Quantitative Research Dissertation - SO756

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR EG Larsen


SO746 (How to win arguments with numbers) and SO744 (The Power and Limits of Causal Analysis)


Cannot be taken with SO679



The aim of the module is that students choose and then answer their own research question. The objectives are to develop a research question and appropriate research design. This will be followed by identifying suitable data sources based on existing literature. This will be followed by identifying data sources and data analysis techniques to interrogate the data and answer their research question. The final part objective is write up the research in a clear and coherent manner.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

300 hours
10 hours of contact time involving two one hour lectures and one two hour lecture (Autumn Term of Year 3), and six individual or group 1 hour meetings with supervisors. In addition individual meetings with supervisors are scheduled as necessary. The lectures will cover topics such as identifying research questions, locating data and locating relevant literature. The remaining 290 hours are spent on private study. These hours comprise working on research questions, assessing and employing appropriate methodological techniques, independent research, and the writing up of findings.

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by a 25% research proposal (2000 words) and a 75% dissertation (10,000 words).
The research proposal will include a research question (and sub-question where appropriate), an outline of relevant literature and a discussion of the proposed design. For example, containing information about the data source and the analytical methods proposed.

Indicative reading

Allison, P. D. (1999). Multiple regression: A primer. Pine Forge Press.
Longhi, S., & Nandi, A. (2014). A Practical Guide to Using Panel Data. Sage.
Mills, M. (2011). Introducing survival and event history analysis. Sage Publications.
Morgan, S. L., & Winship, C. (2014). Counterfactuals and causal inference. Cambridge University Press.
Rabe-Hesketh, S., & Skrondal, A. (2008). Multilevel and longitudinal modeling using Stata. STATA press.
Tarling, R. (2008). Statistical modelling for social researchers: Principles and practice. Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Identify a research question
8.2 Identify and critically evaluate the literature relevant to the question
8.3 Identify appropriate data sources (can be primary or secondary data) for investigating selected research question
8.4 Identify and apply appropriate analytical methods for investigating selected research question
8.5 Understand and put into practice links between theory, research questions, quantitative analysis, and findings
8.6 Systematically covey the process of quantitative data gathering, analysis, findings, and their implications of a specified research question

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