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Survey design

In conjunction with Ipsos MORI the CSS will be running a series of workshops on survey design. Participants will learn the theory behind survey research and review evidence around good practice in survey implementation, including sampling theory, approaches to measuring response rates, and questionnaire design. By the end of the course participants should be able to evaluate the quality of survey designs and data. The course also features a session on the practical implementation of web- and paper-based surveys, targeted at those planning to design and administer surveys themselves.


Session 1: Sampling (Dr. Patten Smith, Director of Research Methods Centre, Ipsos MORI)

Date and venue: Tuesday 19th November, 3-5pm, ABS021

This session will cover topics such as: principles of sampling from populations; standard errors and confidence intervals-fundamental dichotomy: quota vs random; main types of random sampling: SRS, stratified, clustered; sample frames and coverage; important random sample types; representativity errors arising in samples; weighting.


Session 2: Non-response & Starting Questionnaire Design (Andrew Cleary, Ipsos MORI)

Date and venue: Tuesday 26th November, 3-5pm, ABS021

Introduction- total survey error; definition and reporting response rates; trends in response rates (what’s a good response rate nowadays?); why do we care? Relationship between non-response and bias; strategies to counter.


Session 3: Questionnaire Design (Hayk Gyuzalyan Ipsos MORI)

Date and venue: Wednesday 4th December, 3-5pm, ABS021

What is a good question? Cognitive model of responding to questions; How can you improve questions? Cognitive effects; Social Desirability;Research questions and survey questions; Implications of selecting a research method for questionnaire design; types of questions; some aspects of scale questions.


Session 4: Practical Implementation of Self-Completion Surveys (Julia Pye, Ipsos MORI)

Date and venue: Tuesday 10th December, 3-5pm, ABS021

Principles of quality in self-completion surveys; constructing the questionnaire; additional questionnaire design considerations for web surveys; achieving high response rates and monitoring response; data processing;



This course is open to staff and research students at Royal Holloway. Places are limited.  To register for the course please contact Oliver Heath (

Elementary statistical knowledge of means, proportions variance and standard errors is assumed. No other prior knowledge is assumed, but the course aims to provide a grounding in the theory and practicalities of administering surveys, so will be suitable for those involved either in (a) using survey data and wishing to evaluate the quality of quantitative data and/or (b) those planning to administer surveys.



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