Courses & seminarsMSc in Sys Rev for Public Policy and PracticeCourse mapResearch Engagement, Participation (MRS2)Research Engagement, Participation MRS2 online
Research Engagement, Participation and Impact - Online edition

What will I gain from taking this course online?

This online course, (previously called Participative research and policy) will give you greater flexibility in where and when you study. You will be taught by experienced researchers from the EPPI-Centre in London. See the main Research Engagement, Participation and Impact webpage for the course aims and content.

When will the course run next?

The course runs in the Autumn term of each year with a one week induction course. The induction introduces you to the course software and how to use it, to tutors and your fellow students, and to interacting in an online environment.

Course themes

1. Impact for whom and why?

  • Who are the different people who may use research?
  • What are their research needs, and how do needs and perspectives differ?
  • The nature of the demand, or lack of demand, for research evidence
  • Understanding the factors which influence research demand

2. Producing research with impact 

  • Who are the producers of research?
  • The nature of the research enterprise
  • Understanding the factors influencing evidence supply
  • The relationship between research users and the research production process

3. Enabling impact

  • Different strategies for enabling impact
  • Case study examples of UK and international efforts to enable research impact
  • Assessing strategies for enabling impact

How many hours will I need to study per week?

We estimate that you will need to study between 10-14 hours each week.

How will I study?

This online course will take place in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). When you register for the course, you will be given full access and information on how to get started. All students will need access, from the start of the course, to a copy of the SAGE 2017 textbook 'An introduction to systematic reviews'*. All other learning materials, activities and exchanges with your fellow students and tutor will take place within the VLE.

Every one or two weeks, you will cover a new ‘unit ’. Instructions on what to do, and by when, will be sent to you electronically. Over each unit , you will carry out a set of learning activities. You will be able to carry out these activities at your own pace and at times of your own choosing so long as you complete the specified tasks by the deadlines set. There are no set times to be online, although these may be organised if there is demand during the course.

Typical activities include:

  • Reading a journal article or book chapter and identifying key themes
  • Critically appraising reports of projects that have explored research-informed decision-making or the development of research-based knowledge
  • Drafting plans for your own evaluation work in this area
  • Drafting short summaries on a topic, sometimes on your own, sometimes with fellow students
  • Posting comments and observations on your own reading and learning and providing feedback to other students

What materials will I get?

All course materials (such as research articles, activity sheets or podcasts) will be available on Moodle or from open access websites. You will be able to download or stream these materials onto your computer. A small number of articles may be sent to you by post.

What support will I get throughout the course?

You will work closely throughout the course with highly trained, experienced tutors and administrators from the UCL Institute of Education. You will have access to a range of additional information and student support services from the UCL Institute of Education.


If you are taking this course for M level credits, your assessment will consist of one piece of work, an outline proposal of approximately 4,500 words for either:

  • supporting and evaluating research-informed decision-making by policy makers, practitioners and service users; or
  • supporting and evaluating policy maker, practitioner and service user involvement in the creation and development of research based knowledge.

Draft and final versions of the assignment will be due approximately one and two months respectively after the end of the last course unit. Exact submission dates are published each year in the MSc handbook. Your assignment can be submitted online via Moodle.


For advice on fees for the 2015/16 academic year, contact us at: The course will only run if there is a viable cohort of students. Click here for standard fees for the academic year 2015/16.

What are the entrance requirements?

Click here to see the academic, technical and language requirements for this course.

How do I book?

Contact us by email or telephone +44 (0)20 7612 6271. Please read our course fees and booking procedures.  


*An introduction to systematic reviews
Gough D, Oliver S, Thomas J
SAGE Publications Ltd

Students may wish to buy their own copy, borrow one through inter-library loan, or request that their library buys a copy. Read More / order your copy. This book contains required reading for the following courses:

  • Systematic reviews: diversity, design and debate
  • Research Engagement, Participation, and Impact
  • Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis 



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