The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Social Statistics & DemographyPart of Social Sciences

L90B BSc Quantitative Social Science (3 years)

The aim of the BSc in Quantitative Social Science is to provide students with a broad understanding of the social world alongside a rigorous training in quantitative techniques and data analysis skills. Students will be given advanced quantitative methods training alongside data management and interpretation competences that will be attractive to a wide range of employers in the public, private, charitable and academic sectors. These skills will be set in the context of a wide range of social science topics, focused around politics, international relations, sociology, social policy, criminology and demography. Therefore students will complete the degree understanding about both theoretical and practical aspects of social science.

Students will study, alongside the quantitative techniques, at least three different social science disciplines. Within these, some modules will have quantitative elements while others will be more theoretical. All students will conduct a dissertation which uses quantitative techniques applied to a substantive topic within social sciences. The quantitative training will be based around real life examples and datasets to ensure that students can approach and tackle the main global challenges of today from a quantitative perspective. The programme is closely related to research that is undertaken across the Social Sciences Academic Unit and is a demonstration of the expertise that the University of Southampton has in this area. The programme showcases the University’s leading role in Quantitative Social Sciences within the UK and internationally.

Overview

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide you with a knowledge of central theoretical and methodological issues in the social sciences
  • Develop quantitative analysis skills and knowledge for application in a range of contexts and topic areas
  • Develop critical and evaluative thinking in the context of the social sciences and quantitative methodologies
  • Develop a range of skills and abilities that will contribute to your effectiveness in employment after completing the programme;
  • Support you in becoming an independent learner, and in planning your studies and subsequent career.

View the programme specification for this course

Programme Structure

In all three years of the degree there are three types of module that will be taken.

Firstly there are quantitative methods modules – one in year 1, two in Year 2 and one in Year 3 – which will provide you with the techniques and knowledge about statistical methodology and research design.

The second type of module is a substantive module with a quantitative pathway. These are modules in a range of different subject areas and the modules are on a specific topic or theme. Throughout these modules quantitative evidence will be used (alongside other forms of evidence) to demonstrate theory and highlight specific points. Parts of these modules will be devoted to the quantitative exploration of relevant datasets, and this will be followed by a quantitative assignment, linking the theory to the evidence and furthering quantitative knowledge.

Thirdly there are standard substantive modules taken from the social sciences and beyond. These are standard modules which are currently run by a range of degree programmes and may not have any quantitative element to them.

You will take modules in at least three different topic areas within the substantive/quantitative strand above in order to gain a broad social science understanding. These modules may be from Criminology, Demography, Economics, Gerontology, Politics and International Relations or Sociology and Social Policy..

In the first year a range of foundation modules in all topic areas and in quantitative methods are available, along with modules which introduce generic study skills. The second-year modules will further expand social science knowledge and develop more advanced analytical and methodological skills. The second year will have a dedicated module where interaction with potential employers will take place. In the third year, specialisation is encouraged through the choice of option modules across the social sciences and further in the research project. The research project (dissertation) will give students an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of individual research on an area chosen by the student in any social science subject using quantitative methods.

In addition to compulsory and core modules, you will take other option modules available each year, either to engage with some topic areas in more depth, or to broaden the curriculum. There are opportunities to take Curriculum Innovation modules, which provide opportunities for students to take introductory modules in topics from across the University. 

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEs:
QualificationGrade
GCSEGCSE Mathematics (grade B (new level 6) or above) and GCSE English (grade C or above) or equivalent qualifications.
A Levels:
QualificationGrade
GCE A-level

ABB At least one subject must have a quantitative component e.g. Mathematic, Economics, Geography, Psychology. Subjects not accepted General Studies. EPQ Alternative offer BBB with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification if the Extended Project is using quantitative techniques.

IB:
QualificationGrade
International Baccalaureate32 points overall, 16 at higher level
Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Access/ Foundation). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful relevant study (e.g. Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation programmes) and of your capacity to pursue the programme. All students are required to have GCSE Mathematics grade B (or equivalent) and English grade C (or equivalent).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The University has a Recognition of Prior Learning Policy. We will consider RPL up to a maximum of 20 ECTS (40 CATS) credits subject to applicants providing evidence of how previous study matches the explicit criteria of expected learning outcomes.

English Language Proficiency
OverallReadingWritingSpeakingListening
6.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
Selection process:

The University’s Admissions Policy applies equally to all programmes of study. The following are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed below will also be acceptable.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

The structure of the programme and the modules currently offered are set out below. Of the modules shown against each year of your programme, some are core, some are compulsory and others are option modules.  Against each year, you are directed to which modules are core, which are compulsory and which are options. In Year 1, one module is core: STAT1010 (Quantitative Methods). In Year 2 STAT2019 (Research Methods in the Social Sciences), STAT2021 (Analysing Global Social Challenges) and STAT2020 (Regression Analysis) are core, while in Year 3 the dissertation module (STAT3029) is core. Also in Year 3 STAT3028 (Analysis of Multivariate Data) is compulsory.

Year 1

Core

STAT1010 Quantitative Methods

Optional modules (quantitative)

PAIR1006 Political Systems (Quant)

SOCI1002 Transformations of the Modern World

SOCI1003 Social Problems and Social Policy

DEMO1001 Introduction to Demographic Methods

DEMO1003 Population and Society

Optional modules (substantive)

At least three modules should be selected from those offered within the below subjects areas:

CRIM1xxx Criminology subject elective

DEMO1xxx Demography subject elective

ECON1xxx Economics subject elective

PAIR1xxx Politics & International Relations subject elective

SOCI1xxx Sociology & Social Policy subject elective

LANG1xxx Language subject elective

ANTH1001 Exploring Other Cultures

ARCH1057 The Development of Archaeological & Anthropological Thought

Year 2

Core

STAT2021 Analysing Global Social Challenges

STAT2019 Research Methods in the Social Sciences

STAT2020 Regression Analysis

Optional modules (quantitative)

PAIR2038 Political Behaviour (Quant)

PAIR2039 The Politics of the Media (Quant)

PAIR2040 Comparative Party Politics (Quant)

CRIM2009 Crime and Criminal Justice: Historical Perspectives

CRIM2010 Criminology Policy and Practice (Quant)

SOCI2037 Globalisation, Inequalities & Power (Quant)

ECON2013 Development Economics

DEMO2008 Population and Reproductive Health

DEMO2013 Population History

DEMO2015 Applied Population Research Methods

Optional modules (substantive)

CRIM2xxx Criminology subject elective

DEMO2xxx Demography subject elective

ECON2xxx Economics subject elective

PAIR2xxx Politics & International Relations subject elective

SOCI2xxx Sociology & Social Policy subject elective

LANG2xxx Language subject elective

Year 3

Core

STAT3029 Dissertation

Compulsory

STAT3028 Analysis of Multivariate Data

Optional modules (quantitative)

PAIR3047 Political Behaviour (Quant)

PAIR3048 The Politics of the Media (Quant)

PAIR3049 Comparative Party Politics (Quant)

SOCI3089 Migration in a Globalising World (Quant)

DEMO3007 Population and Reproductive Health

GERO3001 Population Ageing and the Lifecourse (Quant)

Optional modules (substantive)

SOCI3084 Environment, Development and Society

PAIR3018 Global Governance

ECON3034 International Trade Theory

CRIM3002 Issues in Law Enforcement and Social Control

DEMO3003 Migration

ANTH3002 Sexuality & Intimacy

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
EquipmentApproved Calculators Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou 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.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available 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. 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.
OtherComputer Discs Software Licenses Software licenses are available on the University’s public workstations. You may choose to purchase additional personal copies for use on your own computers. The University has site licences for some statistical software which will allow you to download a copy for free via the website https://www.software.soton.ac.uk. Hardware Computer workstations are available on the University campus. You may wish to purchase your own personal laptop to undertake work at home.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing/ For students undertaking modules with a high mathematical content, some assessed work will be submitted in handwritten hard copy format. Students are advised that they will need to bear the costs of the required stationery.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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 www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first part onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the degree skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules. In the second year Analysing Global Social Challenges module there will be events embedded within, including a field visit to employers, such as the Office of National Statistics.

There has been a recognised deficit of UK trained quantitative social scientist. Students who complete this programme will be highly in demand by a range of employers, including local and national government departments, market research and life insurance companies, international organisations and many other agencies and businesses requiring a sound social analytical basis for decision-making.

The degree will be closely linked with Southampton Q-Step Affiliate group which promotes employability amongst quantitative social scientists.

Learning & Assessment

Teaching takes place during two semesters, the first running from October to January and the second from February through to May. Eight subject modules (compulsory and option) are taken per year – four per semester.

Teaching comprises lectures, small-group classes and computer workshops. Most modules have two lectures per week and one other element of teaching per week or fortnight, although some technical modules have greater requirements. To cope with the demands of the programme you will need to conduct private study each week. Group work, individual supervision (particularly for the dissertation) and small-group supervision may also be used.

Lectures offer an overview of a topic, an explanation of difficult concepts or a discussion of key issues. They often require some additional reading. Tutorials provide a forum for a closer examination of particular aspects of each module, and are an important part of the learning process, especially when practicing the application of quantitative methods on real life datasets. Computer workshops allow quantitative techniques to be practiced within specific software packages and aid understanding.

Modules are assessed through a mixture of coursework and end-of-semester examinations. Coursework can take the form of a written essay, small project, report, policy briefs, computer exercise, or a poster or oral presentation. Your final degree classification is based upon marks from the second- and third-year modules.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Study Locations

Highfield campus

Highfield Campus

Southampton University's main campusFind out more

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