Courses & seminarsShort courses
Short courses

We offer the following stand-alone courses. They are available in a range of online and workshop-based formats. Click on a course title to find out more:



Social Policy: Theory, Practice and Research (dates)

This course will help you develop a critical understanding of competing theoretical and conceptual frameworks within social policy, through analysis of policy-making cases in the UK and other countries. It will provide you with an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of using research and analysis to inform social policy choices and decisions. 

Systematic reviews: diversity, design and debate (dates)

This course will enable you to plan and appraise systematic reviews on complex topics. On successful completion you will be familiar with the purposes, designs, and strengths and weaknesses of different systematic review approaches and have a critical appreciation of evidence-informed policy and practice.

Research Engagement, Participation and Impact (dates)

This course will enable you to involve policy makers, practitioners and service users in doing and using research. You will critically engage with the latest theories and debates about the relevance and application of research findings for policy, practice and personal decisions.

Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis (dates)

This course will equip you with the skills and understanding to undertake a range of quantitative, qualitative or mixed-method syntheses and use judgments about quality in a systematic review. On successful completion, you will be familiar with the aims and rationale for different methods of critical appraisal and research synthesis.

Service and programme evaluation: a practical workshop for managers and commissioners

Many organisations carry out service evaluations to investigate how well current services or initiatives are working. Our experience suggests that many service evaluations are of poorer quality because they are often not underpinned by theory, have unclear hypotheses or research questions, have unrealistic expectations about what some evaluations can tell us, or have not fully considered the cost and resource implications of evaluation and data collection decisions. This course will cover these issues and help participants consider them in relation to their own service or programme evaluations, including developing an evaluation proposal. This course will support the participants in assessing whether the skills and resources are available in-house to conduct the evaluation, and what they should look for in an evaluator if they decide to commission the evaluation to an external provider.



Students can take any of the above courses as short courses, or can apply to take Systematic Reviews: diversity, design and debate; Research Engagement, Participation, and Impact; and Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis for credits at MSc level, as part of our MSc in Systematic Reviews for Public Policy and Practice or MSc Social Policy and Social Research. We also offer other shorter courses, including those tailored to the needs of your institution. Click here if you are interested in the option of gaining MSc credits for your study or if you are interested in a bespoke course.

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