Oxford Q-Step Centre


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Explore the fun world of statistics!

Statistics: What is it all about?

We deal with statistics almost in every part of our lives. What is the likelihood that it will rain tomorrow or that the sun will shine? What is the average mark of an Oxford Politics student in finals? We live in a probabilistic world in which certainty is rare. Therefore, when we study Politics, gaining an in-depth understanding of statistics is crucial. What are the changes that democracy will stabilize in a country that recently survived a coup? Are people more likely to turnout in an election when they have been reminded of their civic duty to vote in a campaign ad? Or is it indeed the case that democracies are less likely to go to war with each other? In order to answer these questions and to engage critically with then an understanding of Quantitative Methods is key.

Statistics: Why should I know about them?

  • Statistics provide ideas and tools for probing data to advance our understanding of the world. Statistical ideas highlight how best to collect, analyse, and present data. Statistical tools allow us to learn about a population by looking at just a sample of it, to summarise large amounts of data to be able to make sense of them, and to study variation to understand what actually makes the difference. Statistics are exciting tools that help us to channel our creativity to understand politics, society, and modern life.
  • Statistics prepare you well for future careers. As data become increasingly available, the need for graduates who are able to make sense of them increases too. Statistics equip students with the tools to make sense of data, and increase their chances on the job market. The private sector, civil service, non-governmental organisations, the media, polling institutes, and many others demand graduates with statistical knowledge. As The New York Times put it recently: ‘For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics’.

Statistics: How best can I learn about them?

OQC will help its graduates develop the statistical tools you need to become more marketable on the job market. It provides students opportunities to acquire practical experience with statistics in the work place through a programme of work placements. Students are able to apply for bursaries through the OQC work placement programme. The OQC tutors can advise students about the possibility of graduate study in the Social Sciences with a Quantitative Methods focus.

Further information: Course and Resources.

Statistics: How best can I teach them?

We will be building a resource section for teachers shortly.

Statistics: Internships & Jobs

Details on this will be added shortly.