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2013/2014  BA-PSTA  Statistics and Research Methods

English Title
Statistics and Research Methods

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Peter Dalgaard - Department of Finance (FI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Statistics and mathematics
Last updated on 10-10-2013
Learning objectives
The major goal of the statistics course is to produce statistically educated students. This means that students should develop statistical literacy and the ability to think and reason statistically. The student should become able to:
  • Analyze a research topic - in order to identify available quantifiable information and formulate questions that can be answered by processing suitably collected data.
  • Use graphical and numerical methods for exploring and summarizing data on a single categorical or quantitative variable.
  • Describe basic probability and how probability helps us understand randomness, and explain the concept of a sampling distribution and how it relates to inference methods.
  • Choose and justify appropriate descriptive and inferential methods for examining and analyzing data and drawing conclusions.
  • Analyze of the association between variables, categorical, continuous and both, using contingency tables, correlation, regressions analysis, and analysis of variance.
  • Communicate the conclusions of statistical analysis clearly and effectively, i.e interpret the numerical results in terms of the original research topic.
Statistics and Research Methods:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Gruop size for written group assignment: 3-5 students. During the oral exam the examination may involve questions from the entire curriculum.
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Another examination form
Make-up/re-exam when ill at the oral exam or when the ordinary exam is failed, is an individual oral exam (20 minutes per student) based upon the same synopsis.

Make-up exam when ill during the writing of the synopsis is a 20 minutes oral exam with 20 minutes open book preparation in the entire curriculum.
Course content and structure
Statistics is both a science in itself and a technology with applications in almost every other branch of science. The course emphasizes conceptual understanding rather than just instrumental usage of statistical procedures. The focus is on the interpretation and understanding of basic statistical methods as applied in social sciences, business economy and political economy.
The curriculum includes:
· Descriptive statistics, both numerical and graphical.
· The basic laws of probability, and the most important probability distributions.
· Statistical inference; confidence intervals and significance tests about hypotheses.
· Analysis of categorical variables using contingency tables.
· Regression analysis; simple, multiple and logistic.
· One-way and two-way analysis of variance.
Teaching methods
Lectures w/ discussions, computer labs, groupwork for synopsis
Expected literature


Main book: Agresti A., C. Franklin (2013): “Statistics: The Art and Science of Learning from Data”, 3rd. ed., Pearson.
Supplementary book: Agresti A. (2007): “An Introduction to Categorical Data Analysis”, 2nd ed., Wiley. Chapter 2.1-3: Chapter 3.1-2; Chapter 4.1-5.

Software Package: SAS JMP
Last updated on 10-10-2013