POL20050 Research Methods in Political Science

Academic Year 2024/2025

As an introduction to the approaches in the empirical study of politics, this course will give an overview of causal inference methods in political science. This course will reinforce the learning from Foundations of Political Research module and introduce students to commonly used statistical techniques in political science research. It will also cover quantitative methods, including sampling and basic statistical analysis, from describing and visualising patterns in numerical data to multiple regression analysis. Students will also be introduced to statistical programming for research in political science.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
- Understand the principles of good research design in politics;
- Have a basic understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of a large variety of methods;
- Solid understanding of causal inference and the logic of social scientific inquiry;
- Be able to calculate and interpret statistical results;
- Be able to implement and interpret a statistical analysis;
- Appreciate the practicalities of ethics and dissemination in politics research.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Computer Aided Lab




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students should rely on readings, lectures, and tutorials for learning. There will be readings assigned for each week and students are expected to complete this before the lecture. Teaching will give equal importance to the theory and practice of statistical/research methods. MCQs will test the breadth of students' knowledge and the term paper will test the ability of students to apply theory on statistical methods on a real-world data set using the statistical program of instruction. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Students who attempt this module must have completed POL10170 Foundations in Political Research or any Social Sciences Stage 1 research method module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Analysing Politics (POL27050)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Exam (In-person): Final MCQ Exam End of trimester
2 hr(s)
Other No


Portfolio: Tutorial Assignments (grade-neutral pass/fail) Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12 Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Assignment(Including Essay): Data analysis project Week 12 Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Tutors will inform students their feedback strategies.

Name Role
Ms Yuko Conlon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Arya Pillai Lecturer / Co-Lecturer