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QS904: Mastering Complex Real World Data

research design

Timing and CATS

This module will run in the Spring term and is worth 20 CATS. It will be offered 2020/21.

Module Description

When learning about quantitative data analysis we spend most of our time figuring out how to perform and interpret statistical models. However, in our daily practice we will spend the majority of our time preparing our data for analysis. This course will introduce the skills and techniques required to plan, organise, document and execute research in a manner which will encourage efficiency, accuracy and replication. This course will allow you to develop specialised expertise in data enabling using Stata, no previous experience of this software is required.

This module consists of nine weeks of teaching, with a one hour lecture and a two hour practical computer lab session each week. The module will be assessed by two technical reports based on the replication of a published piece of social science research.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module students will:

  • Demonstrate an advanced and critical understanding of the pitfalls that are often involved when analysing real-world, complex, data (e.g. missing data, attrition, non-representative samples);
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the processes of planning, organising and documenting quantitative social science research;
  • Understand the role of sensitivity analysis, replication and transparency in quantitative research;
  • Appreciate how theoretical social science concepts can be operationalised in quantitative research;
  • Have the practical skills to independently enable data for analysis in Stata.