Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2504H1F L0101

Statistics for Political Scientists


The course will give an overview of quantitative methods and techniques which are core to the analysis of empirical data in Political Science and related disciplines. The aim is to provide an understanding of statistical methods to be able to (1) conduct statistical tests in a variety of applications, and (2) quantify dependencies between variables. The course requires that students either have had an introduction to questions of research design and basic descriptive statistics at the undergraduate level, or do preparatory readings before the beginning of the course. In the first part of the course, an introduction to descriptive statistics and regression analysis will be given. Part two will focus on the application of probability concepts and statistical tests in social science contexts. The last part will involve the use of non-linear and multivariate techniques to analyze datasets, and deal with potential problems. Along with a mathematical introduction to various methods, their application through the use of statistical computer packages (i.e. SPSS) will also be part of the course.

Format and Requirements

The course will be largely lecture-based but give a lot of opportunity for in-class discussion. The evaluation will be based on a number of assignments, class participation, a mid-term exam and a final take-home exam.