Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Undergraduate > Module Outlines > Senior Freshman > Introduction to Social Research

Module Details for Introduction to Social Research

Module Details SOU22011 (Part 1MT)

Module Code


Module Name

Introduction to Social Research

Module Short Title

Quantitative Research

ECTS weighting


Semester/term taught

Michaelmas Term

Module Content

This module is designed to introduce students to the principles and methods of quantitative research that, by adopting the scientific method, is concerned with acquiring and testing knowledge about the social through the collection and statistical analysis of measurement data. Good knowledge and training in quantitative research represent a cornerstone of an excellent training in sociology.

In this introductory module, we will learn what quantitative research is about, why it is essential for the scientific progress of our discipline, what are its core elements are, and how we can gather, interpret, and elaborate on evidence in quantitative research. Therefore, an overarching goal of the module is to familiarise students with the different elements and methods employed in the quantitative research process starting from formulating research questions and hypotheses, identifying and crafting a research design, sampling, principles of measurement, methods of data collection in particularly the survey method, the nature of quantitative data and basic tools of analysis. Moreover, students will learn to read and discuss work by quantitative researchers, especially focusing on the lessons they learned and the challenges they faced. The final goal is to help students understand how to move from project design, to project implementation, to data analysis and reporting in quantitative research. Students will deepen their knowledge by attending practical tutorial sessions that are accompanying the weekly lectures.
Learning Objectives

Students successfully completing the module will be able to:

  • Acquire a firm understanding of the nature of quantitative research and various quantitative research designs.
  • Get an overview of the range of methods and tools used in quantitative social research.
  • Select and apply appropriate research methods for investigating social phenomena.
  • Assess the strength and weaknesses of selected methodologies.
  • Collect, analyse and report quantitative data appropriately
  • Summarise and critically discuss sociological research.

Recommended Reading List

The main textbook recommended for purchase is:

  • Bryman, A. (2016) Social Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press (5th edition).

Other key texts:

  • de Vaus, D. A. (2002) Surveys in Social Research. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
  • Goldthorpe, J. H. (2016) Sociology as a population science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • O’Leary, Z. (2004) The Essential Guide to Doing Research, London: SAGE Publications.
More literature and research papers will be provided via Blackboard.

Module Pre Requisite


Module Co Requisite


Assessment Details

Coursework (100%).

Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Failure to attend at least half of the tutorials will automatically result in a 10% deduction (one full grade) from the overall module grade.

 Without an authorised extension, the mark given will be lowered by one grade