Quantitative Research on Social Stratification: Inequalities from Cradle to Grave

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 16 January 2023
Friday 24 March 2023
03 March 2022


Requisites for this module


SC385, SC830, SC831

Key module for

BA M900 Criminology,
BA M901 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA M904 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCM999 Criminology,
MSOCMX98 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCMX99 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L3C8 Criminology with Social Psychology,
BA L3H8 Criminology with Social Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA LHC8 Criminology with Social Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LP33 Media and Digital Culture,
BA LP34 Media and Digital Culture (including Placement Year),
BA P300 Media and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA PL33 Media and Digital Culture (including Year Abroad),
BA CL83 Sociology with Social Psychology,
BA CL93 Sociology with Social Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA CLV3 Sociology with Social Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L300 Sociology,
BA L301 Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA L306 Sociology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCL399 Sociology,
MSOCLA40 Sociology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCLA41 Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LM38 Sociology and Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA LM39 Sociology and Criminology,
BA LMH9 Sociology and Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA L3J9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L3M9 Sociology with Human Rights,
BA LMJ9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L315 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research),
BSC L316 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L317 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Placement Year),
BA LM11 Criminology with Criminal Law,
BA LM12 Criminology with Criminal Law (Including Year Abroad),
BA LM13 Criminology with Criminal Law (Including Placement Year),
BSC L310 Sociology with Data Science,
BSC L311 Sociology with Data Science (including Year Abroad),
BSC L312 Sociology with Data Science (including Placement Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (Including foundation Year)

Module description

This module provides a selective introduction to the study of stratification across the life course. Social stratification is the unequal distribution of scarce resources, and of the processes by which these resources are allocated to individuals, groups, and social positions. The study of stratification is broad and occupies a central role in sociological research, encompassing studies of income and wealth inequality, occupational and class hierarchies, inequality of educational opportunity, poverty, social mobility between and within generations, gender and race-ethnic inequality, and the consequences of inequality. We will also pay particular attention to the life course perspective on stratification; in other words, how experiences in early life influence later events and choices in education, marriage, or health.

Module aims

The aims of the module are to provide:

Substantive understanding of current key debates and recent empirical work in the field of social stratification

Improved ability to critically read scientific journal articles and to interpret quantitative evidence

Experience in formulating research questions and testable hypotheses, and applying these to real data

Module learning outcomes

1. Understand concepts, theories and facts about social stratification
2. Be able to generate hypotheses and questions about stratification and inequality and test them using statistical data
3. Understand OLS regression modeling and how it is used in the analysis of social stratification
4. Be able to use statistical software to run OLS regression
5. Write up data analysis results, linking theory with statistical results

Module information

Every section contains two lectures (one each week), followed by a class discussion after the first lecture and a lab session after the second. The class discussion will include in-depth discussion of the readings, with particular attention paid to identifying the research question and discussing the analytical choices and evidence provided by the authors. The class takes most of its examples from the contemporary United Kingdom and the United States. In each lab session, we will formulate our own research questions and hypotheses based on our readings and discussions. We will then use SPSS and/or Stata software to test these using data from the largest longitudinal study of UK households: Understanding Society (UKHLS).

16 Introduction to stratification across the life course (SPSS Refresher)
17 Childhood: Inequality at home – 1
18 Childhood: Inequality at home – 2 (SPSS Practical)
19 School and university: learning to labour, learning to lead – 1
20 Reading Week
21 School and university: learning to labour, learning to lead – 2 (SPSS Practical)
22 Early adulthood: career and family life -1
23 Early adulthood: career and family life – 2 (SPSS Practical)
24 Late adulthood: health and wealth – 1
25 Late adulthood: health and wealth – 2 (SPSS Practical)

This module is part of the Q-Step pathway. Q-Step is an award which you can gain simply by enrolling on specific modules and will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Learn more about the Q-Step pathway and enhance your degree now.

Learning and teaching methods

1hr weekly lecture, 10 week alternating 2hr classes and labs


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Report 1  10/02/2023  20% 
Coursework   Report 2  17/03/2023  30% 
Coursework   Report 3  28/04/2023  50% 

Additional coursework information

Please note that assessment information is currently showing for 2018-19 and will be updated in August 2019

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlos Solar, email:
Renee Luthra
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, email: socugrad (Non essex users should add to create the full email address), telephone: 01206 873052



External examiner

Dr Jennifer Fleetwood
Goldsmiths, University of London
Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 112 hours, 30 (26.8%) hours available to students:
28 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
54 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Sociology and Criminology

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