Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Anastasia Kakou


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.


This course will be delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 60 hours across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching may be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and flipped-lectures delivered as short online videos. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 in each term.

Students will have a two hour Excel computer workshop in Michaelmas and Lent terms. Summer term session will primarily be devoted to revision. 


Formative coursework

Exercises will be set most weeks. The questions will count as continuous assessment. 

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 summer term exam and the continuous assessment).

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
First 47.5
2:1 15
2:2 22.5
Third 7.5
Fail 7.5

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Statistics

Total students 2019/20: 21

Average class size 2019/20: 21

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Application of numeracy skills