Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLHLTH 705 - Evaluation Research Methods

15 Points

Semester 1



Provides a comprehensive outline of the nature of programme evaluation in the health sector and an overview of a variety of approaches to programme evaluation and the appropriate use of research tools. Includes logic models, stakeholder analysis, the development of objectives, indicators, client surveys and interviews. Emphasis on mixed methods evaluation designs involving qualitative and quantitative data gathering.

Programme and course advice

This is a recommended course in the Public Health programme; Health Services Management and Health Services Research. It is often taken as a research course for the Postgraduate Diploma of Health Sciences in Alcohol and Drug Studies or a mental health diploma pathway in health sciences.

Course aims

Content outline

The course content will explore:

  • The nature of evaluation, as well as the design of formative, process and outcome evaluation studies.
  • Key evaluation theorists, theories and frameworks.
  • Ethical guidelines for evaluation research.
  • The role of key stakeholders in evaluation research.
  • The use of logic models to conceptualise programmes and plan evaluations.
  • Developing evaluation goals, objectives and questions.
  • Developing indicators of programme outputs and impacts.
  • Data gathering methods for evaluation, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches.
  • Drawing appropriate conclusions from quantitative and qualitative evaluation data.
  • Principles of economics evaluation in health.
  • The preparation and dissemination of evaluation reports and feedback for different audiences and purposes.

Goals of the course

By the end of the course students should have an understanding of:

  • The common types of evaluation.
  • The basic assumptions underpinning key evaluation theories.
  • Evaluation research designs.
  • Data collection methods.
  • Data analysis.
  • Writing evaluation proposals and reports.

Learning outcomes 

The students will also be expected to:

  1. Describe the common types of evaluations and characteristics of evaluation research methods used in health.
  2. Design and write evaluation research proposals.
  3. Be familiar with ethical principles and guidelines for evaluation research.
  4. Assess the trustworthiness of evaluation research data and reports.
  5. Be able to identify the key tasks involved in planning, managing and completing evaluation projects.

Learning and teaching

Campus days will include lectures, class discussions, small group exercises and audio-visual resources. Class size usually around 15-25 students. The course material will be available online to support engagement in discussions during the block teaching days.

Campus teaching dates

Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.


  • Assignment 1: 25%
  • Assignment 2: 25%
  • Assignment 3: 15%
  • Assignment 4: 35%

Learning resources 

There are no required texts. The following are highly recommended:

  • Brophy, S., Snooks, H. & Griffiths, L. (2008) Small-Scale Evaluation in Health: A Practical Guide. London: Sage Publications.
  • Davidson, E. Jane (2005). Evaluation Methodology Basics: The Nuts and Bolts of Sound Evaluation. London: Sage Publications.
  • Grembowski, D. (2001). The Practice of Health Program Evaluation. London: Sage Publications.
  • Lazenbatt, Anne (2002). Evaluation Handbook for Health Professionals. London: Routledge. (This is an online text available through the university library)
  • Owens J.M. (2006). Program Evaluation. Forms and Approaches. 3rd Ed. Allen & Erwin Australia.
  • Thomas, D. R. & Hodges, I. D. (2010). Designing and managing your research project: Core Skills for social and health research. London: Sage.
  • Thomas, D. R. & Hodges, I. (2006). Research proposals and projects in health and social sciences: Social and Community Health, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland.

Readings are located on the course library page, and additional resource documents are placed on the POPLHLTH 705 Canvas website.

Academic Coordinator

Course Administrator