Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2018/19 Session

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Module Title LM Factor Analysis
SchoolCOS - College Hub
Department COS - College Hub
Module Code 08 21874
Module Lead Prof Stephen Gorard, Prof Stephen McKay
Level Masters Level
Credits 10
Semester Full Term
Pre-requisites LM Multivariate Linear + Logistic Regression - (08 21873)
Restrictions MA Social Research
Description It is often helpful to reduce a larger number of variables down to a smaller number - such as reducing a series of attitudes to one (or only a few) underlying dimensions. The technique of factor analysis, and its close relation principal components analysis, provide the tools for such a task. These are often used to help understand the structure of data, and are a popular way to generate scales for further analysis as well as summarising data.

Compared to other statistical techniques there is potentially a greater role for decisions made by the investigator, and so the importance of transparency will be emphasised.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • critique published research using factor analysis
  • conduct their own factor analysis in SPSS (or possibly in another package)
  • be aware of key issues including factor rotation and the selection of an appropriate number of factors
  • understand the limitations of this approach, and the use of a variety of diagnostic tools
  • be aware of how to communicate the results of such models to social science audiences
Assessment 21874-01 : 2000 word report : Coursework (100%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment: Assignment: 2,000 word report
Reassessment: Resubmission of summative assignment
Other None
Reading List