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XX50134: Quantitative methods 1: introduction to quantitative methods

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: MC 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Multiple Choice and Short Answer Exam (MC 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The unit aims to provide a thorough understanding of basic quantitative research methods and training in statistical analysis both in the classroom and in the lab, applying SPSS. By the end of the unit, students will be equipped with appropriate research design and statistical analysis skills to contribute to research projects.

Learning Outcomes:

* Thorough understanding of core quantitative methods used, focusing on large-scale surveys, secondary analysis of data and experimental design;
* Ability to identify, contrast and compare different levels of data;
* Critical understanding of differences between descriptive and inferential statistics;
* Thorough understanding of sampling error and the assumptions that underlie different statistical techniques.


* 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
* Learn to read critically published quantitative research and 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
* Interpret the results from bivariate linear regression
* 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.

The unit 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.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

XX50134 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Education Department for Health Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies Department of Psychology Department of Social & Policy Sciences

XX50134 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

XX50134 is Optional (DEU) on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • THXX-AFM46 : MRes Global Political Economy: Transformations & Policy Analysis
  • THXX-AFM47 : MRes Global Political Economy: Transformations & Policy Analysis

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.