PECOS4022 – Applied Statistics for Peace and Conflict Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course introduces students to causal inference in quantitative analysis, and explores various statistical techniques widely used in the peace and conflict literature. The overall learning objective is to enable students to both read and contribute to this literature. The main focus of this class is how to select the correct statistical model, how to visualize and interpret the results, and to assess consequences of assumptions and design choices in the analysis.

The course is mandatory for students in the PECOS program. It will provide students with tools to independently conduct statistical studies, as well as reading and evaluate existing statistical research on peace and conflict topics.

Learning outcome

After having completed the course, the students have acquired the following knowledge, skills and general competencies:


Students will:

  • obtain a good grasp of various statistical concepts and measures;
  • be well acquainted with various estimators and the criteria for using them;
  • be well acquainted with key data structures in peace and conflict research, and the best practices in analysing them;
  • be able to communicate statistical material visually in tables and figures


Students will:

  • critically read and evaluate existing statistical studies on peace and conflict topics;
  • handle data sets using R, including coding new variables and transforming existing variables in the data set;
  • apply the various statistical models mentioned above to data sets, and learn how to properly test hypotheses, interpret results, and draw careful conclusions;
  • replicate statistical studies in peace and conflict research, and to conduct independent statistical studies on peace and conflict topics.

General competences

Students will:

  • enhance their capabilities in carrying out thorough, independent and critical analysis of complex questions; 
  • enhance their ability to critically evaluate empirical research;
  • enhance their understanding of various elements of the scientific process, including aspects of the relationship between theory and empirical evidence and between concepts and measures


The course is reserved for students enrolled in the master programme Peace and conflict studies.


Recommended previous knowledge

  • Basic concepts in descriptive statistics related to:
    • Measures of central tendency (e.g. mean and median), dispersion (e.g. standard deviation, range),
    • Measures of association and correlation (e.g. percentage difference and Pearson's r correlation coefficient).
  • Furthermore, basic knowledge of inferential statistics and of OLS regression (bivariate and multivariate) is required.

We also recommend that PECOS4025 Analytic Perspectives on Peace and Conflict or PECOS4021 - Research Methods is completed before students attend PECOS4022.


Lectures and seminars

The seminars are not compulsory, but we recommend you to follow them.


3-hour written examination and term paper.

The term paper must:

The written examination and the term paper each counts for approximately 50 percent of the final grade. You receive one overall grade. You must pass the term paper and the written examination in the same semester.


Previous exams with grading guidelines

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Calculators are permitted. It is not allowed to add new functions/information/software to a calculator, and it is not allowed to use calculators for communication during the exam.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

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