Quantitative Methods

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The aim of this course is to provide the students with solid skills in the most important techniques and recent developments within quantitative methods in political science/public administration. The course will enable students to carry out empirical research on their own and make sound choices of research methods when writing their MA-thesis. As a preparation for conducting their own literature reviews the course will train students in understanding and assessing critically different methods used in other research contributions. The students will be offered an advanced overview of different methods that are useful in the study of organizations and public administration: Experimental methods, various forms of statistical analyses such as linear regression, logistic regression, and multilevel analysis. In addition, the course provides an introduction to quantitative text analysis and network analysis. The course will be based on the statistical package

Stata. Finally, an aim is to illustrate how methodological choices are related to different traditions in the philosophy of sciences.

The course consists of the following components:

  1. Philosophy of Science and Basic Conceptual Analysis
  2. Experimental methods
  3. Ordinary linear regression
  4. Logistic regression
  5. Inferential statistics and significance testing
  6. Quantitative text analysis
  7. Network analysis

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student can

  • Give an account of the most important recent developments in quantitative methods within political science/public administration
  • Explain the logic of different experimental methods and the differences between them
  • Explain different statistical methods


The student can

  • Employ different methods to analyze a research question
  • Argue for the choice of method
  • Argue for the choice of statistical technique
  • Use Stata in preparing and analyzing data

General competence

The student can

  • Make well-grounded choices of methodological approach
  • Argue for the strengths and weaknesses of a given methodological approach
  • Assess critically the validity of the results from an empirical investigation

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge

AORG101, AORG104, AORG103 / AORG105 / AORG107 / AORG109, AORG209 / AORG210


GOV101, GOV104, GOV103 / GOV107 / GOV109

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
  • AORG321A (10 ECTS)
  • AORG321B (10 ECTS)
  • AORG319 (10 ECTS)
  • AORG321 (10 ECTS)
  • Access to the Course

    The course is open for students who have been accepted to Master programmes at the Department of Government.

    Exchange students at master level may be accepted upon application. Applications may be rejected due to capacity.

    Teaching and learning methods
    The format of teaching is primarily class lectures (6-7). In addition, 3-4 seminars will be given where students are required to participate in practical exercises in using statistical software to prepare and analyze datasets.
    Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

    Participation in practical exercises organized through seminars is compulsory. A minimum of 75% attendance at the seminar is required.

    The assignments in the seminars must be completed in order to take the exam. Approved compulsory assignments are valid in the current and following two semesters.

    Forms of Assessment

    An five-hour school exam.

    The exam will be given in the language in which the course is taught.
    The exam answer can be submitted in Norwegian, Swedish or Danish. It is also possible to submit in English.

    Grading Scale
    Graded A-F
    Assessment Semester

    Assessment in teaching semester.

    A retake exam is arranged for students with valid absence according to § 5-5 in the UiB regulations.

    If there is a retake exam, this will be available for students with the follow results/absences:

    • Medical certificate/valid absence
    • Interruption during the exam
    • Fail/failed

    If you have the right to take a retake exam and a retake exam is arranged for students with valid absences, you can sign up yourself in Studentweb after 1. August

    Reading List
    The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. 
    Course Evaluation
    All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.  
    Course Administrator
    Department of Government at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.