Postgraduate Course: Survey Methods and Data (PGSP11157)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course aims to provide students with a) the skills and knowledge to design and conduct social scientific surveys; b) the capacity to evaluate critically the survey designs of other researchers and the findings and claims that are made on the basis of survey data; c) knowledge of how to access, search and utilise secondary survey data from a range of sources. Many students will already be familiar with techniques for analysing survey data: this course is primarily concerned with the production and characteristics of these data, rather than how they might be analysed.
The course places a strong emphasis on doing as well as learning. The first part of the course is classroom-based. Alongside lectures about the key elements of survey design and practice, students work together in small groups to design their own surveys on a series of topics. The second part of the course is in the computer lab. Shorter talks and demonstrations are integrated with practical exercises related to the coding of survey data; the design of on-line surveys; accessing and searching key sources of secondary data and survey questions; accessing, understanding and exploring cross-national and longitudinal survey data and data from population censuses.
Introduction to surveys and survey designs
Methods of administering surveys
Pre-testing survey questions
Sources of bias and error
Ethical and political issues in survey research
Preparing data for analysis
Key issues and design of on-line surveys
Introduction to secondary analysis
Sources of secondary data and questions
Understanding and handling longitudinal survey data
Key issues and sources of cross-national data
Introduction to the UK Censuses and data
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the research design issues implicated in the use of survey methods and the strengths and weaknesses of the types of data generally produced by surveys
- Use skills and knowledge to design and conduct social scientific surveys
- Evaluate critically the survey designs of other researchers and the findings and claims that are made on the basis of survey data
- Have an awareness of the potential sources of bias and error related to the selection of survey participants and the responses they give to questions
- Access, search and utilise secondary survey data from a range of sources
|Fowler, F. J. (2009) Survey Research Methods (4th edition), London: Sage.|
Czaja, R. and J. Blair (2005) Designing Surveys (2nd edition), London: Sage.
de Vaus, D. (2002) Surveys in Social Research (5th edition), London: Routledge.
Sapsford, R. (2006) Survey Research (2nd edition), London: Sage.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Mr Ross Bond
Tel: (0131 6)50 3919
|Course secretary||Mr Andrew Macaulay
Tel: (0131 6)51 5067