Introduction to research: basic skills and survey methods

The aim of this first course is to get a broad introduction to survey research and statistical analysis. This course covers sampling, questionnaire design, survey interviewing and questionnaire construction, and a brief look at qualitative methods such as ethnography. It will introduce simple tables and tests of significance, and three-way analysis of tables as control for alternative explanations. It will also cover multiple regression, some advanced statistical procedures and basic academic research skills.

It introduces methods in social and psychological research, and the end skill set is:

  • outline the range of methods that are used in social and psychological research and place the survey style within it;
  • design a research project on a topic of your own choice in the survey style of research;
  • carry out a brief literature review for it;
  • discuss the legal and ethical implications of your research;
  • extract and present information from published government statistics;
  • carry out tabular analysis of a data set;
  • summarise and present results in a variety of formats

The content of the course is divided into:

  • Introduction
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Real research is sometimes complicated
  • Computer familiarisation and ‘getting started’
  • What is a survey?
  • Developing a research idea
  • Survey sampling
  • Focusing ideas
  • Questionnaire design and data collection
  • Further planning issues
  • Survey analysis
  • Presenting your results and evaluating research

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Qualitative research

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