undergraduates students at the SMI

Quantitative Social Sciences BSc

Sheffield Methods Institute

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry.

Key details

Course description

Undergraduates studying

This course gets to the heart of social science and why it matters: how high-quality research is done, how it's communicated and the difference it can make to our lives.

As one of only 15 UK Q-Step centres, we deliver intensive training in quantitative methods. From gathering and interpreting data, to understanding trends and how social statistics are created and used, you'll learn data literacy and analysis skills in an accessible, engaging, rigorous way.

You will choose from three subject pathways that lend themselves to the analysis of numerical data, a skill that is in demand by the UK job market.

You'll become well-versed in the intellectual concerns of contemporary social science, taking one of the following pathways:

  • Geography, Landscape and Urban Studies
  • Criminology, Politics and Sociology
  • Management

You'll learn how to use statistical software packages through hands-on practical sessions in our state-of-the-art computer lab. You'll become a highly proficient researcher, adept at communicating your findings to both a specialist and non-specialist audience.

There are plenty of chances to get valuable work experience, including on our placement scheme.

You might work on a project for an industry partner, go on placement with a company or do consultation or research work for a government office or research centre.

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Title: Quantitative Social Sciences BSc
UCAS code: L434
Years: 2021

In your first year, you will take three core modules, 50 credits from Management and then 10 credits from any other first year module on the BSc Quantitative Social Sciences.

Core modules

Data Visualisation

This module consists of three key elements. The first is principles of good graphic design, combined with how figures can be used to lie and mislead. The second is learning how to make a wide range of graphs, maps, and figures, for a wide range of different audiences, using the latest and most powerful software. The third is interpreting visual representations of data, whether from other sources or by students on he module themselves, and using them to answer substantive research questions. Fundamentally, this is a hands-on module that allows students to make and understand data visualisations.

10 credits
Introductory Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Scientists

This unit provides students with training in, and hands-on experience of, introductory quantitative data analysis techniques for social scientists. Students are introduced to descriptive statistics, data distributions, commonly encountered mathematical functions, principles of hypothesis testing, principles of statistical inference, and methods for testing bivariate relationships. The course includes hands-on experience of some commonly used statistical methods.

20 credits
Introductory research project in quantitative social science

This unit introduces students to the skills required for the effective design, execution and communication of a social science research project utilising quantitative methods. Students will construct their own research project aimed at answering a particular problem in social science, will identify, obtain and analyse the data necessary to answer that question, and will present their findings both on a written project report and in a poster paper to be presented at a student conference.

20 credits
Survey Design and Data Collection

Survey method is commonly used by government, business and other organisations to understand changes in the society. Yet, not always it leads to producing meaningful analysis as a result of bad survey design choices. This module will improve your understanding of the art of asking survey questions and the science underpinning survey data collection. Specifically, you will learn how to design an effective questionnaire, whom to include in the survey sample, how to organised your fieldwork and finally, how to process raw data and manage the final dataset. You will use online survey software to practice your skills.

10 credits

You will take 50 credits from Management below:

Introduction to Behaviour at Work

This module is an introduction to psychological and behavioural approaches to the study of work and organisations. The major aim is to introduce students to some of the basic analytical tools and concepts from work psychology that encourage an understanding of the behaviour of individuals and groups in the workplace. The syllabus contains the following: Introduction to Organisational Behaviour, Individual Differences, Perception, Learning, Human Motivation, Job Satisfaction and Work Attitudes, Conformity and Obedience, Leadership, Groups at Work, the formal and informal organisation.

10 credits
Business Management in Context

The module covers a range of issues relevant to the modules covered in a Management Studies degree. It will be made plain that the accumulation of information is but a small part of education, and of little value without the ability to assess and use this information. The module will impress on students the importance of questioning and the dangers of simply accepting what they are told.To this end, the module is intended to be provocative. Nothing is presented as right or wrong, but rather as a point of view. The module is also intended to be entertaining, on the grounds that enjoyment is an aid to learning. It is also quite demanding in that there is preparatory work for each lecture, and there are tasks are to be carried out after each lecture.The module leader will present lectures in semester 1. A wide range of management issues will be covered. The aim is to be contentious, to examine what may be familiar issues in ways that are probably unfamiliar. The objective is to enable students to look at issues ¿ and not just those covered in this module ¿ critically.In semester 2, each weekly lecture will be presented by a different academic, charged with: ¿explaining from his own activities just what academics do and why they do it¿demonstrating that things are things worth knowing for reasons other than earning marks, that curiosity matters, that finding out can be fun¿that universities can do more than grant degrees and that employers want much more than qualifications.

20 credits
Management Themes and Perspectives

The module introduces students to some of the key themes and perspectives within a number of different subject disciplines within management. Through a series of 4 four-week `packages' the module will introduce students to key issues within marketing, sustainable development, operations management and strategic management. The module is designed to help students to start to identify the interconnections between the different disciplines within management and to see how differing perspectives tackle key contemporary challenges. The module will be delivered through a series of 4-week subject `packages' by experts in the different disciplines. While the lectures will provide the foundation for student learning, this will be supplemented by guest speakers from within industry to apply concepts to actual business settings. Seminars will provide space for more detailed discussion of issues and topics covered during the module. Key skills sessions will also be interspersed between the different subject packages so that students will be able to develop these generic skills which they can utilise in the various assessments components and for which they will receive feedback.

20 credits

You will take 10 credits from the list below or any other first year module on the BSc Quantitative Social Sciences.

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Whether you're a journalist writing stories for the public, or a social research analyst working in government, you need to be able to understand, use and present data. This 10 credit module aims to demystify data and encourage critical thinking on statistics; often wrongly used, and sometimes in very misleading ways. The module will equip you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to become a discerning data user, through engaging teaching, active learning and examples from the news media. The module is comprised of a mix of lectures and computer workshops and is assessed through a multiple choice exam.

10 credits

In your second year, you will take two core modules, 60 credits from Management and then 20 credits from any other second year module on the BSc Quantitative Social Sciences.

Multivariate Data Analysis

The analysis of multivariate data requires the extension of standard univariate statistical models and methods as well as introducing new problems. Initially attention is given to summarising and displaying high dimensional data and to ways of reducing multivariate problems to more manageable univariate ones. This is followed by routine generalisations of standard distributions and statistical tests before considering new strategies for constructing hypotheses tests and then consideration of problems specific to multivariate data such as discrimination and classification (used in medical diagnosis problems for example). Most of these methods can be implemented in Minitab. The overall objective of the course is to provide some appreciation of the available techniques for statistical analysis of multivariate data.

10 credits
Intermediate Research Project in Quantitative Social Science

This unit gives students experience in conducting a social science research project employing quantitative methods, and provides training in the design and preparation of a viable independent quantitative social science research project. It discusses how to refine a research idea, how to decide on the appropriate choice of data and methods to analyse research questions, how to plan and conduct the research process to ensure the successful completion of a project (emphasising issues of ethics, timing and resourcing), and how to present research plans and results effectively.

20 credits

You will take 60 credits from Management below:

Organisational Behaviour

This module builds on and develops the basic concepts introduced in MGT120. Organizational Behaviour is concerned with understanding the effects of how workers think, act, and interact with each other. This involves considering a wide range of issues such as power, culture, gender and stress. However, to understand what happens inside organizations, it is also necessary to also take account of their external social, economic, and cultural environments/contexts. While considering the `general principles¿ of Organizational Behaviour, this module will also relate them to issues of contemporary relevance, such as the growing importance of management by culture, and the move towards flexible working practices.

20 credits
Business Strategy

This course will introduce students to business strategy and the strategic management process. It seeks to enhance their understanding of the theories and practice of strategy. Students will be able to learn why, and how, companies make strategic decisions in the context of today's complex and dynamic world of business. Students will be introduced to various strategic analysis frameworks and learn how these can be used to help organisations better understand their strategic position and formulate feasible and suitable growth and competitive strategies. Based on a sound understanding of the theories, students will be required to apply the concepts through the use of innovative strategic planning teaching and learning technologies and case study material.

20 credits
Essentials of Marketing

This module aims to introduce the field of marketing to Level 2 students. The coverage will include the basics of marketing strategy including segmentation, targeting and positioning as well as the practical domains of strategy development like product and brand management, services marketing, pricing methodologies, promotional strategies, distribution and logistics.

20 credits
Career Management Theory and Practice

This module is designed to incorporate critical reflection on the concepts of career and career management suitable for undergraduates in the School of Management for their own personal development and action planning as well as their future use as managers and employers within organisations.

20 credits

Final year core modules:

Advanced Research Project in Quantitative Social Science

This module requires the student to prepare, organise, research and report a piece of original work on a social science topic. The student will decide on the topic and will either be expected to collect original material in order to investigate it, or to perform secondary analysis on information drawn from existing source (and in both cases using quantitative methods to analyse the data). The finished product is presented in the style, and at the length, associated with academic journal articles.

40 credits
Doing Mixed Methods Research

Research in the social sciences is increasingly using mixed methods to explore the social world. This module covers the principles and practices of conducting mixed methods research (MMR), through an enquiry-based learning approach. By designing and completing their own projects, students will learn how to apply mixed methods and appreciate the value of bringing together both qualitative and quantitative approaches in conducting research. Students will develop their ability to collect, analyse, and present MMR data, alongside critically reflecting process of using MMR.

20 credits
Research Dissemination in Social Sciences

This unit is focused on students preparing and presenting a body of work in various forms, and to various audiences. The aim of the unit is to develop students' ability to disseminate the findings of their L3 dissertation/independent project to both specialist and non-specialist audience, and in a variety of written and verbal forms. This will culminate in a conference towards the end of the year.

20 credits

You will take 40 credits from Management below:

Critical Perspectives in Work and Organisational Psychology

In general terms, Work and Organisational Psychology is concerned with the application of psychological theories and techniques to the analysis and resolution of problems that confront the personnel or human resource function, in its endeavours to select, train, appraise and develop a competent workforce. Work and Organisational Psychology has traditionally positioned itself within the broad terrain of experimental social psychology, a discipline that emphasises the importance of the application of empirical scientific methods to the study of human behaviour. The aim of this unit is to critique this positioning and to present arguments that we need alternative knowledges to enable us to fully understand workplace behaviour.

20 credits
Corporate Social Responsibility

The Johannesburg Earth Summit, the runaway success of No Logo, the corporate scandals and subsequent questioning of the regulatory structures within capitalism, all suggest that the relationship between business, the state and civil society is being debated with greater urgency than at any time since Milton Friedman declared the business of business is business. Again we are asking `what is the role of the firm?¿ Much of the dialogue and debate surrounding this issue is being conducted under the rubric of the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Citizenship. The emergence of these concepts and the implementation of strategies to emphasise and improve the socially responsible practices of companies represents a significant development in the ongoing debates surrounding the role of business in modern society. Supporters suggest we are witnessing the emergence of a new breed of `Corporate Citizen¿ as companies seek greater interaction with civil society, look to adopt more ethical business strategies and engagement about their practices through the provision of greater openness and access to information.This module seeks to provide an initial introduction to the key issues and themes that are emerging within the CSR field. It examines the pressures encouraging companies to adopt more ethical business strategies, the types of practices and strategies which different companies have sought to adopt in this field, and the potential advantages that are identified for a socially responsible business.

20 credits
International Marketing

This module provides students with an understanding of international marketing. The module will prepare students for the challenge of global marketing and enable students to have sufficient knowledge to be able to take on international related work, if faced by this challenge in industry.

20 credits
International Business

This unit introduces key theories of international business development ¿ those concerning the rationales for international expansion, the choice of foreign market entry strategy and the impact on the economies of host countries. This theoretical understanding will then be illustrated and examined by reference to the way particular companies in contrasting industries have developed and implemented their international strategies. Particular attention will be devoted to the role played by the international business environment and its institutions, and to key strategic management issues such as global supply chain management, knowledge management, intellectual property protection and risk management,

20 credits
Strategy Practice

This module will introduce students to strategy practice and the process by which strategies and performance are realized. It seeks to enhance their understanding of the theories and frameworks in the area of strategy formation and strategic change. Students will be able to learn why, and how organizations perform and maintain the ability to perform. Students will be introduced to various strategy formation theories and frameworks and learn how these can be used to understand how and why organizations perform or underperform, to be able to suggest interventions by which organizations can be changed. Based on a sound understanding of the theories, students will be required to apply the concepts through the appreciation of case evidence and the suggestion of appropriate interventions.

20 credits
Industrial Relations

Industrial Relations explores the nature of working relationships and the constraints within which they operate. The subject is multi-disciplinary in nature and the content of this particular unit focuses on aspects of industrial relations which practising managers may experience. The unit aims to establish a conceptual framework for understanding industrial relations based on academic theories and research data. A further aim is to develop analytical skills that look beyond symptoms and to encourage judgement founded on an understanding of likely outcomes/implications.

20 credits
Integrated Marketing Communications

This module is concerned with the concepts and uses of advertising and promotion and integrated marketing communications context. The successful commercialisation of both and existing advertised products and services depends on how well the company will communicate any messages to its target marget, to trigger desired attitudes and behaviours. However, these messages must be clear and consistent across the different means of communication available to modern businesses. Thus, advertising, public relations, packaging, sponsorship and other promotional tools must be integrated and managed as a whole and not as isolated communications. Other issues covered will include e-marcoms, international marketing communications and ethics.

20 credits
International Business

This unit introduces key theories of international business development ¿ those concerning the rationales for international expansion, the choice of foreign market entry strategy and the impact on the economies of host countries. This theoretical understanding will then be illustrated and examined by reference to the way particular companies in contrasting industries have developed and implemented their international strategies. Particular attention will be devoted to the role played by the international business environment and its institutions, and to key strategic management issues such as global supply chain management, knowledge management, intellectual property protection and risk management,

20 credits


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You'll learn through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you'll also benefit from small group teaching within the department.

As part of the course you'll become highly competent in sampling, research and survey design, data collection and the generation and analysis of data.

You'll also gain hands-on experience in the analysis of major national and international social science data sets such as the National Census or the Eurobarometer surveys.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Our courses draw on research and teaching expertise from across Sheffield's highly rated Faculty of Social Sciences. Our academics are highly respected leaders within their fields and are working at the cutting edge of their disciplines.

Their world-class research addresses the major challenges facing society and it drives and enhances our teaching.

Assessment

Assessments on the course range from essays, projects and presentations to practical assignments based on real-life case studies and data. In your final year, you'll complete a dissertation and will be supported by a dissertation tutor.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB + B in a relevant EPQ. BBB + B in Core Maths BBB + B in a relevant EPQ. BBB + B in Core Maths

International Baccalaureate | 33 32

BTEC | DDD in a relevant subject DDM in a relevant subject

Scottish Highers | AAABB AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB B + BB

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a social sciences subject with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits and Merits in 15 Level 3 credits 60 credits overall in a social sciences subject with Distinctions in 24 Level 3 credits and Merits in 21 Level 3 credits

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Sheffield Methods Institute

Undergraduate class at Sheffield Methods Institute

The international jobs market is going to need a different kind of social science graduate. We're leading the way with two innovative degrees.

Today, social science graduates are expected to have more than one area of expertise. Our degrees are taught by experts from across the social sciences faculty so you're not limited to just one subject. We also have a strong focus on research skills that will set you apart from other graduates.

We're committed to providing individual support to help you succeed - while you're a student with us and after you graduate. Work experience and practical skills are a big part of our degrees. They're built into our courses so you'll have opportunities to go on work placements, for short periods or for a whole year, and you'll learn methods used by the world's leading social sciences researchers.

Our courses draw on research and teaching expertise from across Sheffield's highly-rated Faculty of Social Sciences. Our academics are highly respected leaders within their fields and are working at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Their world-class research addresses the major challenges facing society and it drives and enhances our teaching.

As part of one of the most diverse social science centres in the country, the Sheffield Methods Institute sits within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield situated in the ICOSS building, near the centre of our campus.

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in ICOSS, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

Facilities

At the SMI we bring together the brightest talents in the fields of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Our students have access to our specially-developed data laboratories and learn from our expert staff.

Sheffield Methods Institute

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


Sheffield Methods Institute

World Top 100 for social sciences

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

UK top 10 for social sciences

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020


Graduate careers

Sheffield Methods Institute

Our courses have been specifically designed to meet the growing demand for social science researchers with data analysis skills. You might choose to apply your skills in the public or private sector, for a charity or an NGO.

Previous students from the SMI have gone into analyst roles in local government and the private sector. Some have gone onto research positions and others have started their own business.

Our placements give you valuable work experience and help prepare you for life after you graduate. To hear more about our placements from our students and employers, see the link below.

Work experience and practical skills are a big part of our degrees. There are opportunities to go on work placements, for short periods or for a whole year, and you'll learn methods used by the world's leading social sciences researchers.

Our graduates have gone into analyst roles in local government and the private sector, or further research. Others have launched their own businesses.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022