The University of Southampton
Courses

STAT2009 Research Methods in The Social Sciences

Module Overview

This module builds upon the material learnt in the first year in STAT1003. It aims to increase your knowledge of social science research strategies and methods of collecting data (both quantitative and qualitative). It does this by covering the whole research process from conceptualising the problem, the collection of appropriate data, analysis of that data, and then drawing conclusions to then motivate further research. More specifically it aims to enable you to undertake simple hypothesis tests for quantitative data and to understand the uses of such tests made by researchers in the social sciences, as well as perform appropriate analysis on qualitative data. It will also introduce you to some major national data sources such as the LFS and GHS that are used for social science research.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Evaluate published social science research

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Core quantitative and qualitative research methods in the social sciences
  • Analyse data using the statistical package SPSS and interpret the findings.

Syllabus

This module will start with a broad introduction to research methods within the social sciences focusing on the roles of both quantitative and qualitative methods. It will then move on to basic designs for collecting quantitative data concentrating on probability sampling designs (SRS, stratification, clustering) and non-probability designs (snowball, quota) as well as the design of the questionnaire. This will be followed by quantitative methods of analysis covering basic hypothesis tests for means, proportions and tables (with application using SPSS) and finish with an introduction to simple linear regression concentrating on the interpretation of the model and testing its significance. The final part will cover the use of qualitative methods including focus groups and in-depth interviews, and the analysis of them, within the context of both informing the quantitative analysis as well as adding depth and understanding to quantitative analysis that has already been undertaken.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be via a combination of lectures, tutorials and computer workshops. Learning activities will include learning in lectures, discussing problems during tutorials, as well as by independent study

TypeHours
Teaching40
Independent Study110
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Diamond I. and Jefferies, J. (2001). Beginning Statistics: An Introduction for Social Scientists. 

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

SPSS. You will require access to the SPSS software, which is available on the University’s computer workstations. Note that this software is available for download to your own computer for use with your studies

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The examination covers the whole syllabus - research designs, the application of quantitative methods, and qualitative methods. It will include interpretation of SPSS output.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 40%
Exam  (2 hours) 60%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: STAT1003 Introduction To Quantitative Methods 2016-17

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