Doing Social Research: working with quantitative data

Module code: L3078
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework

The aim of this module is to introduce students to different ways of designing and doing social research. In this part we focus on basic features of quantitative survey research, both analysing other people's research (using secondary data) and creating your own. In Part II we focus on different methods of qualitative data collection and analysis. The aim of the module is to give you important skills for life as well as the labour market, and more prosaically to prepare you to carry out project work in the third year. In both halves of this module you build up activities week by week to carry out a kind of 'pilot' or 'mini-project' on a topic of your choice. This is more closely supported than in year 3: you will discuss ideas for the project in your workshops; you will be helped to apply for ethical review; you will have formative feedback on your proposals and your research instruments (in this case surveys) and lots of help in workshops to bring it all together.

Module learning outcomes

  • Formulate a sociological question that could be answered with quantitative data
  • Design and pilot a survey questionnaire to answer this question and reflect on the experience
  • Access data archives, download and manipulate data in appropriate computer packages
  • Analyse and evaluate quantitative data and concepts