Data Analysis and Research Design

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr Andrew Knops

This module provides an introduction to the main methods for analysing data used in the Social Sciences. It builds on the introduction to research literacy and methodology that students received in the first year of study.

In the course of this module, you will develop a sophisticated understanding of various quantitative and qualitative research methods and the ability to use associated software packages, including SPSS. You will also engage with broader questions of research and research design such as setting the parameters of data collection and research ethics. Finally, this module will enhance the development of a range of abilities that are highly valued in academia and by other employers. These include higher-level IT skills, manipulation and presentation of quantitative data and its practical application, respect for others, readiness to accept responsibility and effective time management. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between different philosophical appraoaches to Social Science and the use of particular research methods and techniques.
  • Use different research methods and techniques to generate new empirical data.
  • Analyse the data you have produced for its significance to knowledge in your discipline.
  • Apply your understanding of different research methods and techniques to effective research design.


  • Term One: 1 x 1,500 summative essay (25%)
  • Term Two: 1 x 2,500 summative essay (50%)
  • Term Three: 1 x 1,500 summative dissertation proposal (25%)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.