Top 10 Masters in Monitoring and Evaluation

The field of Monitoring and Evaluation is an exciting industry; one which is growing fast. And with this, so is the demand for established and highly skilled evaluation practitioners. Although the pool of specialists in the field is bigger than ever, formal programmes for Monitoring and Evaluation are still relatively new. M&E is becoming fundamental to the broader study of social science, particularly with so many areas of application of these analytical skills. As such a number of broader masters programmes include M&E as an integral part. There are, however, also a number of M&E specific courses, if your aim is to get to grips with the deep theory to specialise your career, and apply your skills and knowledge across a range of contexts. Whatever your preference, this list of Masters programmes for M&E – ranging from Innovation and Data Science, to Public Policy and Public Health – is sure to guide you to your ideal course of study.

MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Intervention: Oxford University

Evidence-based practice, particularly in the context of development, is coming increasingly into public sector and policy dialogue. With increasing fiscal pressure, and the need to account for a range of social and ecological effects of any progress, using data to develop a base of evidence is critical, and knowing how to use this information as proof, or evidence is key. This Masters programme, situated within the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, will equip participants with the skills to know which research methods are best drawn on for specific tasks, or development focus areas. At the same time, this programme will develop analytic and problem-solving skills. Although focused on evaluation of policy, the skillset is also applicable to a range of social interventions.

MSt in Social Innovation – Judge Business School: Cambridge

As development moves away from aid, philanthropy and welfare, and moves toward Social Impact with innovative financing models, so too is implementation moving away from traditional NGO-based work, towards areas of social innovation and enterprise. This Masters programme will equip participants with all the skills to undertake measured, strategic innovation. For people seeking a cutting-edge programme, which focuses on strategic problem solving, this is the perfect choice. This might be less about measuring increments, and more about changing the game, but either way, the Judge Business School is an excellent choice for upskilling in line with the most exciting edges of a study of strategy.

MSc Impact Evaluation for International Development: University of East Anglia

This is an evaluation specific Masters programme which enables participants to combine the theoretical and practical aspects of M&E. The programme combines important quantitative and qualitative analytics for a holistic experience of the field. The School of International Development is universally recognised, and holds an excellent reputation for research in the field of international development. The programme includes a range of choices to further specialise your study, and is sure to place participants in a league of their own when it comes to specialised areas of M&E, and its application.

Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship: London School of Economics

This programme is well suited to professionals from all backgrounds; public, private or civil society. This Masters programme, offered as an alternative to the conventional MBA, focuses on areas of social impact, and the material is applied to social entrepreneurship, as well as to creating social impact within existing firms. The programme takes participants through a reflective learning experience, as they look to redefine existing business best-practice, with a renewed social focus. Evaluation practice is key to this creative new Masters stream, at an institution well known for its contemporary thought leadership.

Master of Development Practice: University of California Berkeley

Another excellent, broad-based study option is Berkeley’s Masters in Development Practice (MDP). The first year of the MDP programme covers a range of subject areas including key subjects in Economics, and on decision making and leadership. The former is important for understanding social systems from a quantitative perspective, and the latter enables participants to understand how to use quantitative tools to measure impact. This is an excellent choice if you are interested in the more rigorous approaches to evaluation, rooted in deep Economic and Social theory, but do not have much exposure to statistical methods. This programme will enable participants to understand how to plan and design evaluations alongside programme design for maximum social impact. This programme will not only enable participants to meaningfully monitor and evaluate, but will also train them in how to design and implement programmes and policy to be most impactful in solving the major challenges the world is facing. This broad curriculum also covers subjects around science, technology and public health for a really thorough application of planning, monitoring and evaluation methods.

Master of Advanced Studies in Evaluation: University of Bern

This is a highly advanced and theoretical offering, specialising in the study of evaluation in a social science research position. The programme is well suited to people working in management positions, already within evaluation practice, and will surely deepen and strengthen their craft and leadership within the profession. The curriculum focuses on M&E in the context of organisational systems, and makes important conceptual linkages between evaluation practice and the systems in which these might be implemented. The modules include “Organisational and system advice in connection with evaluation” and “Meta-evaluation and evaluation research”, and the more practical modules focus on the how-to of evaluation from the perspective of managing human and material resources.

Masters Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis or Data Science: GSE Barcelona

Whether your preference is in evaluating policy, or perhaps in building models for data-driven practice GSE Barcelona has a range of appropriate offerings to drive your career in M&E forward.  The Public Policy specialisation is really all about impact, and about understanding how and why policies are designed, and most importantly, equips participants with the skills to measure if these are working or not. This is an important aspect of social systems analytics, of which M&E is the most critical part. But if you are looking for a stream with more innovative applications, something that can potentially be applied to smaller systems, new systems, or measuring the potential of start-ups, and particularly if the rigour of data appeals, then why not consider the Master in Data Science. This programme will enable the application of critical skills which can be applied in the fields of science, business and social systems. This stream includes a focus on modelling, to make the critical linkages between data and the reality it is meant to represent, before equipping participants with the skills to compute, measure, evaluate and infer.

Masters of Philosophy in Programme Evaluation: University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is an internationally recognised university, well positioned for the study of development, monitoring and evaluation as it is based in South Africa. This programme, focusing specifically on programme evaluation, aims to equip participants with the necessary theory and practice to meaningfully improve the quality of socially oriented programmes, projects and policies. Given the context of this university, this specialisation focuses on aspects such as the accountability of policy makers, and the programme is a broad-based, interdisciplinary course, well positioned within the established Institute for Monitoring and Evaluation.

Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation: American University

With the rise in the demand for evaluation practitioners, this degree is focused on equipping practitioners to be “workforce-ready”. This fully online course offers the ‘Professional Studies Experience’ which focuses on developing modes of delivery tailored for professionals either looking to deepen their work within in a  specific industry, or to make their work applicable across a broader range of industries and focus areas. This innovative approach to delivering the course is what makes this such an exciting option, with the opportunity to really design your learning experience in a way to optimally enrich the work you do. This course includes the study of data-driven decision making, and its rising significance in policy and practice, and will then enable participants with the theory as well as a practical skillset to build programmatic linkages from conceptualisation through to evaluation of projects.

Master of Evaluation: University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Program Evaluation delivers this Masters degree in programme evaluation. This comprehensive course takes participants through the development project lifecycle, equipping them with a full suite of skills to gather, and define evidence, as well as to take a supportive approach to community development, to drive change, and to lead organisations to more meaningful work. This course has a substantial practical element to bring the best of theory and practice into one meaningful learning experience, resulting in a readiness to grow evaluation practice in any context.