Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM150: Text as Data

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits15 ECTS Value7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Travis Coan (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Effective analytics in the era of “big data” requires researchers to have a wide-range of tools at their disposal. This module focuses a set of tools that are essential for data analysts focusing on social scientific questions: text analysis. Text analytic methods are increasingly important for researchers in the policy domain, as textual information offers an abundant—and potentially vital—data source for policy analysis and evaluation. This module provides you with a practical introduction to collecting, processing, and analyzing “text as data.” You will formulate your own policy-relevant research questions and apply the tools introduced in the module to answer these questions. In doing so, you will gain a practical introduction the process of analyzing text as data, from collecting textual information to text classification and analysis.

Although there are no formal pre-requisites for taking the module, some (even limited) programming experience will be helpful. You will use the Python programming language to implement most of the tools introduced throughout the term. No prior knowledge of Python is assumed. You are encouraged to reach out to module convener with questions regarding Python or programming more generally.

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