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Unit information: Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (GSoE) in 2017/18

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Unit name Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (GSoE)
Unit code EDUCM0003
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Browne
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences Core Skills in Educational Research Understanding Educational Research

School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

  • To provide a philosophical appreciation of the underpinnings of quantitative research methods
  • To develop a critical understanding of the potential of various quantitative methodologies and key epistemological and methodological ‘problems’ raised in quantitative methodologies
  • To introduce ethical, political and value concerns arising from the interpretation and analysis of quantitative data
  • To develop students’ understanding of the application, strengths and weaknesses of a range of quantitative methods and develop basic skills in the use of quantitative research techniques

Students will apply these methods and techniques in the particular context of their own discipline.

Intended learning outcomes

Module specific skills

  • Develop a philosophical appreciation of the underpinnings of quantitative research methods
  • A critical understanding of and the ability to apply to their own work, the appropriate uses, strengths and weaknesses of quantitative methods
  • Ability to evaluate the research practice, data and interpretations of others
  • Sensitivity to ethical, political and value concerns in quantitative research
  • Appreciation of a reflexive approach to social science research
  • Demonstrate basic skills in the use of quantitative research techniques

Discipline specific skills

  • Develop an appreciation of the philosophical underpinning of quantitative approaches in relation to the discipline
  • Understand how quantitative research can address specific challenges within a disciplinary context
  • Demonstrate and apply a critical understanding of quantitative methods used in the discipline.
  • Understand how quantitative methods are used in the discipline and gain an overview of some current quantitative research examples within the discipline
  • Develop an understanding of discipline-specific ethical, political and value issues, related to quantitative research

Personal and key skills

  • Critical analysis
  • Ability to reflect on personal/ethical issues raised in quantitative research.
  • Team work
  • Presentation skills
  • Practical skills in quantitative research methods using SPSS

Teaching details

Lectures/presentations, seminars, group work, lab based sessions and virtual learning environment

Assessment Details

Formative OR Group presentation 15 mins Personal and key skills Principles of Quantitative research design Verbal

Formative (alternative) Essay 1500 words Principles of Quantitative research design Written

Summative 100% Essay 4,000 words Module and discipline specific skills Written

Summative (alternative)100% Essay + Research design 2,500 words + 1,500 words Module and discipline specific skills Written

Summative(alternative)100% Analysis of (primary or secondary) data set 4,000 words Module and discipline specific skills Written

The choice between summative assessment options will be negotiated with the Unit Tutor

Reading and References

  • Action, C., Miller, R., Fullerton, D. and Maltby, J. (2009) SPSS for Social Scientists [second edition], Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods [third edition] Oxford University Press.
  • Field, A (2009) Discovering Statistics using SPSS [3rd edition], Sage
  • Fielding, J and Gilbert, N (2006) Understanding Social Statistics [2nd edition], Sage
  • De Vaus, D.A (2002) Surveys in Social Research, [5th edition] Routledge
  • Gilbert, N. (ed.) (2008) Researching Social Life [third edition], Sage

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