SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Introductory Statistics

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 1

This core module will be an introduction to concepts in probability theory and statistics and will not have specific adacemic requirements. The purpose of the module is to enable students to take on Statistical Research Techniques in term 2. In addition, it provides the basic knowledge required to study articles engaging in quantitative analysis.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • understand, interpret and undertake descriptive statistics analysis
  • understand basic concepts in probability theory, properties of probability operators and characteristic of random distributions
  • understand, undertake and interpret point, interval estimation and hypothesis testing
  • explain the Ordinary Least Squares estimation method and interpret regression analysis results

Introductory Statistics will enable students without background in Statistics to engage with quantitative literature and move on to take Statistical Research Techniques, the core term 2 quantitative module under the MA Economic Policy.

Scope and syllabus

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to descriptive statistics 
  • Probability Theory
  • Introduction to Random Variables and Venn Diagrams
  • Random Variable operations
  • Estimation and properties of estimators
  • Confidence intervals
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Chi Square and F disributions
  • Introduction to Linear Regressions Analysis
  • Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation and interpretation of regression analysis results

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Test 40% (2 tests) / Coursework 60% (1 essay). All coursework is resubmittable.

Suggested reading

Core Reading List:

  • Barrow, M. (2017) Statistics for economics, accounting and business studies. Pearson.
  • Newbold, P., W. Carlson and B. Thorne (2013) Statistics for Business and Economics. Pearson Education Edition


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules