The purpose of the methods component in Prelims is to enable students to assess and critically evaluate better assertions, theories, arguments and opinions expressed in the substantive papers of their degree [component b of the paper]. Throughout the first year, PPE and History & Politics students encounter statements accompanied by quantitative analyses aimed to provide a backing of theoretical statements with empirical evidence. Our knowledge and understanding of politics is largely contingent upon the confirmation or refutation of these statements by the empirical evidence. Statistical tools are essential for researchers to test their claims against the empirical evidence. Basic concepts of statistics, especially randomness and averaging, provide the foundations for measuring concepts, designing studies, estimating quantities of interest and testing theories and conjectures.
From 2016/2017, third year students are given the option of writing a supervised dissertation, applying quantitative methods to an area of Politics, International Relations or Sociology. This counts as one of their eight subjects for Finals.
Congratulations to the students from universities from across the UK who completed the second annual Oxford Summer Institute in June 2017. Oxford Q-Step Centre offered an exciting week's programme of hands-on Quantitative Methods training to Social Science undergraduates, through a series of lectures and data-lab sessions with world-leading teachers and reasearchers. Teaching took place in the Department of Politics & International Relations, with accommodation in Lady Margaret Hall.
Oxford Q-Step Centre is looking for organisations to take part in our new Q-Step Internship programme. These internships will be offered to Oxford undergraduate social science students who are studying Quantitative Methods as part of their degrees in Philosophy, Politics & Economics and History & Politics. We would expect them to be involved in a project where they could put their data skills to best use. The internships will be 4-10 weeks long. Participating employers will benefit from highly motivated Oxford undergraduates working on a specific project, and also from establishing links with the University of Oxford.