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The new Quantitative Social Analysis UG major in the HKUST Division of Social Science prepares students for the rapidly growing number of positions in business, government, and the non-profit sector that involve the analysis of social data and interpretation and presentation of results. In all of these sectors, rising demand for employees with relevant skills is being driven by the rapid increases in the amount and complexity of social data being collected online and by surveys, or otherwise being made available.

The major provides an integrated training in social science theory and evidence, statistical methods, the analysis of social data, and the interpretation and presentation of results. To achieve these goals, the program includes required courses that offer foundational training in quantitative methods and social science paradigms, electives that offer opportunities for advanced methodological training and deeper engagement of topics in social science, and a capstone project in which students will apply the skills they have learned to carry out an analysis on a topic of their choice. For their social science topics courses, students choose from a menu of courses in sociology, political science, economics, and other disciplines offered by faculty in the Division of Social Science. For their methodological training, students choose from a menu of courses offered by Social Science, Math, and other units.

Through this training, students will learn how to apply advanced quantitative methods to complex datasets in a way that accounts for the unique challenges associated with the analysis of social data, and reflects an understanding of existing social theory and evidence. They will learn how to identify a research question, collect and manage complex social data, carry out analysis, and then develop, test, and refine hypotheses informed by social science theory.

A menu of electives allows students to tailor their training to their interests and career plans. Students who plan to work after graduation have the flexibility to focus their methodological electives that offer hands-on experience applying cutting edge methods to the analysis of social data. Students who plan postgraduate graduate can focus on more theoretical courses, including advanced courses in the Math department and other campus units.

We will work with students who seek to complete minors elsewhere on campus, or double-major. HKUST now has a number of minors that are particularly relevant, and would complement the training we offer, including the Minors in Big Data Technology and Information Technology offered by Computer Science and Engineering

The program is ideal for students with quantitative skills who would like to apply them in the study of topics related to society. Our first intake will be Fall 2017.

The HKUST Division of Social Science is widely considered one of the strongest in Asia. It includes more than 30 faculty members from six different disciplines: Economics; Sociology; Political Science; Psychology; Geography; and Science, Technology and Society. It is especially noted for its strength in quantitative research and training.

Questions? Please email us at qsapgm@ust.hk.

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