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SO130-15 Introduction to Social Analytics in Social Inequalities Research

Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Roxana-Diana Baltaru
Credit value
Module duration
9 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This is the interim replacement for the core module QS104 for Sociology and Sociology joint honour students.

Module web page

Module aims
  • To introduce students to the importance of quantitative methods in the study of social inequalities
  • To introduce students to the tasks of conceptualisation, operationalization and measurement in quantitative social science
  • To introduce students to descriptive statistics and their empirical application
  • To provide introductory-level hands-on experience of using the SPSS software for introductory data analysis in this context
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  1. Introduction to the Module (+ seminar)
  2. Inequalities in household (+ seminar)
  3. Operationalising household inequalities (+ lab)
  4. Educational inequalities (+ seminar)
  5. Exploring educational indicators (+ lab)
  6. Reading week
  7. Inequalities in the labour market (+ seminar)
  8. Sampling to uncover inequalities in getting a job (+ lab)
  9. Critically assessing social inequalities research (+ seminar)
  10. Revision (+ seminar)
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • At the end of the module, students will be able to: • Understand the importance of conceptualisation and measurement in sociological research • Understand basic elements of core descriptive statistics • Conduct basic quantitative analysis using secondary survey data and SPSS • Begin to critically engage with quantitative findings in social inequalities research. • Understand key concepts in quantitative methods (validity, reliability, inference etc.)
Indicative reading list
  • Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods, 4th ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS. 3rd ed., London: Sage.
  • Lomax, Richard G. and Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn. (2012). An Introduction to Statistical Concepts, 3rd edition. Routledge
  • Platt, L. (2011). Understanding Inequalities: Stratification and Difference. Cambridge: Polity Press. Chapter 1: Introduction.
  • Hochschild, A. (2012). The second shift: Working families and the revolution at home. London: Penguin. Chapter 1: The Family Speed-Up.
  • Sullivan, O. (2000). The division of domestic labour: twenty years of change? Sociology, 34(3), 437-456.
  • Sullivan, A. (2007). Cultural capital, cultural knowledge and ability. Sociological Research Online, 12(6), 1.
  • Goldthorpe, J. (2003). The myth of education‐based meritocracy. Juncture, 10(4), 234-239.
  • Wood, M., Hales, J., Purdon, S., Sejersen, T., & Hayllar, O. (2009). A test for racial discrimination in recruitment practice in British cities. Department for Work and Pensions Research Report, 607. London: Department for Work and Pensions.
  • Devah Pager. (2003). The Mark of a Criminal Record. American Journal of Sociology, 108(5):937–975.
  • Coolidge, Frederick L. 2012. Statistics: A Gentle Introduction. Sage
Subject specific skills

Subject knowledge and understanding

  • A basic awareness of the value, and practical experience of quantitative methods in sociological research
  • An understanding of the tasks of conceptualisation, operationalisation and measurement in the sociological study of social inequalities
  • An introductory knowledge of various descriptive statistics
  • An introductory understanding of sampling methods
  • An introductory understanding of key principles of research design e.g. validity, reliability, representativeness.

Key Skills; Subject-Specific/Professional Skills

  • The ability to carry out descriptive analysis of data using the statistical computing software SPSS
  • An introductory ability to evaluate the merits, limitations and specificities of using quantitative methods in the sociological study of social inequalities (the stages of conceptualisation, operationalisation, measurement and sampling)
  • An introductory level ability to interpret and critique descriptive components of published quantitative research
Transferable skills

Cognitive Skills

  • A basic awareness of both the technical and theoretical/conceptual dimensions of quantitative data analysis
  • A basic understanding of the role of quantitative methods in researching social inequalities

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 2 hours (12%)
Private study 123 hours (82%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Preparation for seminars, readings, exercises.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Summative Assessment 100%

Technical Report

Feedback on assessment

Detailed written feedback in addition to the existing academic feedback and support hours.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of ULAA-ML34 BA in Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
  • USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
    • Year 1 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 1 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 1 of L301 Sociology
  • Year 1 of UHIA-VL13 Undergraduate History and Sociology
  • Year 1 of UPOA-ML13 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology
  • Year 1 of USOA-L314 Undergraduate Sociology and Criminology
  • Year 1 of UIPA-L3L8 Undergraduate Sociology and Global Sustainable Development