Survey research

Subject description

  • Introduction, survey research within social science research.
  • Aims and examples from survey practice.
  • Survey research process.
  • Defining survey goals and operationalization.
  • Selection of target population, sampling frame and design.
  • Survey modes (self- vs. interviewer- administered, paper-and-pencil vs. computer assisted).
  • Questionnaire design and testing.
  • Data collection.
  • Data processing.
  • Specifics in statistical analysis of survey data.
  • Report writing.
  • Professional standards and ethics.
  • Survey data quality, survey errors.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The aim of the course is to present students the theory and practice of survey research. Within survey research data are collected using survey questionnaires, answered by respondents during a face-to-face or telephone interview or by themselves (self-administered surveys by mail, web). The course includes lectures, individual work and discussion which will enable students to gain competences to conduct survey projects, from the definition of project aims (problem, hypotheses, target population) and survey design, through sample design, questionnaire design and testing, data collection with few missing data, data processing to final data analysis and report writing. Students will learn also the basic concepts of the survey data quality theory.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars, papers, consultations.

Part of the pedagogical process will be carried out with the help of ICT technologies and the opportunities they offer.


Expected study results

Knowledge and understanding:

Knowledge on the process and the steps of the survey research project and understanding the basic concepts of survey data quality.

Basic sources and literature

  • Groves R M, Fowler F J, Couper M P, Lepkowski J M, Singer E, Tourangeau R: Survey Methodology. New York: Wiley (2009).
  • Callegaro M, Lozar Manfreda K, Vehovar V: Web Survey Methodology. London: Sage (2015).
  • Fink A: How to Conduct Surveys: A Step-by-step Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 6th Edition. (2016).
  • Biemer P, Lyberg L: Introduction to Survey Quality. New York: Wiley (2003).

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