Evidence in Public Policy

Do you want to see a world better led, better served and better governed?

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that governments and public bodies worldwide use objective evidence to inform policy decisions. This online course will teach you to put the science of evaluating policy into practice – ensuring that the policy you are involved in is built on solid foundations.

Evidence in Public Policy is certified by CPD UK’s (Continuing Professional Development) Certification Service.

Find out how you could complement the skills built on this course with those developed on another. Discover our government and public policy multi-course pathway and discounts.


8 weeks (3-5 hours of study per week recommended)


May, August, October 2024

Next start date:

4 May 2024 (deadline 12pm (GMT) on 3 May)


£1740 (inclusive of VAT)*

*Discounts are available to alumni, those working in the public sector and certain geographical regions. Register your interest to learn more.




Certificate of completion

CPD logo that reads: CPD CERTIFIED - The CPD Certification Service


This distance learning course is designed for those who need to be able to evaluate the impact of policies. You should consider this course if:

  • you are an early-to-mid-career civil servant who wants to know more about the benefits of, and how to apply, statistics as evidence when evaluating the impact of policy in your community, region or country;
  • you are a civil servant looking to specialise in evidence and statistics;
  • you are an experienced professional in an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisations) or international organisation who aspires to better decision-making in government and public policy;
  • you are running for public office or are already in office anywhere in the world; this course could help the development of your public policy planning.
  • There are no specific entry requirements for this course. However, please be aware that it is a master’s level course, so will take a certain level of commitment. Learners are expected to dedicate 3-5 hours a week to their studies, with all activities and tasks taking place online.

About the course

Our Evidence in Public Policy online programme is an intensive eight-week course that will teach you how successful evidence based policy is implemented and evaluated. It will give you the unique opportunity to hone the critical skills needed to design and implement policies informed by facts rather than opinion or instinct.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to evaluate the impact and implementation of policies within the context of your own role, an ability which will have immediate benefits to your career.

Watch the one-minute video below for an overview of the course.

“The Evidence in Public Policy course, I feel, is essential learning for all policy professionals, analysts, operational delivery professions, project managers and the like in public service or third sector roles that make policy decisions based on evidence.”

Melieha Long, Senior Strategist and Policy Coordinator at the Scotland Office of the UK Government.


Course outcomes

Throughout this course, you will learn how to use evidence to both develop new policies and evaluate the impact(s) of existing ones, ensuring that the policymaking you are involved in is solid and reliable. You will also receive a certificate to support your career progression. See our full learning outcomes section for more detailed information.

This programme is also certified by CPD UK. Learners will be able to request their CPD certificate after successfully finishing the course, using their certificate of completion as proof of eligibility. The course has an estimated 40 hours of learning, equating to 40 CPD points.


Upon completion, you will receive a certificate to support your career progression. This programme is also certified by CPD UK. Learners will be able to request their CPD certificate after successfully finishing the course, using their certificate of completion as proof of eligibility. The course has an estimated 40 hours of learning, equating to 40 CPD points.

Note, the onus is on students to request these CPD certificates at the end of their studies. The University and its partners accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

Throughout this course, you will learn:

  • how to use evidence to evaluate the impact(s) of policy;
  • how to apply evidence to policy decisions;
  • how policymakers gather and generate evidence in practice;
  • about the demand for evidence-based policy evaluation and why it should be a greater priority in public policy organisations, globally.

“Take the opportunity [and do this course]. Do not think twice about it. The online course is assuredly packed with both the fundamental knowledge you need to learn, and some particular modules that will enhance your understanding of your chosen subject compared to others who have not taken your course.”

Robert Dominic C. Echiver, lawyer and Executive Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Internal Audit, Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines


You will study eight modules over the course of eight weeks. It is a collaborative learning process, week-by-week, so you will have ample opportunity to discuss key policy topics with your peers and a course Facilitator.

Activities will include set readings, reflection exercises, multiple-choice questions and discussion forums. Your Facilitator will guide you through these activities and provide feedback at each stage. Not all tasks will be graded but you will need to participate in each to successfully complete the course and qualify for your certificate.

The final assessment, completed in module eight, will be your main summative assignment. It will be marked by your Facilitator and will be worth 50% of your final grade.

  • Fees and Funding

    The total cost of this short course is £1,740 (inclusive of VAT), with discounts available to Oxford University alumni, those working in a public sector role (evidence is required) and those who choose to study more than one of our online courses (our multi-course pathway).

    It is possible to pay your fees in two instalments, laying down a deposit (and reserving a space) before settling the final balance and securing your place on the course ahead of its start.

    For more information about our deposit scheme or discounts you may be entitled to, please feel free to email us.

    Considering asking your employer to fund your studies? Read our blog on the best way to approach them for sponsorship.

  • Learning experience

    In addition to learning from our world-leading academics, you will also benefit from a course Facilitator. Coming from a professional cyber security background, they will provide support throughout your learning journey, be present during weekly discussions and offer guidance and feedback on tasks and assessments.

    This online course will bring theory to life, using practical examples and activities that you can apply to your own role. These may include a combination of:

    • interactive simulations;
    • knowledge checks;
    • case studies;
    • discussion forums;
    • practical exercises.

    We’ve welcomed students from various backgrounds and all over the world onto our Evidence in Public Policy course. Find out more about some of their experiences learning with us.

  • Live sessions with course experts

    During the programme, you will have the opportunity to attend live sessions with your Facilitator and fellow students. All sessions are optional. If you cannot attend, you will have full access to recordings after each one.

    Week one: welcome and introductions

    This session is a chance to meet your Facilitator and introduce yourself to your peers. The Facilitator will give you an overview of the course, and you will have the chance to ask any questions and to have an open discussion with other learners.

    Week five: Q&A and final assessment preparation

    At this stage in the course, it is a good time to hear reflections and general feedback from your Facilitator on any common misunderstanding or themes identified in the discussions and assessments. You will be able to ask your questions and engage in an open discussion with your peers. There is also the opportunity to look ahead and receive feedforward before your final assessment.


Frequently asked questions

What are the entry requirements for Oxford's Evidence in Public Policy course?

“This is a great opportunity to delve into specific topics of relevance to your career and/or interest in an environment that is self-paced. It also enables one to develop, gain knowledge, be challenged, and enhance or build new skills in a premier institution with a renowned organisation.”

Dr Roni Ajao, Executive Director of a public sector consultancy in the UK

Enrol on the course today.

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