Survey Sampling, Non-Response and Inference

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
29 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC L31012 Survey Methods for Social Research,
MSC L310MO Survey Methods for Social Research

Module description

The composition of a survey sample has an important influence on the accuracy of survey results. This is determined by the sample design and by which sample members participate and provide data. This module focusses firstly on how best the processes of sample design and nonresponse can be controlled in a diverse range of practical situations and, secondly, on how to take sample design and nonresponse into account when analysing survey data. The module focuses particularly on the statistical aspects of survey design and implementation, but emphasising the importance of understanding the practical constraints within which these issues must be dealt with.

The aim of the module is to provide the student with a good understanding of all the key aspects of survey sample design, survey design to minimise non-response, and analysis methods to adjust for non-response. Specifically, the objectives are that by the end of the course the student should possess the knowledge and skills to be able to:
* Understand and critique the sample design of any survey;
* Develop a sample design for a survey with stated objectives;
* Estimate standard errors that take sample design into account;
* Propose methods to maximise response rates to surveys of different types, within constraints;
* Understand the range of analysis methods available to adjust for non-response;
* Calculate and apply non-response adjustment weights.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

Indicative Outline of Topics

• Survey sampling principles and practice
• Stratified sampling and multi-stage sampling
Sampling methods in practice
• Estimation with complex samples
Introduction to survey nonresponse
• How to minimise non-contacts, refusals and item non-response
• Panel attrition; interviewer training
• Methods for studying non-response
• Weighting for nonresponse

Learning and teaching methods



  • Groves, Robert M. (c2009) Survey methodology, Hoboken: Wiley.
  • Groves, Robert M. (c2009) Survey methodology, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
  • Kempf Leonard, Kimberly. (2005) Encyclopedia of social measurement, Oxford: Elsevier/Academic.
  • Kish, Leslie. (1965) Survey sampling, New York: J. Wiley.
  • (2012-10-12) International Handbook of Survey Methodology, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • (©2016) Research methods for postgraduates, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework assignment 1 13/12/2019 50%
Coursework Assignment 2 15/01/2020 50%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Professor Peter Lynn
Michele Hall, Graduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873051, Email:



External examiner

Prof Paul Stretesky
The University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Professor of Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 19 (95%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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