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This course will provide a detailed critique of the methods and philosophy of the Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST) approach to statistics which is currently dominant in social and biomedical science. We will briefly contrast NHST with alternatives, especially with Bayesian methods. We will use some computer code (Matlab and R) to demonstrate some issues. However, we will focus on the big picture rather on the implementation of specific procedures.

Agent-Based Modelling with Netlogo new Self-taught Not bookable

NB. This module is mostly self-taught, with the option to take part in some Q&A sessions throughout the year.

Societies can be viewed as path-dependent dynamical systems in which the interactions between multiple heterogeneous actors, and the institutions and organisations they create, lead to complex overlapping patterns of change over different space and time-scales. Agent-based models are exploratory tools for trying to understand some of this complexity. They use computational methods to represent individual people, households, organisations, or other types of agent, and help to make explicit the potential consequences of hypotheses about the way people act, interact and engage with their environment. These types of models have been used in fields as diverse as Architecture, Archaeology, Criminology, Economics, Epidemiology, Geography, and Sociology, covering all kinds of topics including social networks and formation of social norms, spatial distribution of criminal activity, spread of disease, issues in health and welfare, warfare and disasters, behaviour in stock-markets, land-use change, farming,forestry, fisheries, traffic flow, planning and development of cities, flooding and water management. This course introduces a popular freely available software tool, Netlogo, which is accessible to those with no initial programming experience, and shows how to use it to develop a variety of simple models so that students would be able to see how it might apply to their own research.

With such a large variety of qualitative research methods to choose from, creating a research design can be confusing and difficult without a sufficiently informed overview. This module aims to provide an overview by introducing qualitative data collection and analysis methods commonly used in social science research. The module provides a foundation for other SSRMP qualitative methods modules such as ethnography, discourse analysis, interviews, or diary research. Knowing what is ‘out there’ will help a researcher purposefully select further modules to study on, provide readings to deepen knowledge on specific methods, and will facilitate a more informed research design that contributes to successful empirical research.

NB. This module has video content that needs watching prior to the advertised start date, which can be found on the Moodle page.

Atlas.ti Thu 3 Feb 2022   09:00 [Places]

This course provides an introduction to the management and analysis of qualitative data using Atlas.ti. It is divided between pre-recorded lectures, in which you’ll learn the relevant strategies and techniques, and hands-on live practical sessions in Zoom, in which you will learn how to analyse qualitative data using the software.

The sessions will introduce participants to the following:

  • consideration of the advantages and limitations of using qualitative analysis software
  • setting-up a research project in Atlas.ti
  • use of Atlas.ti's menus and tool bars
  • importing and organising data
  • starting data analysis using Atlas.ti’s coding tools
  • exploring data using query and visualization tools

Please note: Atlas.ti for Mac will not be covered.

Basic Quantitative Analysis (BQA-1) Mon 8 Nov 2021   10:00   [More dates...] Not bookable

Building upon the univariate techniques introduced in the Foundations in Applied Statistics (FiAS) module, these sessions aim to provide students with a thorough understanding of statistical methods designed to test associations between two variables (bivariate statistics). Students will learn about the assumptions underlying each test, and will receive practical instruction on how to generate and interpret bivariate results using Stata. It introduces students to four of the most commonly used statistical tests in the social sciences: correlation, chi-square tests, t-tests, and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

The module is divided between pre-recorded mini-lectures, in which you'll learn the relevant theory, and hands-on live practical sessions in Zoom, in which you will learn how to apply these techniques to analyse real data using the statistical package, Stata.

You will learn the following techniques:

  • Cross-tabulations
  • Scatterplots
  • Covariance and correlation
  • Nonparametric methods
  • Two-sample t-tests
  • ANOVA

As well as viewing the pre-recorded mini lectures via Moodle and attending the live lab sessions, students are expected to do a few hours of independent study each week.

5 other events...

Date Availability
Mon 8 Nov 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Wed 10 Nov 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Wed 10 Nov 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Mon 24 Jan 2022 10:00 Not bookable
Mon 24 Jan 2022 10:00 Not bookable
Conversation and Discourse Analysis Tue 15 Feb 2022   16:00 [Places]

NB. NOTES FOR INTERESTED STUDENTS

The course content for this year is under construction and will change. While the focus of the course will remain the same, the balance of the content between two types of analysis will change and hands-on tasks added to the curriculum.

The module will introduce students to the study of language use as a distinctive type of social practice. Attention will be focused primarily on the methodological and analytic principles of conversation analysis. (CA). However, it will explore the debates between CA and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), as a means of addressing the relationship between the study of language use and the study of other aspects of social life. It will also consider the roots of conversation analysis in the research initiatives of ethnomethodology, and the analysis of ordinary and institutional talk. It will finally consider the interface between CA and CDA.

Topics:

  • Session 1: The Roots of Conversation Analysis
  • Session 2: Ordinary Talk
  • Session 3: Institutional Talk
  • Session 4: Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis
Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Wed 27 Oct 2021   10:00 [Places]

The course offers an introduction to critical approaches to discourse analysis with a focus on linking theory with method. Students will be equipped with the conceptual and practical knowledge to analyse a broad range of issues based on text documents. The topic of the course will be approached from a broadly Foucauldian angle, considering discourse as social practices that create reality rather than merely reflect it. The emphasis of the three lectures will thus be less upon what is known as ‘conversation analysis’ or ‘content analysis’ and more on text and speech as gateways to understand the making of social phenomena and corresponding power relations.

In the first session, we will discuss the theoretical ideas and origins behind discourse analysis. In the second lecture, we will dive into methodological discussions around doing discourse analysis. In the third session, we will apply the method of discourse analysis with support of a qualitative text analysis software.

Session 1: The origins of critical discourse analysis (especially Foucault but also the Frankfurt School, Feminism, etc.); discussion of how theoretical backgrounds shape research designs

Session 2: The methodology of discourse analysis: introduction to different approaches

Session 3: Doing discourse analysis with the assistance of a qualitative text analysis software

Diary Methodology Mon 7 Feb 2022   09:00 [Places]

This SSRMP module introduces solicited diaries as a qualitative data collection method. Diary methodology is a flexible and versatile tool which has been used across a variety of disciplines (e.g. public health, nursing, psychology, media studies, education, sociology).

Solicited diaries are particularly powerful in combination with qualitative interviews, enabling the remote collection of rich data on intimate or unobservable topic areas over a longer period of time. This multi-method approach, also known as the ‘diary-interview method’ (DIM), has been originally developed as an alternative to participant observation (see: Zimmerman, D. H., & Wieder, D. L. (1977). The Diary: Diary-Interview Method. Urban Life, 5(4), 479–498.), which makes it an especially attractive qualitative data collection method in Covid-19 times.

In addition to the engagement with pre-recorded videos on Moodle (covering diary methodology basics), you will get hands-on experience with designing your own qualitative diary (3 hours live workshop via Zoom) and trying out the role of a researcher as well as research participant over a 5-day period (teaming up with a module colleague and filling out each other’s diaries). We will reflect on these experiences and answer remaining questions in a final 1-hour live session via Zoom.

The module is suitable for anybody interested in learning more about the method and/or using solicited qualitative diaries in their own research projects.

Digital and Online Research Methods new Thu 2 Dec 2021   14:00 [Places]

Virtual Data Collection in the Time of COVID-19: Practical and Ethical Considerations

Doing data collection in the time of COVID-19 has required the adaptation of existing approaches. While face-to-face data collection is not feasible during the COVID-19 crisis, phone- and internet-based interviews offer an alternative means of collecting primary data. In this workshop, we discus key practical and ethical issues concerning virtual approaches to data collection. We provide practical examples drawing on two related research projects that took place in a lower-middle income context during the Covid-19 school closures.

Doing Multivariate Analysis (DMA-1) Mon 22 Nov 2021   10:00   [More dates...] Not bookable

This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of multivariate analysis, covering Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regressions. You will learn how to read published results critically, to do simple multivariate modelling yourself, and to interpret and write about your results intelligently.

Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre, and covers the theory behind multivariate regression; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using statistical software.

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions having fun by building your own statistical models.

3 other events...

Date Availability
Wed 24 Nov 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Wed 24 Nov 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Fri 28 Jan 2022 10:00 Not bookable
Doing Qualitative Interviews Tue 9 Nov 2021   10:30 [Places]

Face-to-face interviews are used to collect a wide range of information in the social sciences. They are appropriate for the gathering of information on individual and institutional patterns of behaviour; complex histories or processes; identities and cultural meanings; routines that are not written down; and life-history events. Face-to-face interviews thus comprise an appropriate method to generate information on individual behaviour, the reasons for certain patterns of acting and talking, and the type of connection people have with each other.

The first session provides an overview of interviewing as a social research method, then focuses on the processes of organising and conducting qualitative interviews. The second session explores the ethics and practical constraints of interviews as a research method, particularly relevant when attempting to engage with marginalised or stigmatised communities. The third session focuses on organisation and analysis after interviews, including interpretation through coding and close reading. This session involves practical examples from qualitative analysis software. The final session provides an opportunity for a hands-on session, to which students should bring their interview material (at whatever stage of the process: whether writing interview questions, coding or analysing data) in order to receive advice and support in taking the interview material/data to the next stage of the research process.

Topics:

1. Conducting qualitative interviews

2. Ethics and practical constraints

3. Practical session: interpretation and analysis

Ethnographic Methods Thu 3 Feb 2022   15:30 [Places]

This module is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork and analysis and is intended for students in fields other than anthropology. It provides an introduction to contemporary debates in ethnography, and an outline of how selected methods may be used in ethnographic study.

The ethnographic method was originally developed in the field of social anthropology, but has grown in popularity across several disciplines, including sociology, geography, criminology, education and organization studies.

Ethnographic research is a largely qualitative method, based upon participant observation among small samples of people for extended periods. A community of research participants might be defined on the basis of ethnicity, geography, language, social class, or on the basis of membership of a group or organization. An ethnographer aims to engage closely with the culture and experiences of their research participants, to produce a holistic analysis of their fieldsite.

Session 1: The Ethnographic Method What is ethnography? Can ethnographic research and writing be objective? How does one conduct ethnographic research responsibly and ethically?

Session 2: Ethnography and/as Audio Shortly after the phonograph was invented, ethnographers began using audio recording to document the cultural practices they were researching. For some, it has served as a kind of scientific tool to gather evidence and generate archives of linguistic, musical, and other sonic practices; for many others, it has served as an essential tool for interviewing about any topic; and for other still, audio recording and re-composition offer new possibilities of what ‘writing culture’ means. What are the consequences of using audio recording in fieldwork? And what are the technical, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of doing so?

Session 3: Visual Anthropology This session outlines the relation of ethnographic film to anthropology and ethnographic knowledge generally, looks at some examples of contemporary ethnographic film practice, and inquires into the possible utility of photography and video recording in the research process of ethnographic fieldwork in general. We continue the prior session’s consideration of some of the epistemological, theoretical, social, and ethical considerations that tend to arise around use of these audiovisual recording technologies in anthropological fieldwork and analysis.

Session 4: Relationships in the Field Ethnographic methodology and participant observation often involve researchers’ positioning in existing networks of social relations. This session is meant to help attendees manage interpersonal relationships with research participants from academic, political, and ethical perspectives. We will discuss when and why relationships in ethnographic fieldwork can be a reason for concern. We will reflect on the social distinctions that emerge when doing fieldwork with other people and their effects on researchers’ decision-making process. Finally, we will think through different fieldwork strategies when working with others, and how they impact the production of ethnographic knowledge.

Evaluation Methods Mon 28 Feb 2022   14:00 [Places]

This course aims to provide students with a range of specific technical skills that will enable them to undertake impact evaluation of policy. Too often policy is implemented but not fully evaluated. Without evaluation we cannot then tell what the short or longer term impact of a particular policy has been. On this course, students will learn the skills needed to evaluate particular policies and will have the opportunity to do some hands on data manipulation. A particular feature of this course is that it provides these skills in a real world context of policy evaluation. It also focuses primarily not on experimental evaluation (Random Control Trials) but rather quasi-experimental methodologies that can be used where an experiment is not desirable or feasible.

Topics:

  • Regression-based techniques
  • Evaluation framework and concepts
  • The limitations of regression based approaches and RCTs
  • Before/After, Difference in Difference (DID) methods
  • Computer exercise on difference in difference methods
  • Instrumental variables techniques
  • Regression discontinuity design.
Event History Analysis Mon 14 Mar 2022   09:00 [Places]

This course offers an introduction to event history analysis, which is a tool used for analyzing the occurrence and timing of events. Typical examples are life course transitions such as the transition to parenthood and partnership formation processes, labour market processes such as job promotions, mortality, and transitions to and from sickness and disability. The researcher may be interested in examining how the rate of a particular event varies over time or with individual characteristics, social conditions, or other factors. Event History Analysis lets the researcher handle censoring and truncation, include time-varying independent variables, account for unobserved heterogeneity (frailty), and so on. The course will rely on Stata as the main computing tool, but users of other statistical software could still benefit from the course. The course is taught through both lectures and lab sessions.

This course will introduce students to the approach called "Exploratory Data Analysis" (EDA) where the aim is to extract useful information from data, with an enquiring, open and sceptical mind. It is, in many ways, an antidote to many advanced modelling approaches, where researchers lose touch with the richness of their data. Seeing interesting patterns in the data is the goal of EDA, rather than testing for statistical significance. The course will also consider the recent critiques of conventional "significance testing" approaches that have led some journals to ban significance tests.

Students who take this course will hopefully get more out of their data, achieve a more balanced overview of data analysis in the social sciences.

  • To understand that the emphasis on statistical significance testing has obscured the goals of analysing data for many social scientists.
  • To discuss other ways in which the significance testing paradigm has perverted scientific research, such as through the replication crisis and fraud.
  • To understand the role of graphics in EDA
Factor Analysis Mon 28 Feb 2022   11:00 [Places]

This module introduces the statistical techniques of Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) is used to uncover the latent structure (dimensions) of a set of variables. It reduces the attribute space from a larger number of variables to a smaller number of factors. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) examines whether collected data correspond to a model of what the data are meant to measure. STATA will be introduced as a powerful tool to conduct confirmatory factor analysis. A brief introduction will be given to confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling.

  • Session 1: Exploratory Factor Analysis Introduction
  • Session 2: Factor Analysis Applications
  • Session 3: CFA and Path Analysis with STATA
  • Session 4: Introduction to SEM and programming
Feminist Research Practice Wed 2 Feb 2022   14:00 [Full]

This series of workshops are aimed at students interested in interdisciplinary and feminist research practice. The course revolves around a simple query: what makes research feminist? It is the starting point to engage with classic and more contemporary writings on feminist knowledge production to answer some of the following questions: what are the ‘proper’ objects of feminist research? Who can do feminist research? Why do we do feminist research, and what is its relevance? Who do we cite in our research? We will have in-class discussions and hands-on assignments that will allow students to practice some of the main debates we will read about.

Foundations in Applied Statistics (FiAS-1) Mon 25 Oct 2021   10:00   [More dates...] Not bookable

This is an introductory course for students who have little or no prior training in statistics.

The module is divided between pre-recorded mini-lectures, in which you'll learn the relevant theory, and hands-on live practical sessions in Zoom, in which you will learn how to analyse real data using the statistical package, Stata.

You will learn:

  • The key features of quantitative analysis, and how it differs from other types of empirical analysis
  • The basics of formal hypothesis testing
  • Basic concepts: what is a variable? what is the distribution of a variable? and how can we best represent a distribution graphically?
  • Features of statistical distributions: measures of central tendency and dispersion
  • The normal distribution
  • Why statistical testing works
  • Statistical methods used to test simple hypotheses
  • How to use Stata

5 other events...

Date Availability
Mon 25 Oct 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Wed 27 Oct 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Wed 27 Oct 2021 10:00 Not bookable
Mon 17 Jan 2022 10:00 Not bookable
Mon 17 Jan 2022 10:00 Not bookable
Further Topics in Multivariate Analysis (FTMA) 1 Tue 8 Feb 2022   14:00   [More dates...] Not bookable

This module is an extension of the three previous modules in the Basic Statistics stream, and introduces more complex and nuanced aspects of the theory and practice of mutivariate analysis. Students will learn the theory behind the methods covered, how to implement them in practice, how to interpret their results, and how to write intelligently about their findings. Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using the statistical software Stata.

Topics covered include:

  • Interaction effects in regression models: how to estimate these and how to interpret them
  • Marginal effects from interacted models
  • Ordered and categorical discrete dependent variable models (ordered and multinomial logit and probit)

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions building your own statistical models.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 8 Feb 2022 14:00 Not bookable
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Workshop Thu 4 Nov 2021   16:00 [Places]

This workshop series aims to provide introductory training on Geographical Information Systems. Material covered includes the construction of geodatabases from a range of data sources, geovisualisation and mapping from geodatasets, raster-based modeling and presentation of maps and charts and other geodata outputs. Each session will start with an introductory lecture followed by practical exercises using GIS software.

Historical Sociological Methods new Thu 28 Oct 2021   09:00 [Full]

The aim of this course is to introduce students to comparative historical research methods and encourage them to engage with practical exercises, to distinguish between different approaches in comparative historical research methods in social sciences.

Through the reading and seminars students will learn how to distinguish between different texts, theorists and approaches and learn how to apply these approaches to their own research and writing.

Comparative historical sociology studies major social transformations over periods of time and across different states, societies, and regions.

Introduction to Empirical Research Thu 20 Jan 2022   14:00 [Places]

This module is for anyone considering studying on an SSRMP module but not sure which one/s to choose. It provides an overview of the research process and issues in research design. Through reflection on a broad overview of empirical research, the module aims to encourage students to consider where they may wish to develop their research skills and knowledge. The module will signpost the different modules, both quantitative and qualitative, offered by SSRMP and encourage students to consider what modules might be appropriate for their research and career development.

You will learn:

  • The research process and the different stages it might consist of
  • Issues related to research design
  • To consider what data you will need to address your research aims
  • To consider the best methods to collect and analyse your data
  • What modules are offered by SSRMP and how they might be appropriate to your needs
Introduction to Python Tue 23 Nov 2021   09:00   [More dates...] [Places]

This module introduces the use of Python, a free programming language originally developed for statistical data analysis. Students will learn:

  • Ways of reading data into Python
  • How to manipulate data in major data types
  • How to draw basic graphs and figures with Python
  • How to summarise data using descriptive statistics
  • How to perform basic inferential statistics


This module is suitable for students who have no prior experience in programming, but participants will be assumed to have a good working knowledge of basic statistical techniques.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 1 Mar 2022 09:00 [Places]
Introduction to R Tue 18 Jan 2022   14:00 [Places]

This module introduces the use of R, a free programming language originally developed for statistical data analysis. In this course, we will use R through R Studio, a user-friendly interface. Students will learn:

  • Ways of reading data into R
  • How to manipulate data in major data types
  • How to draw basic graphs and figures with R
  • How to summarise data using descriptive statistics
  • How to perform basic inferential statistics


This module is suitable for students who have no prior experience in programming, but participants will be assumed to have a good working knowledge of basic statistical techniques.

For an online example of how R can be used: https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/sscc/pubs/RFR/RFR_Introduction.html'''

Introduction to Stata Tue 9 Nov 2021   14:00   [More dates...] [Places]

The course will provide students with an introduction to the popular and powerful statistics package Stata. Stata is commonly used by analysts in both the social and natural sciences, and is the statistics package used most widely by the SSRMP. You will learn:

  • How to open and manage a dataset in Stata
  • How to recode variables
  • How to select a sample for analysis
  • The commands needed to perform simple statistical analyses in Stata
  • Where to find additional resources to help you as you progress with Stata

The first day (4 hours) is a mix between pre-recorded videos and exercises that students can do by themselves. There is no live session except a 45 minutes technical assistance for those who have problems with Stata or the computer.

The second day (4 hours) contains one-hour live lecture and a .zoom exercise. The audio for the one-hour live lecture will be recoded and the answers to the final exercise will be available on the Moodle.

The course is intended for students who already have a working knowledge of statistics - it's designed primarily as a ""second language"" course for students who are already familiar with another package, perhaps R or SPSS. Students who don't already have a working knowledge of applied statistics should look at courses in our Basic Statistics Stream.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 25 Jan 2022 14:00 [Places]
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