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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP5307M Quantitative Research Methods

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Lisa Buckner

Taught: 1 Jan to 31 May View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Module replaces

SLSP5110M Quantitative Research Methods

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module takes a practical approach to quantitative research methods and its application to social research. Topics covered include research design and quantitative methods, ethical issues, sampling, questionnaire construction, official statistics, analysis of large data sets, hypothesis construction, descriptive statistics and bivariate and multivariate analysis. Students will be taught statistical analysis using SPSS.


• Understanding and evaluating the distinctive contribution of quantitative research including its limitations, and the socially constructed nature of data sets
• Advanced knowledge of the use of particular quantitative research methods
• Understanding the different forms of sampling, sampling error and case selection and potential implications for interpretation and research findings
• Advanced competency in understanding and applying a broad range of quantitative research methods and the use of appropriate software for their application
• Capabilities for analysing quantitative data using Excel and SPSS
Higher level capabilities for disseminating quantitative research and an ability to communicate effectively through in-depth written assignments, including a research report and questionnaire design task.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should be able to:
• recognise the diverse approaches to quantitative data collection such as cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental research designs
• understand different purposes and approaches to quantitative data collection including structured interviewing and modes of questionnaire administration
• critically interpret numerical data that are presented in tabular or graphical form
• undertake quantitative analysis including univariate descriptive statistics, measure of central tendency and measure of bivariate association; and develop a sophisticated awareness of statistical inference and modelling
• undertake statistical analysis of survey data using SPSS and be able to communicate the results effectively in written form


The module will include:
• differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches
• different quantitative research methods and their advantages and disadvantages
• issues in the social construction of data sets
• sampling and issues related to this
• research instrument design including questionnaire design
• accessing secondary data
• data checking, leaning, coding and manipulation
• quantitative data analysis linked to theory development including univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis
• inferential statistical tests for parametric and non-parametric data
• data modelling using linear and non-linear regression techniques
• data interpretation, presentation and visualisation
• ways of linking data, including the scope for linking quantitative and qualitative data

Assessment is by way of a research report based on a practical data analysis task, and can be related directly to the student's social research interests and disciplinary or cross-disciplinary orientations. In addition, students will undertake a mid-semester formative questionnaire design assessment.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours128.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

10 hours online learning time for set weekly course activities (on the VLE) including reading set texts, watching films/clips and data searching in preparation of the lectures. Private study time will be used to undertake the formative assessment and the data analysis, interpretation and writing for the assignment.
58 hours preparation for lectures and seminar
60 hours preparation for assessment

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress in monitored during weekly computer workshops. In addition a formative assessment to be submitted in week 6 which provides them with feedback on their progress.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectProject report 3000 words90.00
Written WorkQuestionnarie Design Task: 2 sides10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/08/2020 09:58:10


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