skip to content

Cambridge Undergraduate Quantitative Methods


The Tripos paper, Statistics and Methods (Soc5), is available to Part II students from Sociology, POLIS and the Faculty of Education. Students who take this paper will be able to go on to additional training in quantitative methods that will include job placements where they will get experience of working with quantitative methods and vacation courses in more advanced statistical methods.  Students will also be encouraged and supported to undertake final-year dissertations that use quantitative methods. Bursaries will be available to fund out-of-term activities.

Why should students take Soc5?

The UK has a shortage of social science graduates with the quantitative skills necessary to evaluate evidence, analyse data, and design and commission research. These quantitative research skills are essential to employers across all sectors of the workplace, as well as being highly desirable for students going on to postgraduate study.

What will students take away from Soc5?

After completing this paper, students will:

  • Have learned about a range of quantitative and qualitative methods used in empirical research
  • Be able to read critically, and comment on, published research using these methods
  • Know how to apply these methods correctly using appropriate software packages, and how to apply statistical tests to assess the validity of results
  • Appreciate the limitations of the methods taught, and common mistakes which may be made in empirical research
  • Understand the importance of replicability
  • Know where to go to find information on more complex research methods

 Anything else students should know before deciding to take Soc5?

It’s all good news:

  • You don’t need to have Maths A Level to take this paper
  • The course features eight 2-hour computer lab sessions, providing ‘hands-on’ tuition and help
  • The student with the highest exam marks for the Soc5 paper will receive a prize of £100 worth of books from Sage publishers
  • Having quantitative research skills on your CV will look great and increase your employability
  • Soc5 will provide excellent preparation for students intending to progress to a PGCE course
  • Cambridge University is looking into ways to accredit students who graduate with knowledge of Quantitative Methods.

Course hand-outs and sample exam papers can be found on the Part IIA Sociology Camtools site.
Find out more by reading feedback from the 2015-16 Soc5 Prize Winner, Jocelyn Lang