Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code POLI510
Coordinator Dr NDM Lees
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To introduce students to core statistical concepts and considerations in quantitative social science;

To enable students to generate descriptive statistics from a dataset;

To familiarise students with current quantitative research in areas such as public opinion, comparative government, international relations and security studies;

To enable students to read and understand statistical analysis in journal articles and reports;

To give students experience using contemporary software for statistical analysis;

To enable students to conduct their own multiple regression analysis, testing one or more hypotheses about world politics.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Knowledge of core statistical concepts and considerations in quantitative social science.

(LO2) Knowledge of the functionality of contemporary statistical software and of the basics of statistical programming.

(LO3) Knowledge of current data projects in the study of world politics, as well the ability to find quantitative data about political issues.

(LO4) Knowledge of how the analysis of data contributes to debates in the study of politics and international relations and the ability to research these debates.

(LO5) Knowledge of the current quantitative evidence about key issues in world politics and the ability to evaluate this evidence.

(S1) Interpreting quantitative data.

(S2) Communicating the findings of quantitative research.

(S3) Using statistical software.

(S4) Researching a topic in the quantitative study of world politics.

(S5) Conducting independent statistical analysis of data and testing hypotheses.



Substantively, students will encounter research on topics such as voting patterns in the United Nations, economic inequality, social movements, women’s rights, public opinion about foreign policy, membership of international organisations, political transitions, civil wars, peace agreements, international crises, territorial disputes and interstate wars.

Students will replicate recent research on some of these topics and become familiar with some of the main data gathering projects in the field of political science.

Methodologically the module will introduce students to univariate descriptive statistics, probability and sampling, classical tests of hypotheses, bivariate statistics and regression, multiple regression, link functions including ordinary least squares and logistic regression, model building and diagnostics. Other topics may be covered based on relevance to student projects.

Indicative reading list:
Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan (2012) Wh y Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict
Valerie Hudson, Donna Lee Bowen, and Perpetua Lynne Nielsen (2020) The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Paul F Diehl and James D Morrow (2012) Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell and John Vasquez (2013) Conflict, War, and Peace: An Introduction to Scientific Research
Seung-Whan Choi (2016) New Explorations into International Relations: Democracy, Foreign Investment, Terrorism, and Conflict
John Vasquez (2009) The War Puzzle Revisited
Erik Voeten (2021) Ideology and International Institutions
Barry C Edwards and Philip H Pollock (2017) An R Companion to Political Analysis
Francisco Urdinez and Andres Cruz (2020) R for Political Data Science: A Practical Guide

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Computer Lab:
Teaching will be delivered through an extended weekly lab session. The instructor will provide an overview of some key statistical topics and introduce a set of techniques to conduct analysis using statistical software. Students will work through a set of exercises, conducting their own statistical analysis, under the guidance of the instructor.
NB: The lab sessions for the module will follow directly from the quantitative methods component for the existing module Research Methods in Politics (POLI116). Students for POLI510 must therefore attend the four computer lab sessions of POLI116, which cover introductory statistical methods.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours       21


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 121


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Data Project. Standard UoL penalties will apply. There will be a reassessment opportunity. This will be marked anonymously.  -2000 words    45       
Lab Book. Standard UoL penalties will apply. There is a reassessment opportunity. This will be marked anonymously.  -1250 words    20       
Literature Review. Standard UoL penalties will apply. There will be a reassessment opportunity. This will be marked anonymously.  -1750 words    35       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.