GV481      Half Unit
Quantitative Analysis for Political Science

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Aliz Toth


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Political Science (Political Behaviour) and MSc in Political Science (Political Science and Political Economy). This course is available on the MRes/PhD in Political Science, MSc in Political Science (Conflict Studies and Comparative Politics) and MSc in Political Science (Global Politics). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students on the Political Science and Political Economy and Political Behaviour streams of the MSc in Political Science will be granted priority access as this is a compulsory course for their programme. Other postgraduates wanting to take the course (space permitting) require the permission of the teachers responsible.

Course content

The course provides an introduction to quantitative thinking in the field of political science. Its goal is to give students the tools to ask the right questions, be skeptical when appropriate, and distinguish between useful and misleading evidence. Students will be introduced to the basic toolkit of quantitative analysis, which includes hypothesis testing, regression, experiments, differences in differences, and regression discontinuity. Students will also learn how to use a statistical software program to organize and analyze data.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 40 hours in the Autumn Term. There will be a reading week in Autumn Term Week 6.

Formative coursework

Two problem sets.

Indicative reading

Imai, K., & Bougher, L. D. (2021). Quantitative Social Science: An Introduction in Stata. Princeton University Press.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.
Coursework (50%) in the WT.

The coursework will consist of a data analysis exercise using Stata.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 51
Merit 44.9
Pass 2
Fail 2

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2022/23: 32

Average class size 2022/23: 11

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

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
  • Problem solving
  • Communication