SO7003 - Advanced Research Methods

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What will I learn on this module?

This module is designed to build competency in descriptive and inferential statistics and the computer analysis of parametric and non-parametric data. Course content includes basic procedures of confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, inferential statistics and the analysis of continuous, ordinal and binary dependent variables. Emphasis is placed on the examination of research problems and issues in social sciences with real data.

A range of approaches to qualitative analysis will also be explored and you will be shown how to identify themes and relationships between factors within qualitative data, using NVivo and other software packages where appropriate. The analysis of narratives and of discourse will also be demonstrated and you will be encouraged to think about the meanings that underlie the choice of words.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be taught through a series of workshops, half of them covering quantitative methods and half covering qualitative approaches. The quantitative module will provide intense statistical training in the form of lectures and lab work. Students will be asked to undertake exercises to put their statistical knowledge into practice and draw appropriate conclusions. You will similarly be shown a range of possible approaches to analysing qualitative data and encouraged to put them into practice in a series of exercises.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The frequent setting of exercises is the ideal opportunity for you to learn from your fellow students and the lecturer. There will be opportunities to ask questions both in the teaching sessions and by contacting the staff who teach on the module at other times. Your learning will also be supported by an extensive reading list and the provision of lecture notes and other materials on Blackboard. Module staff will be available outside the teaching sessions to discuss your progress and answer questions about the module, including the assessment. The summative assessment will provide the opportunity for you to put your learning into practice by analysing one quantitative and one qualitative dataset. Detailed feedback on this assessment will give you the opportunity to reflect on the decisions that were made in the course of this analysis.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

You will be expected to read a range of material, mainly available through textbooks. A full electronic reading list will be made available via Blackboard. You will also be expected to undertake specific reading for each teaching session.

All modules at Northumbria include a range of secondary reading materials that you are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this contains contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Undertake basic statistical calculations that are appropriate and accurate; represent data through the statistics that are calculated and demonstrate the ability to understand the relevance of statistics to key stakeholders.

2. Demonstrate awareness of methods of analysing qualitative data and the subjective judgments that are involved in such analysis.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Exhibit a high level of analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, using software packages as appropriate.

4. Communicate and report clearly and concisely the outcomes of data analysis.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Demonstrate critical curiosity in interrogating datasets.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the module, you will be asked to undertake tasks to prepare you for the summative assessment, such as using specific inferential statistical tests and analysing sections of qualitative data using defined approaches.

For the quantitative portion of this module, students will be required to conduct a statistical analysis of a dataset and write up their results in a 2,500 word report. The report must demonstrate the ability to compute meaningful statistics and then represent, interpret and communicate those statistics to a general audience.,

For the qualitative portion of the module students will be required to write a 2,500 word report on qualitative data, using appropriate forms of analysis to draw out themes and issues.

(MLOs 1-5).


Social Research Methods



Module abstract

Research/enquiry based You will undertake the research centred activity of data analysis and draw appropriate conclusions from this analysis.

Research Orientated You will be shown, and will put into practice, different methods of analysing data in order to draw valid conclusions

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Social Sciences

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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