Embedding quantitative skills into the social science curriculum: case studies from Manchester

Jennifer Buckley* (Corresponding Author), Mark Brown, Stephanie Thomson, Wendy Olsen, Jackie Carter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-510
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number5
Early online date16 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • pedagogy
  • quantitative embedding
  • quantitative skills

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