Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nicholas Cron COL5.13


This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

The course is designed for students without a strong background in Mathematics, e.g. without A level Mathematics, and is suitable for students who wish to learn basic statistical methods for analysing social science data. This course cannot be taken with ST102 Elementary Statistical Theory or ST107 Quantitative Methods (Statistics).


A grade B in GCSE Mathematics or equivalent. No background in statistics is required.

Course content

A basic foundation in elementary statistical methods, theory and statistical reasoning. Basic use of computers to analyse data. Probability, random variable theory and distributions. Normal distribution, sampling concepts and sampling distributions. Estimation, significance tests and confidence intervals, one and two-sample methods. Test for proportions, simple contingency tables. Linear regression, correlation. Basic decision theory.


14 hours of lectures, 8 hours of classes and 2 hours of computer workshops in the MT. 20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 2 hours of computer workshops in the LT. 3 hours of lectures and 3 hours of classes in the ST.

Students will have a two hour computer workshop in week 6 of MT, and a further two hour computer workshop in week 9 of LT. 

Formative coursework

Exercises will be set most weeks. Some questions will count as continuous assessment; others will constitute formative coursework. 

Indicative reading

Notes will be provided and form the basic reading material. Pointers will be given to further reading.


Exam (80%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Continuous assessment (20%) in the MT and LT.

At least a pass mark is required for both assessment components (i.e., the exam and the continuous assessment)

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
First 41.9
2:1 22.6
2:2 19.4
Third 6.5
Fail 9.7

Key facts

Department: Statistics

Total students 2017/18: 10

Average class size 2017/18: 10

Capped 2017/18: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Application of numeracy skills