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School of Social Sciences

Students outside a lecture theatre at The University of Manchester
BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Applied Statistics for Social Scientists

Unit code SOST10142
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Social Statistics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The main topics to be covered are: 

The Creation of Social Data

Exploring Relationships with Categorical Data

Modelling with Continuous Data  (British and South Asian Examples)

Modelling with Dummy Variables    

The Moderation of Effects in Regression (European Examples)


The course unit aims: 

The aims of this course are for each student to achieve:

(i) an introductory understanding of the role played by sample surveys;

(ii) an understanding of the appropriate statistical methods necessary for doing social science ranging from bivariate to multivariate international analyses;

(iii) the skills necessary to interpret statistical analyses, including examples of both parametric and non-parametric methods;

(iv) an awareness of the uses of the statistical software (SPSS) and corresponding limitations of competing software (spreadsheets).

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course students should be able to:

(i) demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and issues of sample surveys and questionnaire design, knowing how sampling affects the precision of estimates of means;

(ii) use the correct statistical methodology appropriate to the circumstances, for a range of types of set tasks, including crosstabulations and regression;

(iii) apply the concept of hypothesis tests and carry out a variety of bivariate tests;

(iv) apply the concept of a model to build and refine multiple regression models;

(v) compare a model with interaction effects to one without such effects, giving an international applicability to regression;

(v) use commercial statistical software and be aware of some of the potential problems in its use.

(vi) interpret the findings of statistical analysis.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, tutorials, practicals and coursework

Assessment methods

70% Exam
30% coursework:
10% for Assignment 1 tasks
10% for Assignment 2 tasks
 0% for Assignment 3 learning journal (formative work)
10% for Assignment 4

Feedback methods


All Social Statistics courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS. London: Sage.
Kinnear and Gray (2010) PASW17 Statistics Made Simple, London:  Psychology Press.
Kremelberg (2011) Practical Statistics, London:  Sage.
Norman, Paul, and Jo Wathan (2010) Using SPSS For Windows:  Exploring the Health Survey for England 2002 Teaching Dataset in SPSS v15, Manchester:  Economic and Social Data Service (a   Guide, v. 5.3. Accessed Nov. 2010.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 4
Tutorials 7
Independent study hours
Independent study 65.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Wendy Olsen Unit coordinator

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