My default Drupal installation would not install updates to modules via the Administration pages. The update would download but not install, giving this error message:
UpdaterException: Unable to determine the type of the source directory.
Module files can be updated manually using FTP, but that is not a sensible long-term solution.
The Drupal error mesage was not very helpful but searching it online revealed the problem: My temporary directory at /admin/config/media/file-system was set to the default of /tmp. Changing this to /sites/default/files/tmp allowed the updater to run. This will be due to access permissions configured on the server.
Module updates are now installing from the Administration pages with no trouble.