MRes Criminology (Social Statistics) / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Statistical Models for Social Networks

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOST71032
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Social Statistics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course uses lectures and short embedded computer lab sessions to introduce the motivation, theory and application of various statistical models for social network analysis.

The course lectures are distributed over 10 weeks. Week 1 provides and introduction and overview; weeks 2-4 present classic and foundational network models in the field; weeks 5-9 focus on currently popular multivariate models for cross-sectional and longitudinal network data; week 10 gives a summary of the course.



If students do not have prior training in social network analysis, they are encouraged to take SOCY60361 (Social Network Analysis) in semester 1


The unit aims to:

1. Present the rationale for statistical network modelling.

2. Define and classify different types of network models.

3. Provide an overview of the most popular statistical models for network analysis.

4. Demonstrate how these models can be applied to empirical data.

Teaching and learning methods

This short course is taught early in semester 2. Computer labs are an integrated part of the course. The course will comprise four taught days, including interactive hands-on sessions, and two days entirely based on computer workshops.


Knowledge and understanding

A1. Critically engage with the theoretical foundations of SNA and use them to formulate robust and coherent SNA empirical questions.

A2. Design and develop network studies and intervention that can be used in private and public sectors.

A3. Understand the variety of network data, ie. egonets, whole networks, multilevel networks, longitudinal networks, multimode networks.

A4. Assess the feasibility and applicability of a wide range of analytical techniques to social network data

A5. Understand the motivation behind the statistical modelling of networks, and define and describe the most popular models in SNA

A6. Critically understand and evaluate SNA research, and reflect upon methodology in a theoretically informed way.

A7. Understand research questions in multidisciplinary contexts, and efficiently operationalise them.


Intellectual skills

B3. Critically discuss the most recent network literature applying complex statistical models, and identify the most appropriate statistical model for a given research problem.

B4. Analyse network structures using descriptive measures, and statistically model the mechanisms for social network formation and evolution, including ERGM models, longitudinal analysis, multivariate techniques, multimode and multilevel analysis, advanced statistical tools.

B6. Master advanced methods for data visualizations.

B7. Write social network analysis scientific articles and reports.

Practical skills

C2. Design and develop tailored research projects and interventions to a variety of real-world problems.

C4. Collect, manage, and analyse online and offline datasets, and efficiently approach large data analysis and management.

C5. Produce cutting edge data visualization with high impact and informativity.

C6. Be proficient in software that handle quantitative and network data (Ucinet, R)

Transferable skills and personal qualities

D1. Develop new or enhanced skills to identify and use diverse social network data, and use such data to inform cutting edge research projects and interventions in a variety of contexts.

D2. Understand and mediate multidisciplinary environments and liaise across different intellectual and practical contexts

D3. Work collaboratively, both face-to-face and through the use of various online tools and spaces.

D4. Accurately and effectively work with numbers, and use advanced computational software.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback available via Turnitin

Recommended reading


Reading list

  • Borgatti S., Everett M, Johnson J., 2018, Analysing Social Networks 2nd Ed, Sage, London
  • Robert A. Hanneman and Mark Riddle, Introduction to Social Network Analysis. Available at
  • Scott, J. (2000) Social Network Analysis: A Handbook, London, Sage.
  • Wasserman, S. and Faust, K. (1994) Social Network Analysis, Cambridge University Press.
  • Lusher,D., Koskinen, J., and Robins, G. (2013). Exponential random graph models for social networks: Theory, methods and applications. Cambridge University Press.

For Information and advice on Link2Lists reading list software, see:

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andras Voros Unit coordinator

Additional notes




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