2023-2024 / SOCI1241-1

Calculating probabilities in the social sciences


30h Th, 30h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in human and social sciences6 crédits 
 Bachelor in human and social sciences (New programme)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of social sciences)6 crédits 
 Bachelor in information and communication5 crédits 


Philippe Lambert

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course, consisting of a bit more than ten theoretical lectures, is an introduction to probability theory and statistical inference. Probabilities are presented as measures of uncertainty. The rules regulating their manipulation are derived. The concepts of random variable and probability distribution are defined. The basic discrete and continuous probability distributions are studied with some of their properties. Statistical inference is introduced in a Bayesian framework with the estimation of a proportion. Posterior distributions and credible intervals are defined. These tools are used to compare proportions. The same inference strategy is used to estimate a mean or the difference of two means. The extension to the comparison of several means is studied using the ANOVA model. In the last part, techniques for comparing proportions obtained from paired data are presented. The concepts of association and independence between categorical variables are also defined with the associated testing procedures. Practicals are organized parallely to the theoretical lectures.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

To understand the concept of probability and its usefulness in the quantification and the modelling of uncertainty ; to understand and to be able to use the basic strategies required to estimate and compare proportions or means from survey data ; perform certain analyzes with the JASP software.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Pre-requisite: a course in descriptive statistics such as STAT0002-2

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Practicals will be organised to help students in the resolution of exercises useful to understand the theoretical lectures.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

The theoretical course and practical work take place during the 2nd quadrimester on a weekly basis. They will combine face-to-face sesssions, podcasts, forums, interactive distance sessions.

Recommended or required readings

The slides, podcasts and exercise resolutions used during the course and the practical work will be made available to the students on eCampus. The JASP software is free and accessible to everyone.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

The evaluation of this course will be done during an open-ended written exam during the exam sessions of May-June and August-September. The use of the JASP software could be assessed separately and only once at the end of the term (if this test is organised, it would count for 2 points in the final mark), without the possibility of repeating it during the August-September session.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

  • The completion of the theoretical courses and a pre-study of the associated materials are required to access the practical sessions.
  • eCampus will centralize practical information and the access to the course material.


  • Philippe LAMBERT, Faculté des sciences sociales, Bât B31, local R.54, tél: 04/366.59.90, email: p.lambert@uliege.be
  • Assistant: Patrick ITALIANO (Email: p.italiano@uliege.be)

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Course notes and exercises
Course notes, exercises, podcasts and forums available on eCampus