Political Research and Analysis - POLI6870

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 5 30 (15) Raluca Popp checkmark-circle


The study of social and political phenomena is a vast endeavour and this class will serve as an introduction to methods for social science research. It provides a basic, non-technical introduction to the use of quantitative methods in the political sciences for students from a variety of educational backgrounds (including those with very limited knowledge of mathematical terminology and notation). The progression of this course will address scientific research design and methodology and consider many examples of such research In short, it seeks to enable students to read, interpret, and critically assess arguments drawing on quantitative methods in Politics and International Relations. Students with some prior exposure to quantitative methods will have the opportunity to improve their command of statistical software as well as apply their general statistical skills to data sets commonly found in policy and academic work.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 256
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Weekly Assignments x 10 (50%)
Project 3,000 words (50%)

Reassessment: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Pollock, Philip H. 2012. The Essentials of Political Analysis, 5th ed, CQ Press/Sage

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
understand the importance of quantitative research methods for the cumulative growth of knowledge in the political and social sciences;
understand the basic logic of the empirical research process,
explain key methodological and statistical concepts relevant to quantitative data analysis,
critically evaluate arguments supported by quantitative work,
select and evaluate statistical tests appropriate to explore basic research questions in the fields of politics and international relations,
demonstrate a basic ability to enter, code, manipulate, and examine data sets with SPSS for Windows specialist statistical software,
formulate and test simple hypotheses using bivariate and multivariate designs.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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