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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Anthropology

ANTH47315: Simulating Data in R

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22


  • • SGIA49915 Quantitative Methods and Analysis, or completion of the Durham Research Methods Centre (DRMC) R school, or equivalent.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To explore how simulation can be used to complement statistical regression analysis.
  • To explore how to simulate social dynamics.


  • Indicative content as follows:
  • Simulating from statistical distributions in R.
  • Simulating regression data in R.
  • Simulating social dynamics in R.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have:
  • Understanding of how to simulate data from appropriate statistical distributions.
  • Understanding of how to simulate data for regression analysis.
  • Understanding of how simulation can be used to estimate power and uncertainty.
  • Understanding of the principles underpinning simple Markov chain simulations.
  • Understanding of how social dynamics can be simulated.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Simulate data from statistical distributions.
  • Simulate regression data.
  • Manipulate and run simple social simulations.
Key Skills:
  • Students will develop some key and transferable skills:
  • Understanding how to use R code to run simple simulations.
  • Understanding the application of simulation modelling in empirical research.
  • Incorporating simulation methods in an empirical research project proposal.
  • Writing and reading reports of simulation methods.
  • Preparing presentations.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module uses a learner-centred model and flipped-classroom techniques:
  • Prior to each workshop, appropriate information which may include texts, tutor-videos and practical worksheets, are made available for the student to acquire generic conceptual and practical information. Students use an online discussion board to register queries and offer peer feedback.
  • Face-to-face or remote workshops include mixed forms of delivery as appropriate which may include lecture, tutorial and practical elements.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 10 Weekly 2 20
Preparation and Reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project proposal presentation – an annotated (i.e. speech written out in speaker notes appropriate for a 10-15 minute presentation) Powerpoint presentation proposing the use of simulation elements to a research project in the student’s own academic discipline for a cross-disciplinary academic audience. 10-15 slides / equivalent to 10-15 mins delivery content. 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students submit and receive written feedback on a plan for their summative presentation (limit: 500 words).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University