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Survey Methodology


Admission Requirements


In this course the principles of questionnaire design, use and analysis are discussed in the context of large scale surveys and smaller scale research with attention to both the substantial and statistical level. The substantial level mainly concerns the construction and testing of questionnaires, sampling and selection of respondents, data cleaning, the reporting of Survey Research, and ethics. The statistical part concerns statistical techniques as a part of scale and data quality checking, general estimation techniques as a part of scale and data quality checking, general estimation techniques, (multiple-) imputation techniques and analysis of incomplete data. The course will guide students through the complete process of doing a survey research, from determining the research question and the variables to be measured, defining the target population, contructing the questionnnaire, the data-collection process, to the reporting of the statistical analyses.

Course objectives

After this course the students:

  • Have an understanding of the properties of a survey

  • Can design a survey and assess the quality of any given questionnaire

  • Can critically assess a scientific paper on the topic

  • Have learned how to do survey research

  • Have learned to critically evaluate a survey research plan to make suggestions for improvement

  • Have learned statistical techniques for data quality control, multiple imputation and the analysis of survey research data, and can apply and interpret these techniques

  • Have learned how to handle instruments for determining whether a survey research is of good quality

  • Are aware and have knowledge of the disadvantages and advantages of convenience sampling

  • Are aware of ethical issues concerning questionnaire and survey research and are willing to behave accordingly.

Time Table

See the Leiden University students' website for the Statistical Science programme for schedule and exams -> Schedules

Mode of Instruction

This course is a combination of lectures and (computer) practicals.

Assessment method

Written exam, and assignments (usually based on computer lab sessions). The final grade consists for two-thirds of the grade for the exam, and for one third of the total grade for the assignments. For both parts a grade higher than 5.0 is required, and the total grade must be at least 5.5 in order to pass.

Reading list

  • Bethlehem, J. (2009). Applied survey methods: A statistical perspective. Wiley, Hoboken.

  • Specific articles to be handed out during the course.

Registration for the course

Enroll in Blackboard for the course materials and course updates.

Registration for the final course grade

To be able to obtain a grade and the EC for the course, sign up for the (re-)exam in uSis ten calender days before the actual (re-)exam will take place. Note, the student is required to participate actively in all activities of the program and therefore uses and registers for the first exam opportunity.

Contact information

JGinkel [at] fsw [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl