MY556      Half Unit
Survey Methodology

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jonathan Jackson COL8.05


This course is available to all Research students.


Knowledge of basic descriptive and inferential statistics, to the level of MY452/MY552 or equivalent. MY556 can also be taken in parallel with MY452L/MY552L. Familiarity with notions of research design in the social sciences, to the level of MY400/MY500 or equivalent.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to the methodology of the design and analysis of social surveys. It is intended both for students who plan to design and collect their own surveys, and for those who need to understand and use data from existing large-scale surveys.

Topics covered include basic ideas of target populations, survey estimation and inference, sampling error and nonsampling error; sample design and sampling theory; methods of data collection; survey interviewing; cognitive processes in answering survey questions; design and evaluation of survey questions; nonresponse error and imputation for item nonresponse; survey weights; analysis of data from complex surveys; accessing, preparing and working with secondary data from existing social surveys. The course includes computer classes, using the statistical computer package Stata; no previous knowledge of Stata is required.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be no lectures or seminars in Week 6 of term.

Formative coursework

Exercises from the seminars can be submitted for marking

Indicative reading

Groves, R M, Fowler, F J, Couper, M P, Lepkowski, J M, Singer, E, and

Tourangeau, R (2009). Survey Methodology (2nd ed.). Wiley.


Research project (100%).

Research paper of 25-30 pages, including tables and figures, or approximately 3,000-4,000 words, reporting the data analysis of a given research question and data set (100%).

Key facts

Department: Methodology

Total students 2015/16: 2

Average class size 2015/16: 3

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills