Quantitative Methodology for Political Science - POLI8100

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module is designed around 12 lectures and 10 one-hour seminars for hands-on computer work. The course is aimed at introducing students to the fundamentals of quantitative methodology in political science (applicable to all social sciences). The course proceeds from the grounding theoretical issues of quantitative work, data manipulation, and formal analysis. It builds students' knowledge by developing the most common and – useful – quantitative methods in the discipline including: univariate, bivariate, and multivariate description and analysis. Finally, significant attention will be given to inferential statistics as it represents the most visible aspect of modern political science.


Contact hours

Private Study: 178
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 200


Required module for all students on PhD courses in the School of Politics and International Relations (in compliance with the requirements to provide advanced research training under the ESRC DTC) and an optional module for all other MA courses taught in the School of Politics and International Relations.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
• Essay (research ideas) 2500-3000 words, 60%
• Assignments, Moodle Quizzes 40%

Reassessment methods
• Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

The core competencies of students successfully completing this course will include:

1 Essential statistical literacy:
1.1 The ability to read, understand, and critically assess quantitative research in political science (including Comparative Behaviour, Conflict, and International Relations)
1.2 Assess research designs that incorporate quantitative methodologies, conceptualizations, and operationalizations common to political science
1.3 Discern appropriateness of applied statistical techniques to the level and type of data used in political science.
1.4 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.
1.5 Appraise the use of survey data (cross-sectional, panel, inter alia), cross-national and cross-regional data (indicators of political and economic performance), and conflict indicators (ethnic conflict, war, etc.…) used broadly in the comparative behaviour and international conflict fields.

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

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


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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