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SRA: Sampling and introduction to weighting (Quantitative data collection)

One way to ruin an otherwise well-conceived survey is to use a convenience sample rather than one which is based on a probability design” (Ferber et al, 1980). Do you have the right sampling design for your study? This course introduces participants to what survey sampling is, why it is important, and how it is implemented. It focuses on the practical aspects as well as some of the mathematics.

United Kingdom
20th May, 2015
Event City: 
Event State/Province: 
Greater London
Event cost: 
Event type: 

This is a foundation level course run by the Social Research Association (SRA). 

Topics covered

  • Types of samples (probability versus non-probability)
  • How to construct a ‘sampling frame’
  • Types of probability samples (e.g., simple random, systematic, stratified, multi-stage clustered, unequal probabilities of selection).
  • What ‘sampling error’ is
  • The role of sampling error in confidence intervals
  • How to determine sample size
  • A very brief introduction to the effects of different types of sample designs on confidence intervals
  • Introduction to weighting



By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different sampling strategies
  • Understand confidence intervals for means and proportions and how to select a sample size which will guarantee the desired width of the confidence interval after data collection
  • Be able to critique aspects of existing survey samples
  • Have introductory knowledge about how to draw their own survey sample

Who will benefit?

  • The course will benefit anyone who wishes to conduct their own survey or commission a survey.
  • Ideally participants should have had at least some prior experience of statistics.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will have a good awareness of the key aspects of designing a survey sample.


Tutor:  Dr Pamela Campanelli
Price for SRA members: £195
​Price for non-SRA members: £260
​Time: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Registrations for this course will not be accepted after 19 May 2015 at 6.00pm.