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Unit information: Educational Statistics in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Educational Statistics
Unit code EDUC30035
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Leckie
Open unit status Not open




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


Understanding how to use, present and analyse data, select the right statistical test, interpret the results correctly and communicate findings honestly and effectively are essential tools in social science, policy research and also in business and commerce.

The aim of this unit is to:

  • introduce students to the principles of statistical enquiry drawing on examples from social scientific research;
  • provide an introduction to the statistical software, SPSS.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. understand the most commonly used descriptive statistics and graphs in educational research;
  2. understand the most commonly used statistical tests in educational research;
  3. apply these procedures in SPSS, report and interpret the output correctly;
  4. select and justify the most appropriate procedures in different situations;
  5. read and engage with published research which use these procedures.

Teaching details

Lectures, seminars and practical classes

Assessment Details


In class practical assignments


ILO 1-4: An assignment (2000 words). Students will be provided with several SPSS datasets and will be asked to address a different research question on each dataset. Students will be required to identify and conduct in SPSS appropriate descriptive statistics, graphs, and statistical tests to address each research question. Students will then have to report their statistical output following academic conventions, interpret their findings, reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their analyses, and suggest potential improvements. (100%)”

Reading and References

Best J, 2012, Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists (Updated edition). Ewing, NJ: University of California Press.

Dilnot A, Blastland M, 2008, The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers (expanded edition). London: Profile Books.

Elliott J, Marsh C, 2008, Exploring Data: An Introduction to Data Analysis for Social Scientists. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Frankfort-Nachmias C, Leon-Guererro A, 2014, Social Statistics for a Diverse Society. London: Sage.

Hand DJ, 2008, Statistics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Huff D, 1991, How to Lie with Statistics (new edition). London: Penguin.

Rogers S, 2013, Facts are Sacred. London: Faber & Faber