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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

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

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

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

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. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 25%
Assignment  (2500 words) 11%
Assignment  (2500 words) 39%
Assignment 25%


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:

Books and Stationery equipment

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. Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available electronically on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books. Students on the DL programme receive key textbooks as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of the programme via post. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

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. Headphones are sent to the Distance Learning students in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves. The software and datasets require sufficient computer hard disk drive space, Random Access Memory (RAM) and fast processor (CPU).


Internet access to download and update software; to access the University library, and access learning material on the virtual learning space.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. Module Outlines) via the post at the beginning of their programme, as part of their tuition fees. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.

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.

Travel Costs for placements

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 on the MSc Gerontology (DL) or MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme are invited to attend a 4-day Residential Course in Southampton, however for those students who are in receipt of Commonwealth scholarships, this Course is obligatory, and the travel, accommodation and basic subsistence costs are covered as part of their Scholarship.

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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