Advanced Quantitative Methods

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Run by Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time;
eight years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

This pathway is for social scientists who wish to learn advanced quantitative methods for secondary-data analysis, and apply these methods appropriately to answer particular substantive questions from their disciplines. This includes social scientists who are interested in interdisciplinary research that requires the application of quantitative methods from one discipline to problems in another.

This pathway is also for statistically trained researchers whose interests are more methodological. Projects may involve applying statistical methods used in other disciplines to social science problems, or developing novel statistical methods for analysing social science data. We welcome applications from students with backgrounds in statistics or related disciplines.

You will normally be registered in the school of your first supervisor. This may not be the school that processes your application.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships. Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund and alumni PhD scholarship fund.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class degree (or equivalent qualification) with substantive quantitative elements (at least 60 credits plus a quantitative dissertation).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

The ESRC has designated advanced quantitative methods as a priority area, and the purpose of this pathway is to provide training and supervision that emphasises quantitative methods to a higher level than is usually offered. Training includes a structured programme of core advanced quantitative methods courses and a fortnightly research and reading group.

Details of the core training currently offered can be found on the advanced quantitative methods courses web page.

You will need two supervisors: one supervisor with advanced quantitative methods expertise and one supervisor with expertise in your chosen substantive area. Your main supervisor must be from a social science discipline. For a list of potential supervisors, please consult our academic staff pages on the relevant school websites.


Our students go on to employment in a wide variety of areas - often where statistical analysis is required, but also where numeracy is crucial. Students also continue within academic careers, going on to post-doctoral and lecturing positions.

At its core, the programme establishes a sound research training base, together with a set of bespoke training courses that provide students with the advanced quantitative toolkit required for their PhD research. It also provides a foundation for different types of employment, including research, policy and intervention implementation.

Staff profiles

Dr Julia Gumy, (Senior Lecturer), Comparative research methods; Gender, subjective well-being and the life course; Poverty and social inequalities; Study of individual financial behaviour and well-being

Professor Rich Harris, (Professor), Methodological interests in spatial statistics, spatial econometrics, GIS and geodemographics; spatial measures of inequality and segregation; the geographies of education under systems of choice.

Professor Kelvyn Jones, (Professor), Geography of health: geographical inequalities in mortality in advanced economies; realistically complex modelling: the quantitative analysis of social science data; research design: developing evidence-based research in non-experimental studies.

Dr George Leckie, (Reader), Longitudinal data analysis and dyadic data analysis; multilevel analysis of non-hierarchical data; the application and dissemination of multilevel and other latent variable models to analyse educational and social science data.

Dr David Manley, (Reader), Segregation: multiple approaches to measuring and analysing; urban geography: urban inequalities, integration of the life course into static models.

Professor Sarah Smith, (Professor, Head of Department), Analysis of the effects of policy reform; intergenerational transmission; modelling individual behaviour, including fertility, health, retirement, charitable giving and subjective well-being.

Professor Kate Tilling, (Professor), Childhood growth; complex interrelationships which change over time (eg. fat mass and physical activity, risk factors for CHD); lifecourse analyses; trajectories of change in disease outcomes.

Dr Winnie Wang, (Senior Lecturer), Aging population and Health geography; Development studies, particularly the relationship between rural-urban migration and development in China or Vietnam; Population and urban geography, particularly migration and urban mobility

Dr Liz Washbrook, (Senior Lecturer), Relationships between family background, policy and early childhood outcomes and methodological issues in the analysis of longitudinal data.

Professor Frank Windmeijer, (Professor), Demand for health and health care; policy evaluation; using genetic markers in social science research.

Dr Levi Wolf, (Lecturer), Analysis of political behaviour (elections, polarization); Civic hacking & intervention; Spatial sorting, segregation, & spatial inequality

Apply now

Find out how to apply

Application deadline

The closing date for non-funded places is not fixed but early application is advised.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Vicki Sackwild Postgraduate Student Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 928 7878 Email:

Emmanouil Tranos Programme Director Phone: +44 (0) 117 928 7878 Email:

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