Quantitative Methodology for Political Science - POLI8100

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Robert De Vries checkmark-circle


This course is designed for graduate students in Political Science and will serve as an introduction to quantitative methods for social science research. Given that a great deal of the research in Political Science is conducted in the language of quantitative methodology, students will learn the use of quantitative research methods as a tool to further their research and participation in social scientific debates. Students can further expect to be introduced to not only the means for conducting rigorous, empirical, and quantitative research in social science fields but also how this methodology adheres to the scientific accumulation of knowledge about these phenomena. The course is intended to develop core competencies in quantitative research. These competencies include methodological literacy (the ability to read, understand, and critically assess quantitative research); statistical abilities (the ability to determine, apply, and use the appropriate statistical techniques to inform and/or support an argument as well as understand the limitations of statistical techniques); and research skills (the ability to use and present quantitative methodology to address a research question).


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200

Method of assessment

Essay (research ideas) 2500-3000 words, 50%
Assignments, Moodle Quizzes 40%
Lecture and Seminar participation, 10%

Indicative reading

Pollock, P.H. (2012) The Essentials of Political Analysis, 4th or 5th ed. CQ Press:Thousand Oaks CA.
de Vries, R. (2018). Critical Statistics: Seeing Beyond the Headlines. Red Globe Press: London.
Foster, L., Diamond, I., & Jefferies. (2014). Beginning Statistics: An introduction for social scientists. SAGE: London.
Treiman, D. (2009) Quantitative data analysis: Doing social research to test ideas. Jossey-Bass:San Francisco, CA

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1.Essential Statistical Literacy:
Read, understand, and critically assess quantitative research in political science(including Comparative Behaviour, Conflict, and International Relations).
Assess research designs that incorporate quantitative methodologies, conceptualizations, and operationalizations common to political science.
Discern appropriateness of applied statistical techniques to the level and type of data used in political science.
Develop an understanding of strengths and weaknesses of the most common as well as prevailing types of models and statistical methods specific to political science.
Appraise the use of survey data, cross-national and cross-regional data, and conflict indicators used broadly in the comparative behaviour and international conflict fields.

2. Statistical Abilities:
To determine and apply statistical techniques appropriate to the data, question, and theory under investigation.
Use statistical techniques to test an argument/hypothesis of a political phenomenon.
To understand the limitations of statistical techniques for research in political science.
Generate descriptive and inferential statistics using statistical software.
Interpret and analyze computer generated statistical output.

3. Research Skills:
Rigorously employ quantitative methodology to address research questions in political science.
Present quantitative research in a clear, informative, and effective manner.
Evaluate other disciplinary quantitative research critically.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.