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Mon 19 Feb, Mon 26 Feb, Mon 4 Mar 2024
10:00, ...

Provided by: Cambridge Research Methods


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Survey Research and Design (LT)

Mon 19 Feb, Mon 26 Feb, Mon 4 Mar 2024


The module aims to provide students with an introduction to and overview of survey methods and its uses and limitations. It will introduce students both to some of the main theoretical issues involved in survey research (such as survey sampling, non-response and question wording) and to practicalities of the design and analysis of surveys. The module consists of six 1.5 hour sessions, alternating between prerecorded lectures and practical exercises.

Target audience
  • Postgraduate students and staff
  • Masters and/or PhD students considering or planning on designing a survey
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

Students must have arranged a Qualtrics account for this module; user accounts for the pilot Qualtrics service can be requested from UIS. Users should email requesting a Qualtrics account. Please supply your name, CRSID, and a University contact email address when requesting an account. It may take up to two weeks for accounts to be created. Usernames will usually be issued in the format <crsid>, and a password reset email will be sent directly to the contact email address from the Qualtrics system. If you have already used your email address to register an account with Qualtrics (for example, for a trial) you can contact Qualtrics via email ( and ask for your account to be moved into the 'University of Cambridge Brand'


Number of sessions: 6

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Mon 19 Feb   10:00 - 11:30 10:00 - 11:30 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle   Dr Ashton Brown
2 Mon 19 Feb   16:00 - 17:30 16:00 - 17:30 University Centre, Hicks Room map Dr Ashton Brown
3 Mon 26 Feb   10:00 - 11:30 10:00 - 11:30 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle   Dr Ashton Brown
4 Mon 26 Feb   16:00 - 17:30 16:00 - 17:30 University Centre, Hicks Room map Dr Ashton Brown
5 Mon 4 Mar   12:00 - 13:30 12:00 - 13:30 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle   Dr Ashton Brown
6 Mon 4 Mar   16:00 - 17:30 16:00 - 17:30 University Centre, Hicks Room map Dr Ashton Brown
Topics covered

At the start of the module, the theoretical aspects of designing surveys will feature more, and topics covered include: the background to and history of survey research (with examples mostly drawn from political polling); an overview of the issues involved in analysing data from surveys conducted by others and some practical advice on how to evaluate such data; issues of sampling, non-response and different ways of doing surveys; issues related to questionnaire design (question wording, answer options, etc.) and ethical considerations. As the module progresses the practical aspects of designing surveys will feature more, particularly issues directly related to questionnaires (and less on issues of sampling), such as the wording of questions, the order of questions, and the use of different answer options. Most of the exercises will be provided by the instructors, but there will also be opportunities for students to bring in examples of surveys they would like to develop for their own research (and participants in the sessions may be asked to answer each other's surveys as a pilot test).

Learning outcomes

Students who attend this course will be able to:

  • design their own and evaluate research that uses surveys, in particular to understand issues concerning sample selection, response bias and data analysis
  • appreciate and use basic principles of questionnaire design
  • trace appropriate sources of data and appropriate exemplars of good survey practice
  • design a survey in Qualtrics

The module runs over three sessions:

Session 1: Why we quant and how we quant

Session 2: Questionnaire design, sampling and weights

Session 3: Developing surveys using Qualtrics

The first part of each session will involve an online lecture. The second part will be based on group work and individual practical activities, which includes building a survey in Qualtrics.


Online quizzes may be provided for you to check your own progress

How to book

Click the "Booking" panel on the left-hand sidebar (on a phone, this will be via a link called Booking/Availability near the top of the page).


Moodle is the 'Virtual Learning Environment' (VLE) that the SSRMP uses to deliver online courses.

SSRMP lecturers use Moodle to make teaching resources available before, during, and/or after classes, and to make announcements and answer questions.

For this reason, it is vital that all SSRMP students enrol onto and explore their course Moodle pages once booking their SSRMP modules via the UTBS, and that they do so before their module begins. Moodle pages for modules should go live around a week before the module commences, but some may be made visible to students, earlier.

For more information, and links to specific Moodle module pages, please visit our website

Elements of Social Science Research

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