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SP10159: Academic and research skills II: 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 Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: OT 70%, PR 30%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Presentation 30% (PR 30%)
  • Report 70% (OT 70%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: SP10159 Reassessment only 100% cw (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:

* To introduce students to the foundations of quantitative data analysis and research design with a focus on using descriptive statistics
* To introduce students to the range of official statistics produced primarily in the UK, and the advantages and disadvantages of these as tools for social research.
* To introduce students to skills in the analysis, interpretation and presentation of material from secondary sources.
* To prepare students to make use of such material in other courses, placements and in the final year dissertation.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
1. critically apply principles of quantitative data analysis to a specified data set from the UK Neighbourhood Statistics
2. critically assess some of the main sources of official statistics in the UK
3. complete a report based on re-analysis of descriptive statistical data
4. identify a research aim
5. identify and use existing data sources appropriate to the aim of the research
6. present the research and its findings in the format of a group presentation
7. make an effective presentation of complex information using appropriate techniques (with the aide of Excel and Powerpoint)
8. work individually and in a team.


* To develop research skills with particular reference to those skills relating to official statistics.
* To think creatively and analytically.
* To construct and communicate an argument.
* To evaluate others' arguments and research.
* To develop collaborative learning skills and team and groupworking skills
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding
* To develop and apply ICT skills
* To develop presentation skills and verbal communication skills
* Time-management and work planning skills
* Report writing skills.


* Basic Epistemological and Methodological premises of Social Enquiry
* Social Production of statistics, including basic critical understanding of presentation of quantitative information
* Basic principles of a Quantitative Research Design.
* Spreadhseets, Excel, introduction to and production of basic graphs
* Basic understanding of the logic of measurement and introduction to the 4 types of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval/ratio, dichotmous)
* Introduction to frequencies, basic measures of central tendency (Mean, Median and Mode), and graphical presentation of distribution/dispersion (such as with bar graphs and histograms)
* Main sources of UK social statistics: Census 2011 data and Neighbourhood Statistics
* Analysing specific topics (e.g. population, unemployment, poverty, crime, age), Use of PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP10159 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 1)

SP10159 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 1)

* 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.