Quantitative Research Project

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
29 June 2020


Requisites for this module
SC203, SC831, SC832


SC340, SC831, SC832

Key module for

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

Many undergraduates in the Department of Sociology at Essex carry out a research project in the final year of their degree. The third-year project offers you the opportunity to focus on a topic of your choice that relates broadly to your degree course. You will find that this can be an extremely worthwhile learning experience. Carrying out a project improves your employability skills, and can be a springboard to postgraduate study. Note: you must take this module in order to qualify for an AQM (Q-Step) degree.

The Quantitative project will involve empirical research using quantitative research methods - primarily secondary analysis of existing large datasets; it may also include other relevant sociological methods such as randomised experiments and quantitative text analysis. Unlike other assignments, it involves you conducting and writing-up a piece of individual, autonomously designed research.

The undergraduate quantitative research project is the equivalent of one full year module in your degree course and must be between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length. It runs in parallel with your other third year modules - although some of you may choose to begin work on your project during the summer term following your second year.

While you will receive guidance from the project director and your supervisor, ultimately the success of your research will depend on the way in which you develop your ideas and plan and execute your project.

Module aims

The project provides an opportunity for students to research and produce a substantial piece of original work. It is designed to draw together the knowledge that the student has acquired on the programme and will enable them to develop and demonstrate methodological, analytical, and writing skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successfully completing the project the student will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Knowledge of key sociological research concepts and theories.
Knowledge of the principles of research design for your chosen empirical approach.
Knowledge of the epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of sociological research.
An ability to develop a reasoned argument.
An ability to formulate sociological questions.
An ability to summarise, report and evaluate arguments, texts and findings.
An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods.
An ability to understand, summarise and critically assess sociological work
Ability to produce independent work.
An ability to conduct and present a small scale piece of sociological research.
An ability to present ideas and evidence to others in a clear and concise manner.
An ability to identify problems and propose solutions.
An ability to plan work, manage time, reflect on work, and respond constructively to the comments of others

Module information

The assessment for this module is showing for 2019-20, the assessment for 2020-21 will be updated in September.

Learning and teaching methods

Introductory lecture and a mandatory conference project day (for 2nd years) in Summer Term; 5 lectures in Autumn term (for 3rd years) + supervision sessions with project supervisor. 1 Lecture in Spring term.


  • Neuman, William Lawrence. (2014) Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches, Harlow: Pearson Education.
  • Greetham, Bryan. (2019) How to write your undergraduate dissertation, London: Red Globe Press.
  • (no date) British Sociological Association Statement of Ethical Practice.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography      
Coursework   Final Year Project      

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Nick Allum, email:
Nick Allum
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873052, email jharper (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Monika Krause
London School of Economics
Available via Moodle
Of 9 hours, 6 (66.7%) hours available to students:
3 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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