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Social Sciences Research Methods Programme | SSRMP



Foundations in Applied Statistics (FiAS)

This is an introductory course for students who have little or no prior training in statistics.

The module is divided between pre-recorded mini-lectures, in which you'll learn the relevant theory, and hands-on live practical sessions in Zoom, in which you will learn how to analyse real data using the statistical package, Stata. 

You will learn:

  • The key features of quantitative analysis, and how it differs from other types of empirical analysis
  • The basics of formal hypothesis testing
  • Basic concepts: what is a variable? what is the distribution of a variable? and how can we best represent a distribution graphically?
  • Features of statistical distributions: measures of central tendency and dispersion
  • The normal distribution
  • Why statistical testing works
  • Statistical methods used to test simple hypotheses
  • How to use Stata


Absolutely no prior knowledge is needed, but you must take the SSRMP Skill Check before booking, to ensure that this module is at the correct level for you.

Module structure

This module is very popular, so we repeat it several times (as 6 "series"). Each series covers exactly the same material, and is at the same level.

Each series runs over two sessions.

A pre-recorded series of mini-lectures will be available to students before the module starts, on the module's Moodle page. Please note - you will need to watch each lecture before the corresponding lab session.

The live two-hour Zoom lab sessions take place in the afternoon a week apart, in Michaelmas Term, and over one week in Lent Term.

Michaelmas Term

  • FiAS 1: 2-4pm on Mons 25th October (Session 1) and 1nd November 2021 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 2: 4-6pm on Mons 25th October (Session 1) and 1nd November 2021 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 3: 2-4pm on Weds 27th October (Session 1) and 3th November 2021 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 4: 4-6pm on Weds 27th October (Session 1) and 3th November 2021 (Session 2)

Lent Term

A pre-recorded series of mini-lectures (2 hours per session) will be available for all Lent Term students to watch, before the corresponding live afternoon Zoom lab sessions which take place on the times and dates, below:

  • FiAS 5: 2-4pm on Mon 18th Jan (Session 1) and Weds 20 Jan 2022 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 6: 4-6pm on Mon 18th Jan (Session 1) and Weds 20 Jan 2022 (Session 2)


The statistical package Stata.


    An end-of-module assessment (open-book online test). Weekly online quizzes are available to help you prepare.

    Reading List

    There is no set text for this module; although recommended readings and all necessary information on the module's Moodle page.


    Bookings for this module (and all other Basic Statistics Stream modules) should be requested via our dedicated BSS booking page. The page contains a booking request form which goes live each year at the start of Michaelmas Term.