GV324      Half Unit
Applied Quantitative Methods for Political Science

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Valentino Larcinese


This course is available on the BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in History and Politics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Data Science, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Anthropology. 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 30 hours in the Lent Term, with a reading week in LT Week 6.

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


Group project (60%) in the LT and ST.
Online assessment (40%) in the ST.

The group project includes a presentation element.

Online assessment duration: 7 days in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2021/22: 3

Average class size 2021/22: 3

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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