• Class Number 4036
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Matthew Kerby
    • Dr Matthew Kerby
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts and introductory tools associated with quantitative methodology in political science. Course content includes topics such as descriptive statistics, basic probability, and inference and regression analysis. Students are not presumed to have a strong background in mathematics, only a willingness to participate and learn is required.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. explain the complexity of contemporary politics from the perspective of solid research design and empirical analysis;
  2. apply a range of basic descriptive and inferential quantitative techniques to analyse political phenomena;
  3. generate, explain and visualize descriptive and basic inferential statistics for political phenomena using the Stata statistical software package; and
  4. apply relevant concepts and techniques to complete a research project and presentation suitable for delivery at a graduate-level political science conference.

Research-Led Teaching

The ANU is committeed to teaching and training students through a process called research-led teaching. Amongst other things, this apporach involves convenors using their own research and research experience as a pedagogical tool when teaching students. Consequently, I will use examples, datasets, and Stata code from my own research on political elites to demonstrate many of the concepts and procedures covered in this course. Further details pertaining to research-led teaching in general, and at the ANU can be found in the links below.



Required Resources

Students should acquire a copy of the Stata statistical software programme. The ANU maintains Stata in it's labs and on the software commons. However, students will find it easier if they have their own copy that they can use at home and during the lectures.

There is no designated text for this course. Any material pertaining to basic descriptive and inferential statistics and Stata usage can be found on the internet. I personally recommend OpenIntro Statistics. It's free and comprehensive. https://www.openintro.org/book/os/

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Welcome, Introduction, research design, questions In-class participation/quiz (1)
2 Using Stata (efficiently); where to find datasets;data types; basic organisation In-class participation/quiz; short assessment
3 Statistics: the basics/a review In-class participation/quiz
4 Visualization In-class participation/quiz; short assessment
5 Inference/Exploring assumptions In-class participation/quiz
6 Correlation In-class participation/quiz; short assessment
7 Regression In-class participation/quiz
8 Diagnostics In-class participation/quiz; short assessment
9 Logistic Regression In-class participation/quiz
10 Catch-up/Writing lab In-class participation/quiz; short assessment; research project near-final draft due
11 Presentations In-class participation/quiz; presentation; short assessment*
12 Presentations In-class participation/quiz; presentation; short assessment*; research project due

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assessment 01: In-class contribution 10 % * * 1, 2
6 short assessments 40 % * * 2, 3
Research project 40 % 26/05/2020 * 1, 2, 3, ,4
Research Project Presentation 10 % 26/05/2020 29/05/2020 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to attend every seminar and engage fully in activities and discussion

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Assessment 01: In-class contribution

Each week students are required to attend and contribute to the overall seminar. This contribution includes but is not limited to the following: participating in the overall discussion; breaking up into groups to solve or discuss a problem, leading a discussion, making a short presentation and short “I get it” quizzes. I get it quizzes will either be completed during the lecture or online via Wattle. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

6 short assessments

Every two weeks, students will complete and submit a short assessment (500 words each, not inlcuding code, output and visualisations) which will help students review and apply their quantitative methods programming skills using Stata. Assessments will cover topics such as basic usage, visualization, and analsis. Finally, during the research project presentations, each student will be responsible for serving as a discussant for a students' paper. Assessments must be submitted via the designated Wattle dropbox.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 26/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, ,4

Research project

Students are required to submit a formal political science research paper that employs the quantitative methods skills acquired over the course the semester. I encourage students to pick a topic that is related to their doctoral thesis. However, if this is not feasible, students are welcome to consult me about possible subjects. A near complete draft of the paper is due in Week 09. This draft will be circulated to the class for peer assessment and discussion in Week 10. The final version of the paper is due in Week 12.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research Project Presentation

Students are required to present a formal 15-minute conference-style presentation to the class. Presentations will take place during weeks 11 and 12. The order of the presentations will be determined randomly, but can be swapped by mutual agreement up unti

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assessments will be returned and reviewed during the seminar that follows the assessment due date.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Matthew Kerby

Research Interests

Political institutions, legislative and executive careers, quantitative methods, text-as-data

Dr Matthew Kerby

Friday 12:00 15:00
Dr Matthew Kerby

Research Interests

Dr Matthew Kerby

Friday 12:00 15:00

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