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The University of Southampton

EDUC6461 Applied Quantitative Methods in Education Research

Module Overview

This module provides a flexible, workshop-based approach to developing students' awareness of a range of research methods designed to collect quantitative data appropriate for students conducting research projects at postgraduate level in Educational settings.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical awareness of a wide range of methods for the collection and analysis of quantitative data;
  • Understand the principles of sound research design which enable robust collection of data associated with the range of quantitative methods studied;
  • employ appropriate techniques for the systematic analysis and interpretation of sources of quantitative data associated with the range of methods studied;
  • recognise the means by which theory may be developed and linked to the range of techniques used for interpreting and writing about the findings derived from quantitative research data.


The module will focus on at least three different approaches to the collection and analysis of quantitative data via methodologies commonly used in research applied to education contexts. Students will attend workshops which focus on the specific characteristics of each selected approach, and will be encouraged to compare and contrast their underpinning philosophical positions and associated theoretical perspectives, as well as practical details related to aspects of the relevant research designs such as appropriate sampling strategies, choice of data collection methods, and issues related to the collection and analysis of data. A list of exemplar approaches which may be studied are as follows: - quantitative measures of classroom and institutional practice; - experimental research; - questionnaire design; - psychometric measurement and scale development; - analysing large secondary datasets; - social network analysis. Common themes covered during each workshop are likely to include the associated: - nature of the underpinning philosophical and theoretical perspectives; - approaches for selecting and engaging participants (or their data) in the research; - specific ethical considerations; - means of ensuring quality in research e.g. robust design principles, transparent processes; - methods for the collection of primary data and/or accessing sources of secondary data; - systematic analysis of data derived from the methods being studied; - issues related to the interpretation of findings derived from the data analysis; - further reading related to methods and approaches covered.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module provides a flexible approach to developing a bespoke research methods toolkit for Education research students, which should enable students to engage in the design and implementation of their own research projects in a more critical and informed way. At the same time, it also provides an opportunity to broaden the range of methods with which the student is familiar in order to make better critical use of pre-existing research evidence. To facilitate the flexible approach students will be required to register for and attend the relevant research skills development workshops (usually scheduled for a 4 hour half-day session) in at least three different approaches to research associated with the collection and analysis of quantitative data. The workshops will employ a range of teaching and learning methods. Group sizes are likely to be modest (no more that 25-30 students) and provide a mix of - whole-class lecture and discussion; - small group interactive discussion and activities; - hands-on practical tasks related to data collection and analysis. Where appropriate sessions will be supported by the use of appropriate assistive technologies and software tools for the purpose of data collection and/or analysis. Members of the student's supervisory and/or programme team will provide additional tutorial support during the module, which will include discussing the focus for the module assignment and how it relates to the students' individual research training needs and proposed research project.

Independent Study85
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Robson, C. (2002). Real World Research. 

Muijs, D (2011). Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. 

Software. SPSS quantitative data analysis software and Amos (for factor/path analysis and Structural Equation Modelling) is available for download via the iSolutions Software download pages. Other similar software tools to support the analysis of quantitative data are available (such as STATA, MLwiN, MPlus, RStudio and associated plugins etc) but may require the purchase of a license in order for full functionality to be utilised.

Punch, K. & Oancea, A. (2014). Introduction to research methods in education. 

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K (2011). Research methods in education. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Software Licenses

Purchase of specific software tools and/or assistive technologies for the collection of data may greatly enhance the capacity for a student to utilise one or more of the methods studied in their primary research.


Due to its flexible nature, there are no set texts for the module, but students are encouraged to consider purchasing texts related to research methods, especially where these reflect the methods proposed in the research designs for their own research project, and for those research methods which are particularly prevalent in core source literature from the pre-existing research evidence base.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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