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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:

 

STATA

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. 
 

STATA MP4

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 (more details, below). The license is valid until the end of the academic year.

If you have enrolled on a module requiring Stata...

  1. You must first enrol on the module Moodle page (or log onto Moodle, generally, but the former is preferred).
  2. Once you have done this, you may request a Stata MP4 licence from us, here.
  3. Around 24 hours later, you will recieve an email with instructions on where to download a free copy of Stata MP4 on to your personal computer.

NB. If your SSRMP modules requires you have access to Stata, please make sure you take the steps above in order, and in good time so that you obtain a copy of Stata in advance of the start of the module.

R

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

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.

Qualtrics
User accounts for the pilot Qualtrics service can be set up (by UoC staff and students) by visiting https://cambridge.eu.qualtrics.com and entering your <CRSid>@cam.ac.uk email as the username, and your Raven password. Qualtrics will create your account automatically the first time you log in to the system.

If you have already used your cam.ac.uk email address to register an account with Qualtrics (for example, for a trial) you can contact Qualtrics via email (support@qualtrics.com) and ask for your account to be moved into the 'University of Cambridge Brand': https://cambridge.eu.qualtrics.com
 
If you experience any problems with account creation/login, do let the UoC Qualtrics Team know via qualtrics@uis.cam.ac.uk, and they'll help troubleshoot.

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 service-desk@uis.cam.ac.uk