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Principals of Social Research 2 (CO7047)

Module Coordinator:               Prof Catherine Comiskey & Dr  Nuha Ibrahim
ECTS Value:                             5

This module teaches students how to conduct quantitative research. It also helps students to understand how to design quantitative data collection tools. The data analysis lectures within this module aim to stimulate students’ interest in, and knowledge and appreciation of global health statistics. It will provide students with some key transferable skills that will be useful in all professions. The emphasis in the module will be on applying the techniques to healthcare data and on understanding and interpreting results in real life data sets.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
•          Understand the application of quantitative research in global health
•          Identify key features of quantitative analysis including descriptive and inferential statistics in a range of study designs.
•          Conduct basic data analysis using SPSS.

Module Content

  • Quantitative Research Design
  • Surveys Techniques and Methods
  • Statistical Concepts:
  • Types of Data
  • Description of data sets
  • Graphical display of data sets
  • Forming and testing hypothesis for different types of data
  • Making predictions based on the data
  • Compare two different data sets
  • Writing data analysis statement
  • Read, understand and conduct a basic analysis of relevant data sets.
  • SPSS hands‐on data analysis:
    • Introduction to SPSS
    • Entering data and basic data management
    • Performing basic analysis techniques
    • Graphing data


Indicative Resources
The module coordinator will provide recommended reading lists.  Lecture notes and additional materials will be posted on Blackboard.

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning
The module will run for 27 hours during the first semester. 15 hours will be devoted to lectures with 12 hours SPSS data analysis workshop will compliment lectures. This aspect of the course will focus on understanding the basic workings of SPSS and learning how to perform basic statistical analyses with emphasis on descriptive statistics and graphics. Great importance is attached to the practical sessions, as the development of practical skills in statistics depends in a large part on deciding how to interpret results.


  • Comiskey, C.M. and Dempsey, O. (2013). Analysing data from small and large samples and normal and non normal distributions. Chapter in Quantitative Health Research, Ed. E.A Curtis and J. Drennan, McGraw Hill, Open University Press, England. ISBN 978-033524573-4
  • Curtis, E., Comiskey, C.M. and Dempsey, O. (2016) Correlational Research: Importance and Use in Nursing and Health Research, Nurse Researcher Vol 23, no 6, 20-25
  • I. Scot and D. Mazhindu. (2005) Statistics for Health Care Professionals; An Introduction. Sage, UK.
  • SPSS Survival Manual (2016) 6th Edition
  • Discovering Statistics Using SPSS ( 2009) 3rd Edition

Methods of Assessment

Exam 1: Multiple choice questions testing knowledge of statistical concepts covered in the lectures [50%]

Exam 2: Multiple choice questions testing students’ knowledge on the practical skills they learn during SPSS workshops. [50%]

Last updated 31 October 2017 School Web Administrator (Email).