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STAT6092 Survey Data Collection

Module Overview

This module presents the different types of data collection instrument, and examines the different approaches to testing questions and questionnaires. It also shows the relationship between data collections methods and data quality.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are: To present the characteristics of the main methods used for survey data collection. To demonstrate the characteristics of different types of questions and practice the principles of good questionnaire and question design. To describe the main methods of testing questions and questionnaires.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate role of data collection methodology in reducing the risk of non sampling error.
  • Demonstrate main features of different data collection methods which inform choices of appropriate methods for different types of surveys.
  • Demonstrate basic principles of questionnaire design and structure.
  • Demonstrate different types of survey questions and their uses.
  • Demonstrate effects of different types of question on data quality.
  • Demonstrate the role of questionnaire design in the quality framework.
  • Demonstrate characteristics of common methods of testing questions which determine choices of methods.


- Conceptualisation and operationalisation - Interviews and self-administered data collection methods (trade-offs between quality, cost, speed) - Computer-assisted data collection methods, effect on costs, timeliness and data quality Other methods of data collection (diaries, observations, tests) - Designing data collection instruments for social surveys Designing data collection instruments for business surveys - Question design principles and types of questions - Multimode data collection - Designing different kinds of questions (sensitive and attitude questions, ordering, wording and context effects) - Qualitative methods for question testing - Quantitative testing for piloting questionnaires and procedures, managing and monitoring data collection - Role of questionnaire design in overall quality framework

Special Features

In addition to the main topics covered in the lectures, there are exercises and demonstrations associated with some lecture sessions and a rolling project across the teaching days. This project will give students the opportunity to try using skills learned from the lectures by working in groups. This module is run as a week-long short course, a component of the MSc in Official Statistics

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of methods will be used including lectures and workshops/tutorials, mixed in a 5 day course designed for students on release from the workplace. Students are also expected to read wider than the lecture material as part of their individual study, and to critically appraise different approaches.

Independent Study80
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Fink, A. (1995). How to Design Surveys. 

Dillman, D.A. (2007). Mail and Internet Surverys: The Tailored Design Method. 

Fowler, F. J. Jr. (2009). Survey Research Methods. 

Presser, S., Rothgeb, J. M., Couper, M. P., Lessler, J. T., Martin, E., Martin, J. and Singer, E. (Eds.) (2004). Methods for testing and evaluating survey questionnaires. 

Groves, R.M., Fowler, F.J, Couper, M.P, Lepkowski, J.M., Singer, E. and Tourangeau, R (2004). Survey Methodology. 

Wilis, G.B. (2005). Cognitive Interviewing – A Tool for Improving Questionnaire Design. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: STAT6096

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