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BAEcon Development Studies and Social Statistics

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Essentials of survey design and analysis

Unit code SOST20022
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Social Statistics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

The unit aims to:

  1. provide an overview the process of survey planning, management and analysis.
  2. introduce methods of random sampling
  3. compare how basic statistical methods can be applied in different designs
  4. present the design and testing of questionnaires
  5. introduce the key decisions in survey planning and management, including questions of research ethics
  6. introduce a range of UK and international social sciences surveys

Lectures provide an overview of the survey design and analysis process. Following an introduction in the first week, three major topics in survey research are discussed: sampling and inference (weeks 2-5), measurement with focus on questionnaires (weeks 6-7), survey planning and management (weeks 8-9). The last week provides a summary and a longer session for students to ask questions about the material.

Tutorials follow lectures in each week and elaborate on a practical aspect of the material covered. The tutorials are to have a thread in order to help regularly attending students engage with the material: week 1 introduces a few different research questions; students work on these in discussion, group work and some computer lab sessions; this way, they can simulate the main steps of survey planning and execution in a tiny classroom project week by week. This will create a strong link between lectures and tutorials, increasing learning efficiency for those who participate in both.

Aims

The unit aims to:

(i) provide an overview the process of survey planning, management and analysis.

(ii) introduce methods of random sampling

(iii) compare how basic statistical methods can be applied in different designs

(iv) present the design and testing of questionnaires

(v) introduce the key decisions in survey planning and management, including questions of research ethics

(vi) introduce a range of UK and international social sciences surveys

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to…

(i) critically examine whether a survey is the right tool to collect data for a given social science research question;

(ii) describe a few major UK and international surveys from the past few decades;

(iii) distinguish between different sampling designs;

(iv) choose the sampling design that is most appropriate to a given research question;

(v) apply statistical methods that are appropriate for different sampling designs;

(vi) identify the steps of questionnaire design, implementation and testing;

(vii) design a simple questionnaire to collect data for a given research question;

(viii) assess the quality of a survey (considering errors and nonresponse);

(ix) identify the steps of survey planning and management;

(x) discuss the key ethical issues in survey research;

(xi) draft a survey report.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will involve: lectures, group work and computing lab classes. Extensive use will be made of relevant on-line resources where students can learn about social science data. Please note the information in scheduled activity hours are for guidance only and may change.

Blackboard resources will be used to enable students to access teaching data and data sources.

The lecture component will provide a theoretical and methodological framework for learning about the design of surveys and analysis of survey data.  Group work in the tutorials will give students hands on experience on the design and implementation of a survey. Practical sessions in the computing lab will give students hands on experience in the basic exploratory analysis of survey data, data manipulation, interpretation and reporting results. Such skills are highly transferable.

The emphasis on the use of real data to answer real questions is designed to engage students and enable students to consider using such approaches as part of their own dissertation research.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

Feedback methods

All Social Statistics courses include both formative feedback - which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve - and summative feedback - which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

(i) Lohr, S. L. (2019). Sampling: Design and Analysis. 2nd edition. CRC Press, Florida.

(ii) Oppenheim, A.N. (2000). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. New Edition. Bloomsbury Academic, London.

(iii) Czaja, R. and Blair, J. (2013). Designing Surveys: a guide to decisions and procedures. 3rd ed. Sage, London.

(iv) De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in Social Research. 5th edition. Routledge, London. 

(v) Fowler, F. J. (2013). Survey Research Methods, 5th edition. Sage, California.

(vi) Groves, R M et al. (2009) Survey Methodology, 2nd edition. J. Wiley, Hoboken. 

(vii) Diamond and J. Jefferies (2001). Beginning Statistics: an Introduction for Social Scientists. London: Sage.

(viii) L. Jaisingh (2005). Statistics for the Utterly Confused, 2nd edition. McGraw-Hill.
 

On-line Resources

(i) UK Data Archive www.data-archive.ac.uk/

(ii) ESDS - www.esds.ac.uk/government/

(iii) Survey Network http://www.surveynet.ac.uk

(iv) Research Methods Centre http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/

(v) Methods@Manchester www.methods.manchester.ac.uk/

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andras Voros Unit coordinator

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