Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SSIM905: Mathematics and Programming Skills for Social Scientists

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Module Aims

The module aims to introduce you to basic maths and programming skills that you require to progress on the MRes in AQM. The topics covered include:

    • Basic maths skills for data analysis
    • Proficiency in the use of relevant computer packages/languages (MLwiN, R, Python);
    • Managing data from large scale surveys and constructing new databases from different sources;
    • Ability to be able to manipulate and construct new data sets from secondary data sources;
    • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of various web sources (such as Twitter) to obtain large amounts of data allowing understanding of the scope of possibilities that are open to a researcher without special ”big data” resources.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of three specific programming languages/packages used for statistical analysis: R, Python and MLwiN.
2. Understand code in each language and implement appropriate commands to perform relevant statistical analyses (topics covered will include types of variables, functions and parameters, conditional commands and constructs such as ”when” and ”for” cycles).
3. Use APIs to obtain data for potential use in future research projects.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. Developed coding skills suitable for conducting high-level complex quantitative analyses.
5. Manipulate data in each program and use the appropriate in-built analytic tools.
6. Interpret output from each program and draw appropriate inference regarding the hypotheses being tested.
Personal and Key Skills7. Demonstrate understanding of computing skills
8. Demonstrate understanding of data management skills