Department of Political Science


POLS0008 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods - 1st Year BSc PPE Q-Step students and 2nd Year BSc PPE (mixed methods) students only

Course Code: POLS0008

Course Tutor: Dr Stephen Jivraj (Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care) & Dr James Cheshire (Department of Geography)

Length: One Term (Spring Term)

Teaching: 30 contact hours

Assessment: One 3000 word essay (100%)

Module Level: L5 (Intermediate)

Credits: 15 credits/4 US Credits/7.5 ECTS Credits

About this course 

This module is a first year core module for students enrolled on Q-Step programmes and a second year methods option in BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics, it cannot be taken by other students.

This module introduces students to quantitative methods in the social sciences. It assumes no knowledge of quantitative methods or statistical software. The course caters for students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and adopts a practical hands-on approach to learning, with tutor supported computer tutorials. The course covers descriptive statistics (central tendency and variation), data visualisation, data access, probability, sampling, hypothesis testing, inferential statistics and ends with an introduction to simple linear regression. Students will be introduced to the R statistical software and work with real-world data.

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

· identify and understand levels of measurement

· examine and visualise data using descriptive statistics

· use basic commands in R

· understand probability and statistical inference

· conduct basic statistical tests

· run and interpret simple linear regression