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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Research


ESRC-Develop Quantitative Methods Training

Ailsa Henderson (PI) has been awarded a £96,000 grant from the ESRC to develop a blended learning course in quantitative methods for UK sociology, social policy and political science undergraduates. Co-Investigators include Andy Thompson (Politics and International Relations), Paul Norris (Social Policy), Alison Koslowski (Social Policy), Michael Rosie (Sociology), Ross Bond (Sociology) and Kate Orton Johnson (Sociology). The team will reconfigure and expand the University of Edinburgh's current 20 credit postgraduate blended learning course 'Core Quantitative Data Analysis' (CQDA) to provide approximately 60 credits worth of learning resources for use under a creative commons license by any UK HEI for training undergraduates in quantitative methods. The aims are to: adapt the course content to undergraduates by producing additional modules on sources of data, on data visualisation, and on secondary data analysis, and by adapting the course materials to a wider range of student abilities; produce new discipline specific content for sociology, criminology, social policy and political science students; enable students to learn using different statistical software packages, including SPSS, Stata or R; add a much larger volume of self/tutor test exercises at the end of each module which may be used for either self- or summative assessment; and use learning assessment exercises within modules to route students through relevant support material. These resources may be used 'off the shelf' as a complete course in quantitative methods (and accessible as such by any UK HEI undergraduate), or individual components can be integrated into existing courses by methods teaching staff.