Journal of Social Research Methodology

Paper: Embedding quantitative skills into the social science curriculum

The International Journal of Social Research Methodology has published a new paper as part of a Special Issue  convened by guest editors Prof Melanie Nind (Pedagogy of Methodological Learning project PI), Dr Daniel Kilburn (UCL) and Dr Rebekah Luff (National Centre for Research Methods) and dedicated to the teaching of research methods.

Embedding quantitative skills into the social science curriculum: case studies from Manchester” is a new work by authors Jennifer Buckley, Mark Brown, Stephanie Thomson, Wendy Olsen and Jackie Carter focussed on building quantitative research capacity:


Those aiming to respond to the recognised shortage in quantitative skills within the UK social sciences have increasingly focused on the content of undergraduate degree programmes. Problems occur when quantitative methods are generally confined to a dedicated module, detached from substantive topics. This model makes it hard for students to understand or engage with the contribution of quantitative research to their discipline and can perpetuate negative perceptions of quantitative training. We suggest a solution to this problem is ‘quantitative embedding’, in which quantitative evidence and methods are incorporated into substantive teaching in the social sciences. We illustrate quantitative embedding with case studies from an ESRC funded project based in The University of Manchester, where teaching partnerships have developed curriculum innovations in Sociology and Politics. The paper then discusses the challenges of disseminating quantitative embedding, highlighting the need to bridge separate communities of practice that can isolate quantitative specialists.

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