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The University of Southampton

GERO6014 Quantitative Research Methods (DL)

Module Overview

This module introduces you to quantitative research methods within the social sciences. The module is aimed at providing a firm understanding of the fundamental principles of quantitative analysis, and a good foundation of knowledge of quantitative methods and their application to data relevant to disciplines across the Social Sciences, particularly Gerontology. You will learn about survey design, implementation, questionnaire design, and the analysis of quantitative data through a combination of online lectures, online exercises using SPSS, assessed coursework, tutorials, and individual study and practice. The module assumes no prerequisite knowledge of quantitative analysis and SPSS.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of survey design, questionnaire design and quantitative data analysis, including sampling, hypothesis setting and testing, correlation and confidence intervals.
  • Apply statistical methods to the analysis of datasets from the Social Sciences, including the analysis of variance, simple and multiple linear regression, and logistic regression.
  • Use written communication skills developed through the critical interpretation and discussion of statistical results using relevant academic literature
  • Use skills in statistical computing, handling and manipulating large datasets and using statistical software (SPSS) effectively.


The module will include online lectures and practice exercises on: principles of statistical analysis and key terms; types of surveys, data collection methods, sampling frames, methods of sampling (including sample design, simple random samples, stratified and clustered sampling, multi-stage sampling, non-probability sampling), sample size, questionnaire design and survey processing; introduction to UK and international data; descriptive statistics; z-scores; confidence intervals for means and proportions and hypothesis setting and testing; power calculations; chi-square tests; t-tests and analysis of variance; correlation and simple linear regression; multiple linear regression; variable interactions and regression assumptions; logistic regression; multiple logistic regression; and mixed methods.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching methods involve lectures, exercises, and tutorials. Learning activities include studying by listening to lectures and attending online tutorials; dialogue on the Discussion Board on Blackboard; practice exercises; and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance of each session and also to complete the practice exercises after each session. This helps reaffirm student learning and acts as a self-check as to the level of understanding reached.

Independent Study152
Online discussion forums20
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Module resources such as audio-recording and web-casts of lectures will be available on Blackboard, including PowerPoint lecture slides, readings, discussion board trigger questions, exercise coursework details, references and module updates. You will be provided with accessible datasets through Blackboard which you will manipulate for the purpose of practice exercises and the assessed assignments. 

Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods. 

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics. 

Foster, L., Diamond, I. and Jefferies, J. (2014). Beginning Statistics: An Introduction for Social Scientists. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 50%
Assignment 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (2500 words) 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:

Accommodation and Travel

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. All students are invited to attend a 4-day online workshop focusing on Ageing in the 21st Century and on preparation for the MSc Dissertation.

Conference expenses

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as any conference registration fees).


Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to already have access to a PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. All learning information, including the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and lecture handouts, is available online through Blackboard. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.


You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.


All readings in all modules are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books, however students may prefer to buy their own copies of specific textbooks. These can be purchased from any source. Students on the modules GERO6014 and GERO6015 receive one key textbook via post. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module. Software Licenses: Licenses relating to software used in the programme (eg. SPSS, NVivo) are purchased by the University, and students can download them from the iSolutions website using their username and password

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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