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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.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

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.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


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