Module code: POLM011

Module Overview

This module will introduce students to quantitative research methods, with particular focus on current examples from politics in general and  International Relations and Public Affairs in particular. In this module students will be introduced to the basic concepts, methods, and techniques used in quantitative analysis and are necessary for understanding developments in politics and decisions taken by the government and other public organisations.

This module will also provide students with the skills necessary and the practical experience of using quantitative data and techniques of analysing it. This way students will learn new in-demand skills, not only for their studies but also skills they can highlight in their CVs.

The course uses the statistical software RStudio, and you will learn how to critical evaluate research questions by using them most important surveys available. Students will also learn skills they can apply at their dissertation and placement reports. It is a direct follow up on material acquired in POLM009 but focusing on skills and quantitative analysis


Module provider


Module Leader

NEZI Roula (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 4

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 13

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

POLM009 Introduction to Research

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Review of research methodologies employed in the study of politics

  • Review of research question and hypotheses construction

  • Hypothesis testing – descriptive and causal

  • Variable operationalization and measurement

  • The structure of a solid research project

  • Descriptive statistical analysis (mean, mode, median)

  • Bivariate hypothesis testing

  • Correlations

  • Linear regression (simple and multiple)

  • Logistic regression

  • Interpretation of results presented in graph or table format

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Group Presentation 10
Coursework Policy Research Proposal Outline (1000 Words) 20
Coursework Policy Research Paper (4000 Words) 70

Alternative Assessment

An alternative assessment for the group presentation is as follows: an 800 word evaluation of selected existing dissertation, particularly focusing on a critique of the methodology employed.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • The ability to select appropriate methods to answer a research question

  • The selection of practical research methods (i.e. in the face of time pressure/availability)

  • Develop a project of interest from start to finish (including analysis)

  • Work as a group to resolve issues in regards to projects

  • Present as a group and participate in discussion

  • The ability to effectively critique methodologies and offer alternatives

Students will be assessed through completion of three pieces of assessment:

  • Research paper outline 

  • Group presentation 

  • Final research paper 

Formative feedback will be provided in a number of occasions throughout the module.

Module aims

  • Build on the introductory research methods module POLM009
  • Develop students' practical skills at conducting research opening up academic and career prospects
  • Provide an opportunity for students to design instruments for collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, enhancing global and cultural intelligence as well as expanding sustainable thinking
  • Provide basic experience in analysing both types of data collected through relevant software packages, enhancing transferable skills for related platforms at the workplace
  • Show students how to apply at least some of these methods of data collection and analysis to their own research project, which they will conduct over the course of the module, enhancing resourcefulness in troubleshooting questions and increasing resilience to tackle complex research problems

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify the basic principles underpinning the design of various research instruments adopted by political scientists KC
002 Understand the theoretical and practical implications of using particular methods of data collection and analysis, and apply this understanding critically to own research project as well as the evaluation of published work KCPT
003 Practice in the design and use of different research methodologies (see module content below) and use Studio to construct databases and analyse qualitative and quantitative data KCPT
004 Design a research project, following the format of a PGT thesis, select appropriate methods of data collection and analysis and test your hypothesis with the use of quantitative methods. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide students with statistical expertise and the ability to apply it to examining research questions

  • Encourage students to make their own choices in the employment of appropriate statistical tests

  • Enable students to choose a topic of their own interest, formulate a research question and test it

  • Introduce students to the expectations of statistical formatting

  • Encourage students to think creatively around a research problem

The learning and teaching methods include:

Seminars (Split between lectures (including interactive RStudio sessions) and seminar work (using computer labs to practice RStudio))

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POLM011

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations (International Intervention) MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
International Relations MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.