000-word dissertation.


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas, for example one is a project director in mobile technology for learning, while another is a social research manager advising national government. Another graduate works as a senior editor of systematic research reviews.

Students completing the programme are equipped with enhanced critical thinking skills and, in particular, skills for research design and appraisal, spanning a full range of research purposes and problems.

Why study this degree at UCL?

You will learn from research-active tutors based at the IOE’s EPPI-Centre, which is recognised worldwide for its development of methods for diverse kinds of systematic review, for the production of policy-relevant research, and for research into perspectives and participation. The programme is unique in the way that students study systematic reviews of both qualitative and quantitative data, and a full range of review designs.

The programme can be taken entirely at a distance, or with some face-to-face learning, and so attracts students from across the globe, many of whom are already working for research-focused or policy-making organisations.

Visit the Systematic Reviews for Public Policy and Practice - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required.

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