Introduction to Political Science and Political Economy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Emiel Awad


This course is available on the MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is strongly recommended for MSc Political Economy and Political Science students. It is available for students from other programmes with permission of the instructor.

Course content

The aim of this pre-sessional course is to provide students with the essential background for the study of political economy in political science. It is specially tailored to prepare students for the core courses in the MSc PSPE programme, but can be of use for any student interested in the field.

One part of the course will focus on the mathematical concepts used in the rest of the MSc. PSPE. This part of the course will cover key concepts in algebra (definition of function, derivation, limits), maximization problems (constrained and unconstrained, Envelop and Implicit Function Theorems), and some notions of probability (Bayes' rule, random variables).

In parallel, five sessions will be dedicated to introducing Stata to MSc. students. This part of the course will cover basic commands and some more advanced ones, which will be used in the rest of the MSc. PSPE.


This course provides 20 hours of introductory sessions at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term. Ten hours are devoted to mathematical foundations. The remaining hours will be devoted to an introduction to Stata. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus sessions.

Please note that all the teaching for this course will take place in Michaelmas Term Week 0 (20-24 September 2021).

Indicative reading

There is no required reading for this course. 

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: 5

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills