Understanding and Synthesising Research - MAST5952

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Jenny Monkhouse checkmark-circle


This module will focus on the application of quantitative methods to substantive areas of social research (such as race, gender or economic inequality). Through this module, students will be encouraged to see the importance of quantitative research to understanding the big issues in society. The module will also furnish students with the knowledge and skills required to interpret the results of quantitative research, and to synthesise the diversity of findings on a particular issue.


Contact hours

22 Contact hours comprising lectures, workshops and seminars
128 Hours of private study
Total hours for the module: 150

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

Greenhalgh, T. (2010). How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine. Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ.
Dilnot. A., & Blastland, M. (2008). The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers. Profile Books: London.
Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods. OUP: Oxford
Fielding, J., & Gilbert, N. (2006). Understanding Social Statistics. SAGE: London.
Trieman, D.J. (2009). Quantitative Data Analysis: Doing Social Research to Test Ideas. Wiley: Hoboken, NJ.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of how quantitative research informs our understanding of the social world;
2 demonstrate the capability to understand and critique the methods and results of quantitative academic research projects, including those based on statistical analyses;
3 select and deploy the principles of quantitative analysis (including measurement, sampling, and model building) in their critiques of research outputs;
4 demonstrate the capability to locate multiple relevant quantitative research reports bearing on a specific research question, theory, or proposition, employing systematic principles of evidence gathering;
5 demonstrate the capability to synthesise evidence from multiple quantitative research reports to arrive at an informed position regarding the evidence for a particular theory or proposition;
6 select and deploy the principles of quantitative analysis in balancing evidence from multiple quantitative research reports.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 make effective use of IT facilities for solving problems;
2 demonstrate critical thinking skills;
3 demonstrate the skills needed to work and communicate in a group, including an understanding of the roles of different individuals within a team;
4 communicate straightforward arguments and conclusions reasonably accurately and clearly;
5 manage their own learning and development.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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