Using Evidence

Subject PADM90008 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject will be delivered intensively from 9:00am - 5:00pm 24 - 26 October 2014
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Admission to the Master of Public Administration program and successful completion of the following subjects The World of Public Administration; and at least two of the following: The Nature of Governing, The Rule of Law, Managing Public Finances.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Previous study in public policy, political science, management, law, business, economics, international relations, non-profit management or cognate area.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Office of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts


Subject Overview:

Using Evidence is one of the core subjects in the Melbourne Master of Public Administration. The Melbourne MPA is an interdisciplinary, globally-focused degree program for managers that work within or with government. This subject is one of three professionally-oriented subjects and it builds on the World of Public Administration and the core discipline subjects to develop the professional skills of participants with a particular focus on using evidence in managerial practice.

This subject will explore the issues of evidence construction and use in practice, allowing participants to reflect on their professional experience and develop their ability to be ‘smart consumers’ of information in a professional setting. It will explore how evidence is created, by whom, and for what purpose, exposing participants to the ongoing debates regarding evidence-based policy-making, data-driven decision-making, and, more broadly, the creation of knowledge. It will place a particular emphasis on the complex relationship between scientific advancement and the challenges this poses to policy makers and public managers.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Understand the nature of evidence, its foundation, and how it is created;
  • Acquire knowledge of the social, theoretical, historical and disciplinary bases of evidence and how this impacts on decision making during the managerial, policy design and implementation phases;
  • Develop a deep understanding of the skills and capabilities required to meet contemporary management practice;
  • Appreciate how to apply new skills and capabilities in decision making to managerial practice.

Assessment Task 1: Practice application paper of 1000 words where students write up a practical issue related to key themes in the subject (20%) Due in the week beginning 13 October;

Assessment Task 2: Syndicate project (group presentation and paper):

  • Group presentation (20%) scheudled during 24-26 October
  • Group paper of 1500 words exploring key aspecta of the group presentation (20%) due in the week beginning 3 November

Assessment Task 3: Professional reflection paper of 2500 words where students apply key concepts from the course to the practical issue from assessment task 1 (40%) due in the week beginning 17 November

Hurdle Requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, seminar attendance is compulsory on all 3 days. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

All readings will be provided via the LMS

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have:

  • A sound understanding of the principles of evidence and evidence-based decision-making, and their foundations;
  • A high-level ability to combine theory and practice in order to address managerial challenges, and to do so in response to the meaningful use of evidence;
  • A high-level ability to combine professional skills with discipline-based expertise, in particular in relation to the use of evidence;
  • A highly-developed capacity to adapt to new situations and reflect upon professional practice, using evidence-based policy-making and data-driven decision-making in order to meet managerial challenges;
  • Flexible communication skills with a highly-attuned sensitivity to a diverse audience, and to the issues specific to cross-cultural communication.
Related Course(s): Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration (Enhanced)

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