Two thirds of your studies will follow the Single Honours Politics and International Relations course, acquiring core knowledge in your subject. The remaining third provides applied interdisciplinary training in quantitative methods.
In year one, we discuss how numbers and data are used to tell convincing stories in the media and social research. We consider what is meant by segregation, and how it can be mapped and measured.
Year two offers practical classes in social statistics and applied data analysis, developing your skills in numeracy and analysis to advance your study of politics. This enables you to undertake your own individual research project in an area of quantitative social science in year three.
There is also a four-year undergraduate degree option, offering more advanced quantitative methods for those wishing to graduate with a MSci qualification.
Bristol offers a number of degrees that include quantitative research methods. This is part of a national initiative addressing the shortage of social science graduates with quantitative skills. These skills are highly valued by employers and are also beneficial for going on to postgraduate research.
Members of the Bristol Q-Step team have considerable expertise in teaching quantitative social science from introductory to postgraduate level. The first-year unit 'Convincing Stories? Numbers as Evidence in the Social Sciences' introduces you to how numbers are used (and abused) in the media, public policy, and in social and scientific debate.
The University of Bristol has considerable expertise in quantitative methods. For example, the School of Geographical Sciences is a world leader in quantitative human geography, the School for Policy Studies hosts the internationally respected Townsend Centre from International Poverty Research, and the Centre for Multilevel Modelling develops software that is used throughout the world.
Quantitative research methods are not about learning maths; they are about learning how to apply analytical methods to questions of interest to the social sciences. If you are not sure whether to choose a BSc or MSci qualification, you can transfer from one to the other during the first two years.
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
We are looking for students who are willing to approach quantitative methods with a critical and enquiring mind, and a willingness to learn. Studying how to undertake quantitative data analysis is not the same as learning maths. Although familiarity with higher-level maths may be helpful, those without A or AS-level maths should not be put off from applying. The level of maths required and taught on these degrees should be accessible to a student with grade C in GCSE Mathematics.
You only need to take one of these language tests:
Minimum required score:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Book IELTS
StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more
Minimum required score (Grade C):
The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.
Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.
Minimum required score:
The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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