- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

SP10159: Becoming a social science researcher: Part 2

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
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: CW 20%, PF 80%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • CW 20% (CW 20%)
  • PF 80% (PF 80%)

Information regarding synoptic assessment for this unit will be published shortly. In the meantime please contact the Director of Studies or consult your programme handbook for further details.

Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
SP10159 Reassessment only 100% cw (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
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 a wide range of official statistics, 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 specified data sets
2. critically assess some of the main sources of official statistics nationally and globally
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
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
* Analysing specific topics (e.g. population, unemployment, poverty, crime, age) through the practical use of sustainable technological tools for presentation and analysis.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

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)

SP10159 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB22 : BSc(Hons) Criminology (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB22 : BSc(Hons) Criminology with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB21 : BSc(Hons) International Development with Economics (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB21 : BSc(Hons) International Development with Economics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • 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)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change 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.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.