Statistical methods for market research ST3188

This course concentrates on transforming students into competent and confident users of statistical software to enable them to conduct independent data analysis by taking a more applied approach to conventional statistics.

The first half of the course focuses on aspects of market research, and in the second half the emphasis is on the practical application of a variety of multivariate statistical techniques to supplied datasets.


If taken as part of a BSc degree, the following course must be passed before this course may be attempted:

  • ST104a Statistics 1

Topics covered

  • Introduction to market research and defining the problem.
  • Market research designs.
  • Secondary data - sources and applications.
  • Qualitative research: focus groups and projective techniques.
  • Survey methods and quantitative observation.
  • Causal research using experiments.
  • Scaling techniques.
  • Questionnaire design.
  • Sampling methods.
  • Final and initial sample size determination.
  • Getting started with SPSS.
  • Cross-tabulation and hypothesis testing.
  • Analysis of variance and covariance.
  • Correlation and regression.
  • Discriminant analysis.
  • Logistic regression.
  • Factor analysis.
  • Cluster analysis.
  • Conjoint analysis.
  • Multidimensional scaling.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • define a market research problem and create an appropriate research design
  • perform independent data analysis in a market research setting
  • determine which statistical method is appropriate in a given situation and be able to discuss the merits and limitations of a particular method
  • use statistical software to analyse datasets and be able to interpret output 
  • draw appropriate conclusions following empirical analysis and use to form the basis of managerial decision-making
  • demonstrate greater commercial awareness.


An individual case study piece of coursework (30%) and a 2 hr unseen written examination (70%).

Essential reading

    Field, A.  Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics, Sage, fourth edition (2013) [ISBN 9781446249185].

    Malhotra, N.K. D.F. Birks and P.A. Wills Marketing Research, Pearson, fourth edition (2012) [ISBN 9780273725855].