GV324      Half Unit
Applied Quantitative Methods for Political Science

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Valentino Larcinese


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Politics and Philosophy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course will be freely available to students with the required background.


Students must have completed Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) (MA107) and Quantitative Methods (Statistics) (ST107), or equivalent courses.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to the most commonly used methods for causal inference in the social sciences using observational data. It covers simple and multiple regression (particularly focussing on the conditions for a causal interpretation of the coefficients), matching, panel data, diff-in-diff, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity. The course will prioritize the practical understanding and application of the methods rather than their statistical foundations. Applications will be selected from existing research literature.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and classes totalling a minimum of 29 hours in the Lent Term, with a reading week in Week 6. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus lectures and classes.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 problem set and 1 case study in the LT.

Indicative reading

Stock & Watson: "Introduction to Econometrics", Pearson International (various editions, all equally valid)

Dunning: "Natural experiments in the social sciences", CUP 2012

Angrist & Pischke: "Mastering metrics", Princeton University Press 2015


Exam (40%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Presentation (10%) in the LT Week 11.
Group project (50%) in the ST Week 1.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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: Government

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills