INTRODUCTION TO QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMX224422
Module Leader George Loumakis
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
Trimester
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

The module will focus on introducing the student to the purposes, philosophy, approaches and resources that are used for research involving quantitative data. Key practical skills incorporating data collection instruments and the role and purpose of statistics as an analytical tool to aid the determination of research findings will be explored and developed. Sources of data, both primary and secondary, will be introduced. Emphasis will be placed on discussing how data area collected and how statistical analysis methods help to convert data into meaningful practical knowledge. The module will also introduce the student to data handling in statistical software (IBM SPSS Statistics) as support tools for data presentation, analysis and interpretation.

Syllabus

Introduction What is statistics? Place in research process. Concept of a variable. Measurement scales for variables. Bias. Populations. Sampling. Data Resources Primary and secondary data. Government data. Business data. Census data. Global data. Data Collection Methods Surveys. Questionnaires. Experiments. Case studies. Psychometric instruments. Time frames for data collection (snapshot, longitudinal). Data Analysis Elements Graphical presentations. Numerical summaries. Analysis of data presentations for evidence.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the student should be able to:- Critically evaluate why and how quantitative research is conducted.- Compare and discriminate between the range of data collection methods available for quantitative research.- Use statistical software to aid the presentation, analysis and evidence interpretation of quantitative data.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be presented using a range of teaching and learning strategies. These will include traditional interactive classroom sessions, IT sessions and distance learning elements using a Visual Learning Environment [VLE] (GCULearn) for enhancement of learning as appropriate. The learning strategies will build upon the students' maturity and their ability to reflect on their own learning experiences. Students will also be advised to consolidate their knowledge of the content via directed texts and articles, both paper based and electronic. Statistical software, such as IBM SPSS Statistics, will be used to illustrate data presentation for evidence analysis. Appropriate exercises will be used to consolidate the students' skills in terms of both presentation and analysis of results. This approach will provide the student with the opportunity to experience how a software package aids quantitative data presentation and analysis within research.

Indicative Reading

Texts Becker, S., Bryman, A. & Ferguson, H. (Eds.). (2012). Understanding Research for Social Policy and Practice, 2nd Edition. Bryman, Alan. (2004). Social Research Methods, 2nd edition. Bryman, A. (2011) Business Research Methods, 3rd Ed. Oxford University Press. Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods, 4th Edition Byrne, D. (2011) Applying Social Science Creswell, J (2013) Research Design (International Student Edition): Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics with SPSS, 3rd Ed. Sage. Field, A (2013) Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics Fielding, J. L., & Gilbert, G. N. (2006). Understanding Social Statistics. Fowler, F. J. (2009) Survey Research Methods, 4th Ed. Sage. Hicks, C. M. (2004) Research Methods for Clinical Therapists, 4th Ed. Churchill Livingstone. Jupp, V. (2006) The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods. Sage. Leedy, P. D. (2010) Practical Research: Planning and Design, 9th Ed. Pearson Education. Neuman, W. L. (2011) Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 7th Ed. Pearson Education. Neutens, J. J. & Rubinson, L. (2010) Research Techniques for the Health Sciences, 4th Ed. Benjamin Cummings. Pallant, J (2013) SPSS Survival Manual: A Step by Step Guide to SPSS Polgar, S. D. & Thomas, S. A. (2008) Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences, 5th Ed. Churchill Livingstone. Seale, Clive (ed.). (2004). Social Research Methods Swift, L, Piff, S (2014) Quantitative methods for Business, Management and Finance E-Book Sapsford, R. & Jupp, V. (2006) Data Collection and Analysis, 2nd Ed. Sage. Web Resources http://www.open.ac.uk/infoskills-researchers/ http://www.engageinresearch.ac.uk/index.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/index.htm

Transferrable Skills

Academic: Logical thinking, critical analysis, problem-solving, written and spoken communication, ability to use numerical data, computer literacy. Personal Development: Self-confidence, self-discipline, independence, ability to reflect, reliability, integrity, honesty. Enterprise or Business: Time management, independence

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 112.00
Lectures (FT) 9.00
Practicals (FT) 9.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% Part A -design of a research studyPart B - critique