Introduction to Survey Research POLITIC5094

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

The course, beginning January 2022, provides an introduction and overview of survey sampling and design, survey statistics, ethics, types of surveys, data processing and management. Topics include sampling decisions, questionnaire design, survey based experiments, and parametric and non-parametric statistical tests.


10 Online Weekly Lectures 1 Hour Video Recording Released Each Week for 10 Weeks in Semester 2. The instructor will also release problem sets, examples, and be available for online consultation sessions

Requirements of Entry

Students may join the course as an option as part of the MSc in Data Analytics for Government. At the time of this writing, learners sponsored by UK Public Sector bodies may also take this as an individual module, provided they are sponsored by their employer.

Excluded Courses





Two quizzes (25% each)

One piece of written work constituting justification for a short survey of the student's choice and a completed draft of the survey (50%)

Course Aims

In this course, students will learn the following:

1. The basics for drawing samples from finite populations of interest; and introductory methods of more complex sampling designs

2. The possibilities and challenges of making population based inferences from respondents sampled on a survey

3. The design (and benefits and drawbacks) of survey weights

4. Issues of Survey Non-Response

5. Debates over probability based and quota based sampling (such as those employed by many internet survey firms)

6. Statistical methods up to multivariate regression for analysing the relationship between variables included on the survey

7. Data anonymity and preparing surveys for archiving

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Understand core elements of survey design and strategies for delivering surveys to maximise response rates

2. Have an awareness of the methodological challenges faced when making population based inferences from survey data

3. Identify ethical issues surrounding survey delivery and steps necessary to obtain ethical/human subjects approval in university and professional settings

4. Craft survey questions and answer choices designed to measure topics of interest to the researcher

5. Undertake basic statistical analysis to draw population based inferences based on examples of high quality survey data

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.