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Unit information: Research Methods 3 in 2015/16

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Unit name Research Methods 3
Unit code ACHSD0007
Credit points 20
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Johnson
Open unit status Not open

Research Methods 1 & 2



School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit builds on the work of previous units Research Methods 1 & 2. The primary focus is on data analysis and is based on the expectation that students will be in the process of data collection for their dissertation. The Unit will provide qualitative and quantitative research approaches to the treatment of data and will give the students hands-on work on certain educational psychology datasets. The Unit will prepare students for both analysis and the drawing of conclusions, the limits of the data and the requirements for clear reporting of the work. The emphasis of this Unit will be on use of on-line facilities and all of the Unit content will be accessible at a distance and on-line.


To provide support to the students in maximising the use of data, whether qualitative or quantitative by exploring and giving direct experiences of, current techniques for data analysis. This will include experience of SPSS and other programs for dealing with larger data sets, on-line facilities for handling non-parametric analysis and tools available for quantitative data bases of text and in other forms. Other online sources of research information and research analysis will also be explored.

To provide guidance on the preparation of reports and the rational appraisal of research studies as a basis for self examination of students’ own research projects.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • To demonstrate capacity to carry out analysis of supplied datasets using on-line tools, statistical and qualitative analysis programs and techniques.
  • To be able to draw conclusions from different analysis of diverse datasets and to be able to present the work coherently.

Teaching Information

Most work in this unit is accessible on-line – offering datasets for analysis and feedback will be provided directly on success. This will be supported by lectures and tutorials.

Assessment Information

Completion of a 4000 word assignment. – Consisting of the analysis of two data sets – one qualitative and the other quantitative and a comparative discussion of their effectiveness for the respective research questions.

Reading and References

  • Bartholomew, D (2002) The Analysis and Interpretation of Multivariate Data for Social Scientists, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Berg BL (2004) Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences, London: Pearson (Allyn & Bacon)
  • Bryman, A and Cramer, D (2004) Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS 12 and 13 A Guide for Social Scientists, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd Routledge
  • Ezzy D (2002) Qualitative Analysis London: Taylor & Francis
  • Field N (2005) Discovering Statistics using SPSS, London: Sage
  • Hesse-Bibe S N and Leavy P (2005) The Practice of Qualitative Research, London: Sage Publications