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Practice and Interpretation of Quantitative Research

Is income inequality in the UK growing? Does marriage improve health? Does growing up in a poor neighbourhood affect your life chances? These are just a few of sociological questions that you can be answered using quantitative methods.

Sociology seeks to describe and understand social phenomena. This task is often possible only by analyses of social surveys. For example, we would not be able to know that income inequality has been growing, or that women continue to do the bulk of housework in the UK if we didn’t have access to representative large-scale datasets. Such information is crucial for sociologists to understand social processes.

This module will thus give you a thorough introduction to quantitative methods and you will learn how to analyse existing datasets to answer sociological questions using SPSS, a popular statistical software. The module will also teach you how to interpret existing sociological analyses that use quantitative methods: Tables and figures sometimes appear intimidating. The aim of this module is to give you the confidence to engage with sociological sources using statistical methods, and demonstrate the merits of these research methods for sociology.

This is a core module for second year Sociology students as well as joint Honours students. The module introduces quantitative research methods, including how to use statistical software to analyse large-scale survey data. The module uses a mix of seminars and computer labs.

By the end of the module, you will know how to independently conduct basic bivariate analysis and will be familiar with the use of SPSS software for data analysis. At the same time, you'll gain familiarity with key substantive sociological studies using quantitative methods.


Module Director

Stella Chatzitheochari