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PI3577: THREE LIES: LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

This course is a how-to-guide to enquiring research questions in politics and international relations using quantitative methods. We uncover lies and damned lies about statistics in reporting about politics and international relations and learn how to correctly analyse different kinds of quantitative data using statistical software package Stata. We will learn how to produce analyses that is replicable.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Kathrin Thomas

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PI3077 Three Lies: Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This course is a how-to-guide to enquiring research questions in politics and international relations using quantitative methods. We uncover lies and damned lies about statistics in reporting on politics and international relations in the lectures and learn how to correctly analyse quantitative data using statistical software package Stata. You will learn how to translate concepts in politics and international relations into numbers, how to describe the measurable concepts, and how to relate two or more measurable concepts using statistical methods. Next, we learn about statistics as an oracle: You will learn about sampling and the magic of statistical inference and practice tests that allow you to say with confidence whether your hypotheses are supported or must be rejected. These tests include comparing groups, associations, and regression analysis of two and more variables. By the end of the term you should be able to conduct your own quantitative research project and to independently uncover more lies, damned lies using statistics. The goal is to produce correct outputs that are replicable.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

4 Computer Programming Exercises - 4 x 15% (60%)

Essay / lab report (40%)

 

Resit (for students who took the course in Academic Year 2020/21):   

With the pre-requisite that all 4 computer programming exercises have been passed, the resit will be an alternative essay / lab report (40%). A 5th computer programming exercise will be provided to make up for one that students failed or to get a better mark. The best 4 will count for the final result. Computer programming exercises must be completed during the term to pass this course.


Resit (for students who took the course in Academic Year 2019/20 or for C8 students):   
 
With the pre-requisite that all 4 computer programming exercises have been passed, the resit will be an alternative essay / lab report (40%). A 5th computer programming exercise will be provided to make up for one that students failed or to get a better mark. The best 4 will count for the final result. Computer programming exercises must be completed during the term to pass this course.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand quantitative procedures as a tool to analyse phenomena in politics and international relations
ProceduralApplyApply statistical tests independently to test hypotheses in politics and international relations
ProceduralCreateDevelop and conduct a quantitative research project investigating a research question in politics and international relations
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate research output in politics and international relations based on quantitative analysis

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