Quantitative Research Methods

Quantitative methods – ways of collecting numeric data, making sense of it and using it to answer questions relevant to social and public debate  have a long and important history in the social sciences. 

As part of a multi-million pound national initiative called Q-Step, the University of Bristol has introduced a new quantitative research methods pathway to a range of social science courses. We are offering a unique opportunity for you to study alongside students from different degree subjects on a shared pathway that approaches quantitative methods from an applied and cross-disciplinary perspective, complementing your subject-specific learning. 

These degrees offer enhanced quantitative skills training in conjunction with the skills you need to enhance your subject-specific studies, for research and work after graduating.

Why study Quantitative Research Methods at Bristol?

Our courses, badged with the title 'with Quantitative Research Methods', are part of a national initiative designed to boost the skills training social science students receive to enhance their employment and research prospects.

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. 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 for International Poverty Research; and the Centre for Multilevel Modelling develops software that is used throughout the world.

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.

What kind of student would this course suit?

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 B or C in GCSE Mathematics.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our courses are taught through a combination of lectures and small-group seminars, which will help you to integrate your learning and see how it can be applied in practice. 

The degree is assessed by a combination of written examinations, coursework and presentations over the second and third years, including a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

What are my career prospects?

Graduating with the words, 'with Quantitative Research Methods' in your degree title will give a clear signal to employers about the training you have received. It will enhance your employability in many sectors such as policy making, business and commerce, where the ability to produce and analyse data is crucial. Many standard social science degrees do not include these skills, certainly not to this level.

Our integrated four-year Master's (MSci) degree is a particularly good opportunity if you wish to continue to postgraduate study or are looking to further enhance the attractiveness of your skills training to potential employers.  

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

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