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The University of Southampton

STAT6077 Key Topics in Social Science: Measurement and Data

Module Overview

This module introduces key sources of social science data (both UK and non-UK), and the measurement of key concepts using these data, within a range of substantive areas. In doing so it focuses on the analysis of a number of fundamental social issues – including (for example) poverty and inequality, social mobility, and educational attainment and achievement. The module links the conceptual and practical: it touches on debates about how these issues should be understood, and examines how these issues are operationalised and measured in practice using quantitative measures. It also introduces students to the use of the STATA statistical software package.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appraise a variety of measures used to examine a variety of important social issues.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different data sources for empirical research on these issues.
  • Apply STATA programming commands to manipulate and analyse data; and interpret STATA output.
  • Create your own empirical analyses on these social issues, applying your learning about relevant data, suitable measures and statistical software.


The range of subjects across the social sciences that are measured with quantitative data is very broad and the content of the module will need to be selective. The module will in particular cover topics relevant to core dimensions of living standards – for example, income inequality and poverty, education, work patterns, social mobility, crime, attitudinal data and subjective wellbeing. From year to year different topics will be covered, although at least one of the topics of income inequality and poverty will be taught each year. The content of the module will also vary with staff availability. A major feature of this module is the exposure to STATA.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

If full face-to-face teaching has not resumed, teaching will be delivered by a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous online methods, which may include lectures, computer workshops, exercises, quizzes, discussion boards, and videos. Face-to-face teaching opportunities will be explored depending on circumstances and feasibility.

Independent Study80
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Other. This module will not have one key textbook. Instead students will be exposed to a variety of texts and articles which explain the conceptual and practical issues involved in the quantitative measurement of key social issues. These texts will be available to students either through Blackboard or through the electronic resources accessed on the University Library website.

Other. You will require access to the STATA software, which is available on the University’s computer workstations. Note that this software is not currently available for download to your own computer for use with your studies


Assessment Strategy

Summative assessment will be based on online assignment(s).


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 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

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.

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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