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PO3A3-30 Quantitative Dissertation

Politics & International Studies
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Philippe Blanchard
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description


Module aims

The dissertation allows you to develop a research project independently, with the support of a supervisor(s), and to write a substantial piece of work discussing the results of this research. Whilst this is a self-directed research exercise, you are expected to have regular meetings with your supervisor(s) throughout the year, in order to receive guidance on defining and developing the research topic and on arguing and presenting their thesis. You will be required to analyse secondary quantitative datasets as part of their project. The dissertation aims to enhance skills in quantitative research, critical analysis and argumentation, creative thinking, and academic writing, and to foster the specific intellectual interests and aptitudes of yourself. This set of skills should be regarded as the crowning moment of PAIS&QM students three-year intellectual curriculum and as a key competitive advantage on the job market. The dissertation also provides an excellent training for those of you intending to undertake further academic study beyond the BA. Finally, it enhances your key skills in time management and communication of research results.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.


Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate intellectual independence and originality by choosing their own subject of study and defining its nature and scope;
  • demonstrate an understanding of relevant existing research literature in a relevant area and evaluate them critically;
  • formulate a testable hypothesis or research question and set it in the context of the existing research literature;
  • show an understanding and awareness of the ethical context of a relevant research area;
  • recognise the theoretical, practical, and methodological implications and limitations of their research;
  • demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge and understanding that will equip her/him to proceed to study at a higher level;
  • demonstrate capacity to independently locate, access and analyse quantitative data;
  • demonstrate an ability to independently conduct secondary quantitative research;
  • demonstrate an ability to independently write about and report statistical findings within the context of wider substantive debates within the discipline;
  • present the results of their own independent research in a clearly written, academically cogently argued, logically structured and properly referenced form;
  • consolidate communication, information-seeking and intellectual skills;
  • have the ability to reflect independently on and evaluate their own research project management and performance;
  • to conduct quantitative research and present the findings in a coherent argument;
  • independently appreciate the applications of a given theory;
  • engage independently with quantitative data and related empirical research;
  • select independently appropriate quantitative variables to respond to a particular research problem;
  • independently retrieve, evaluate critically and select relevant information to support coherent arguments;
  • independently demonstrate independence of thought and a degree of originality;
  • demonstrate familiarity with ethical and practical considerations in the collection of relevant data;
  • independently undertake an extensive programme of reading and research;
  • engage in sustained quantitative analysis, interpretation and comparison of a substantial body of data in an independent manner;
  • independently critically evaluate and comment on quantitative research and recognises its implications and draw justifiable conclusions;
  • independently demonstrate the ability to design, plan, and carry out a piece of empirical research within a defined period;
  • independently demonstrate a capacity to work with quantitative data and to situate that research within wider disciplinary debates.
Subject specific skills


Transferable skills


Study time

Type Required
Lectures 2 sessions of 1 hour (1%)
Private study 298 hours (99%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description



No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
10,000 word dissertation 100%
Feedback on assessment



This module is Core for:

  • Year 3 of UPOA-M162 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Quantitative Methods
  • Year 4 of UPOA-M167 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Quantitative Methods (with Intercalated Year)

This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 3 of UPOA-ML13 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology
  • Year 3 of UPOA-M16D Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and German (3 year degree)

This module is Option list C for:

  • Year 3 of UHIA-VM11 Undergraduate History and Politics
  • Year 4 of UHIA-VM12 Undergraduate History and Politics (with Year Abroad)