MY451      Half Unit
Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jonathan Jackson COL.8.05 (LT) and Dr Indraneel Sircar COL.7.04 (MT)


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Demography/Population Studies, MSc in Applied Social Data Science, MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Research), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Public Policy and Administration and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The course is also available to research students as MY551.

Course content

An intensive introduction to quantitative data analysis in the social sciences. The course is intended for students with no previous experience of quantitative methods or statistics. It covers the foundations of descriptive statistics and statistical estimation and inference. At the end of the course students should be able to carry out univariate and bivariate data analysis and have an appreciation of multiple linear regression. The computer classes give 'hands-on' training in the application of statistical techniques to real social science research problems. No prior knowledge of any statistical software is necessary.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of computer workshops in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of computer workshops in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

There will be no lectures or computer classes in Week 6 of the term.

This course is given twice per session, starting in the first week of each of the MT and LT. Students must either register for MY451M which is taught in Michaelmas Term, or MY451L which is taught in Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Exercises from the weekly computer classes can be submitted for feedback.

Indicative reading

A course pack will be available for download online. Additional reading: many introductory statistics books are available. But we particularly recommend Alan Agresti and Christine Franklin (2009) Statistics: The Art and Science of Learning from Data. Pearson Education. Or Alan Agresti and Barbara Finlay (2009, 4th edition) Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences. Pearson Education (note that the second book is more advanced and is particularly useful if you are planning to take MY451 and MY452.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

A two hour unseen examination in ST. Students are permitted to bring a limited quantity of written notes into the examination. 

Key facts

Department: Methodology

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills