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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

SOCM034: Social Data Science and Policy Analytics

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content and order of syllabus coverage may vary, it is envisaged that it will include the following topics:

Term 1 Seminars

  • Policy analytics and evidence based decision making: definition and key themes
  • The politics of the policy process and evidence based decision making
  • Types of data for policy analytics
  • Decision making Under Uncertainty
  • Causal Inference and Mechanisms: principles of research design
  • Policy Analytics Techniques Regression Models
  • Policy Analytics Techniques: Logistic and Probit Regression Models 

Term 1 Computer-based Analytics Sessions

  • Data Sources: Secondary Data Analysis
  • Data Management and Extraction
  • Basics of Analysis Regression Models
  • Logit and Probit Models

Term 2 Seminars 

  • Analysis, Evaluation, Cost Benefit and Decision-making
  • Randomised Control Trials and policy interventions
  • Meta-analysis: combining evidence and multi-level analysis
  • Time series analysis
  • Duration Models

Term 2 Computer-based Analytics Sessions

  • Designing Surveys
  • Communicating Evidence
  • Difference in Differences
  • Regression Discontinuity Designs

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities 2412 x 2 hours of lectures, seminars and practical labs
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities147 x 2 hour Computer lab sessions
Guided independent study66Reading and preparing for seminars (around 4-6 hours per week);
Guided independent study196Researching and writing assessments and assignments (researching, planning and writing the course work).

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

UK Data Services -


Other Learning Resources

There are a range of data sets that will be used in the course (available from the UKDS):

British Household Panel Survey: Waves 1-18, 1991-2009 

Understanding Society: Waves 1-6, 2009-2015 

Please be aware this is suggestive, the data used may vary.