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Social Sciences Research Methods Programme | SSRMP


All our statistics modules are “hands-on” - you will spend time using computer packages for statistical analysis. The three main “general-purpose” packages used by social scientists are the following:


This is the package used to teach our Basic Statistics Stream modules and most of our specialist stats modules. Stata combines excellent functionality with ease of use. It can be expensive to buy, but some attractive student deals are available. Members of the University of Cambridge can also use Stata on the University’s managed cluster machines, or get access to a free licence if they are in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, by contacting their departmental IT officer. Students undertaking a course with the SSRMP, using Stata, can find details how to access the software on the course's Moodle page. 

Many of our quantitative modules consist of a workshop element where 
students use the software package Stata. All the Basic Statistics Stream 
modules require access to Stata. Because this year we are teaching 
online we have provision for students enrolled on particular modules to 
remotely download a free copy of Stata MP4 to their own personal 
computer. The license for the Stata software is valid until the end of 
the academic year.
If you have enrolled on a module requiring Stata then you must first 
enrol on the module Moodle page. Once you have completed this, SSRMP 
will obtain permission for you to download Stata MP4, but there will be some delay between enrolling on the Moodle page and being given 
permission. Please be patient. Once you have permission you will be 
entitled to download a free copy of Stata MP4 on to your personal 
computer via the following link:
If your SSRMP modules requires you have access to Stata, please make 
sure you take the steps above in good time so that you obtain a copy of Stata in advance of the start of the module.


This is a package with excellent functionality, and the additional advantage that it’s free! It is a little more complicated to use than Stata, and you’ll need to download a “front end” user interface as well as the package itself. SSRMP provision is structured so that students start out with Stata, and those who need to learn R do so when they are familiar with the basic concepts of statistical analysis. Like Stata, R can be used on the University’s managed cluster machines. 


SPSS is easy to use, with a point-and-click interface, and is used in many undergraduate statistics courses. However, for analysis to be replicable, it’s necessary to write and save computer syntax – and this is difficult to do in SPSS. Only a few SSRMP modules require the use of SPSS.
A cheap student version is available.

Other packages

Some SSRMP modules use other packages, including Matlab, Microsoft Access, Netlogo, and ATLAS.Ti. If you have any questions about these packages, please contact the lecturers concerned.

How to access software...

The University’s Managed Cluster Service Machines

These machines are to be found in the following locations:

  • The Titan Rooms, the Phoenix Rooms, the University Centre Mill Lane (all these may be used by individual students when they aren’t booked for classes)

  • Managed clusters in POLIS, Sociology, Education, Geography, History, Land Economy, and other Departments

  • Most Colleges have managed cluster machines

  • Some libraries have MCS machines

For further information email, and troubleshooting, contact the UIS Service desk on