## Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Unit Catalogue 2007/08

#### XX50134 Quantitative methods 1: introduction to quantitative methods

 Credits: 6
 Level: Masters
 Semester: 1
 Assessment: CW 100%
 Requisites:
 Aims: This is a foundation course in quantitative methods for postgraduate students. It aims to provide a critical overview of quantitative methods and then provides training in statistical analysis both in the classroom and in the computer lab, applying SPSS. By the end of the unit, students will be equipped with the design and statistical skills to contribute to research projects. Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and understanding * Be aware of the main quantitative methods used, focusing on large-scale surveys, secondary analysis of data and large-scale experimental design * Have an understanding of some statistical models * Distinguish between different levels of data * Distinguish between descriptive and inferential statistics * Understand sampling error and the assumptions that underlie different statistical techniques Intellectual skills * Understand the relationships between, and the rationale for, qualitative and quantitative research methods * Appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of different quantitative methods * Appreciate cross-cultural issues in quantitative research * Be able to define a researchable problem and formulate research questions and hypotheses * Be able to design a short questionnaire * Be able to debate the appropriateness of different fieldwork methods * Understand the role of sampling and the concepts of generalisability, validity and reliability * Be able to carry out simple descriptive analysis including measures of central tendency and variability * Describe the stages of hypothesis testing * Select an appropriate statistical test * Interpret cross-tabulations and correlations * Interpret the results from chi square tests * Be able to generate basic descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS Professional practice skills * Understand ethical issues in relation to quantitative research * Acquire computing skills. Skills: See Above. Content: The course will take a critical look at quantitative methods in general including survey methods, experimental design and official statistics. The potential links between quantitative and qualitative methods will be explored. It will discuss issues of generalisability, sampling, fieldwork methods, data collection, validity and reliability. Students will also gain a grounding in descriptive and inferential statistics and they will also be introduced to SPSS for Windows.