MSc Applied Quantitative Methods

Attend a course fair How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply

Overview

Based at the Manchester Metropolitan University Q-Step Centre in the Department of Sociology, this MSc approaches the study of quantitative methods in an innovative way, which emphasises career-ready skills that prepare students for work with data and quantitative analysis, or as suitable preparation for doctoral study.

The course focuses on the development and application of key quantitative methods and analytical techniques. It focuses on the use of quantitative methods within ‘real world’ contexts and a key aim is to develop graduates’ career-ready skills in this field. 

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Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

The programme will be a considerable asset to postgraduates wishing to pursue a career involving quantitative research skills within a diverse range of organisations within the public/private/ voluntary sectors, businesses, academia, think tanks, research centres, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Quantitative Skills (QS) underpin evidence-based planning and practice in the public, private and other sectors. However, over two thirds of employers in the UK identify a shortage of QS among employees. Numerical and analytic skills are highly prized in a diverse range of careers. Quantitative skills are transferable between workplaces and sectors across the UK. There is a global shortage of quantitative skilled workers. 

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Entry requirements

You will usually have an upper second class UK honours degree (or international equivalent), preferably in a social science or humanities field of study. Candidates with a lower second class degree should apply and will be considered on their merits as will people with non-traditional qualifications. 

You do not need to have prior quantitative methods training or skills; this course is designed for both beginners and those with previous experience of Quantitative Methods. 

Course details

A range of quantitative techniques will be covered including multiple regression, multi-level modelling,  questionnaire design and psychometric testing, quantitative evaluation, and data management. One unit, ‘Statistics in Practice’ explores knowledge exchange, mobilisation and achieving impact with research.  There is a mixture of core units and specialist options. The course culminates in a placement based dissertation, in which students will produce a piece of research on behalf of one of our partner organisations. We will help you source your placement. 

The core units include:

  • Quantitative Methodology and Research design
  • Foundations of Quantitative Analysis
  • Multiple Regression
  • Questionnaire Design and Testing Psychometric Properties
  • Data Management
  • Statistics in Practice
  • Dissertation

The optional units include:

  • Evaluation Using Quantitative Methods
  • Mixed Methods in Social Research
  • Multi-level Modelling

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Core Units

Applied Quantitative Dissertation

This unit will provide the opportunity to research and produce a sustained, in-depth, piece of scholarly work based on a specific topic of study using quantitative methods. For this you will work with a community organisation and the choice of topic will be negotiated in conjunction with that organisation. We have a substantial list of community organisation available for you to work with which include Her Majesties Inspectorate of Probation, British Red Cross, Manchester City and Manchester United Football Club, Trafford Citizen's Advice Bureau, Manchester Probation Service, the Childrens Society, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester.  The final submitted dissertation is around 10,000 words in length.

Data Management

Central to any quantitative analysis is data, and as such, data requires careful management. This unit will provide you with all the necessary knowledge and skills to competently manage data in a range of settings.

Foundations of Quantitative Analysis

This unit provides an introduction to the key foundations of quantitative analysis. It examines key quantitative concepts (such as, sampling, validity, generalisability) and their relationship to research design and analysis.  The presentation of data (including data visualisation) will be explored.  The unit will review key stages of analysis, including univariate, bivariate analyses; statistical tests for significance; simple linear regression; recoding; hypothesis and construction.

Quantitative Methodology and Research Design

This unit will provide an introduction to social science research methodology and design.  It will explore the underpinning historical philosophies that have influenced social science inquiry generally and quantitative approaches specifically.  Relatedly it will explore how such philosophical approaches have shaped research design and core methods concepts.

Multiple Regression

Correlation and regression are regarded as the meat and potatoes of contemporary social science. This unit focuses on regression which is by far the most widely used and versatile technique in quantitative research. It will introduce you to the theory and practice of regression. The unit comprises taught and practical components in equal proportions. Emphasis will be given on illustrating multiple regression through social science examples. SPSS will be used for the practical sessions in lab. However, those with advanced skills on statistical software will be encouraged to use STATA.

Questionnaire Design and Testing Psychometric Properties

Questionnaire is one of the most commonly used tools for collecting quantitative data. Good quality data in quantitative surveys depends on the successful designing of a questionnaire. This unit has two parts which are linked with each other. The first part will provide you with the tools required to design questionnaires in an efficient and effective manner. The second part is about how to develop multi-item scales in questionnaire and test their reliability and validity. In both parts, a practical approach will be used allowing you to discuss your own research interests and design for your own questionnaire. Teaching and learning will take place through lectures, workshops and lab activities.

Statistics in Practice: Engagement, Co-production and Impact

The overarching aim of this unit is to enable you to develop a critical awareness of the real world context of quantitative research.  It will focus on the identification and development of your career-ready skills, specifically in relation to research impact, knowledge mobilisation,dissemination strategies and the presentation of research. 

Likely Optional Units

Evaluation using Quantitative Methods

This module introduces you to evaluation with a focus on the use of quantitative methods. A range of evaluation frameworks (experimental and quasi-experimental) that tend to favour quantitative methods will be explored. You will assess the strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation frameworks and methods and also place these in the context of underlying epistemological debates. The potential for evaluation to influence policy and practice will be an important consideration during the module. We will look at the use of Systematic Review and meta-analysis, and discuss the potential for evidence-based policy. Much quantitative evaluation culminates in economic evaluation and we will look at widely used approaches to economic evaluation, including Cost Benefit Analysis.

Mixed Methods in Social Research

This unit explores the foundations of mixed method research, the applied considerations in planning and designing a mixed method research study. It will also give practical opportunity to conduct a mixed method study, develop an acute awareness of mixed method analytic techniques and gain valuable experience in disseminating mixed method findings through a poster presentation and report writing. 

Multi-level Modelling

Social and behavioural scientists aim to explain variability in human behaviour and attitudes. However, many of these data have a hierarchical or clustered structure because of shared membership of social contexts - the family, the school, the workplace and so on. One way in which social scientists further their understanding of social behaviour is by using statistical models to analyse quantitative data. A weakness of the way in which these models are often applied to social data is that they focus too much on the individual, and too little on the social and institutional contexts in which individuals are located. Multi-level modelling aims to redress the balance by emphasising both individuals and their social contexts.

This unit is designed to give you an introduction to the theory and application of multi-level models. The main aim of the unit is to provide you with the necessary conceptual understanding and practical skills to be able to undertake report and interpret a multi-level linear model analysis through hands on practical sessions in labs, using SPSS/Stata/MLwiN statistical software package.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

Study
Assessment

Placements options

Placement-based dissertation, in which you will produce a piece of research on behalf of one of our partner organisations. We will help your source your placement. 

We work with over 25 partners across Greater Manchester to provide students with placements across diverse sectors, including Barnardos, British Red Cross, Manchester United FC, HM Inspectorate of Probation, Greater Manchester Police, The Children’s Society, Manchester City FC, and Citizen’s Advice.

Department of Sociology

Our Department of Sociology provides courses in the areas of sociology, criminology, global change and quantitative methods.

Its academic staff are actively involved in high-quality research and the department is home to the Policy and Evaluation Research Unit and Centre for Transitions in Society and Space, advising national and local policy-makers, and holding major roles in several significant national and European projects.

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Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

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Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £14,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students will use SPSS and Nvivo softwares for analysing data in labs. However, these softwares are installed in lab PCs. Moreover, students can freely download these softwares to use in their own PCs at home. Library has got copies of all core textbooks to be used in class. However, it may be useful for students to buy a few core books on quantitative methods so that they can have access to them all the time. These books (4-5 in total) should not cost more than £250. At the end of year dissertation printing (roughly £50) will be required

Placement Costs

For the MSc dissertation, students have the option to do a placement based dissertation. For this, students are assigned to a local organisation in Manchester where they work on a chosen topic for the organisation and receive volunteering/shadowing opportunities etc. To visit the placement organisation, students may incur some cost for travelling.

Professional Costs

For students to work with a placement, some organisations may ask for DBS clearance. If students require DBS, MMU will pay for this.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Up to £10,609 available to students who live in England

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for full- and part-time taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

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Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
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