# FASS508 Quantitative Research Methods Introduction

## Module description

• Uncertainty and probability.
• Random sampling and random variables. Different approaches to sampling. What is a "random" sample and why is it important for statistical inference?
• Variable types - discrete vs. continuous.
• Distributions - what they are and why they are important.
• Basic descriptive statistics - mean, median, mode, standard deviation, interquartile range.
• Credible intervals. The difference between probability and effect size. Credible intervals as limits of (un)certainty. Factors affecting the width of credible intervals.
• Simple hypothesis testing using credible intervals.

## Aims and objectives

To provide a student-friendly face-to-face introduction to fundamental concepts in statistics, focussing more on conceptual understanding than on computation. The course is intended to provide sufficient background for progression onto FASS512 in Term 2.

To provide students with:

• a fundamental understanding of probability
• a basic understanding of random sampling and why it is important.
• an introduction to basic descriptive statistics
• a simple introduction to inferential statistics for one- and two-sample problems, based around the notion of credible intervals.

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

• Understand what probability is.
• Distinguish between probability and effect size.
• Understand how and why researchers take random samples from larger populations.
• Have a general idea of what a distribution is.
• Understand what basic descriptive measures (means, medians, modes, standard deviations, and interquartile ranges) can tell us.
• Understand what a credible interval is and what it can tell us.
• Know how to use a credible interval to test simple one- and two-sample hypotheses.

No preparatory reading is necessary for this short introductory course.  However, the following is a useful complement:

Hand, D. (2008), Statistics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

## Timing and Location

 Term: Michaelmas Date(s): 23/10/18 - 30/03/18 Number of sessions: 2 x 3 hour sessions Timing and Location: Tuesdays, weeks 3-4, 9.00-12.00, Bowland North A064 Computer Lab 2