The 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.
▌Features and Goals
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. The curriculum is described in our page on program requirements.
Students learn how to apply advanced quantitative methods to complex data sets 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 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.
The program is ideal for students with quantitative skills who would like to apply them in the study of topics related to society. Training in our major focuses on methodologies that have been developed specifically for the analysis of social data. 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. As for double-majors, the BSc in Computer Science program offered by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering is an excellent fit, and is designed specifically to accommodate students who would like to double major. By double-majoring or minoring, Quantitative Social Analysis students can acquire training in topics and methods such as big data technology and data science that we do not cover in our own courses.
▌Social Science at HKUST
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.