Social Network Analysis POLITIC4178

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course examines the theoretical, methodological, and substantive aspects of structural patterns in human social relationships. Students will learn to collect, analyse, and discuss social network data and their social implications. Prior knowledge of computer programming is not required.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics and IR Moodle page, the Q-Step Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry requirements to Honours Politics or International Relations OR any 'with Quantitative Methods' plan on the MA Social Science.

Excluded Courses





Two practical skills assessments during class (20% each)

Group project - produce a social network analysis, 3000 words (60%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of major concepts and theories used in the study of social networks. It introduces students to theories of the emergence and effects of structured patterns in human social relationships, related to the acquisition and dissemination of information, resources and authority. It teaches students methods of collecting and analysing data related to key concepts in Social Network Analysis using widely available computer programmes such as the Statnet package in R. These theories and methods will be applied to problems in multiple fields, including in politics, psychology, economics, business, public health, and beyond, in order to understand the relevance of these ideas across the social sciences.


Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Summarise and apply major concepts in the study of social networks.

■ Explain and critique major theories commonly used in the study of social networks.

■ Collect social network data from a variety of sources.

■ Analyse social network data with commonly used statistical software.

■ Present information about social network analysis orally and in writing with both accuracy and coherence.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.