Education: E-learning virtual
Course C2: Survey Methods in Human Research
This course focuses on questionnaire design, survey methods, statistics in
research design and data analysis. Essential issues of human research (such
as ethical aspects and data protection) are also included. A series of topics
is published online.
Who is this course designed for?
Students who wish to undertake survey-based research within human populations.
What are the entry requirements?
There are no formal entry requirements for this course. Please note that the
number of students who can register for each course is limited. Interested students
are, therefore, encouraged to apply early.
To enable students to:
- Understand the integrated processes of designing, conducting and analysing
- Be aware of the problems of survey methods and analysis (including the main
sources of error and how to minimise such errors);
- Be aware of the wider issues of survey research, in particular, aspects
of the ethical and legal requirements of research, such as data protection.
By the end of this course students should be able to:
- Design a questionnaire;
- Carry out a survey using either the postal-based or interview method;
- Understand how to analyse survey data;
- Appreciate the issues that are integral to the survey method, such as the
ethics of research and data protection;
- Be aware of the problems of survey research, such as questionnaire validity
and reliability, and non-response.
The course is divided into the following Modules:
- Module 13: Introduction and Background to Survey Methods in Human Research:
course outline and overview, objectives, learning outcomes and glossary of
- Module 9: Ethics, Data Management and Research Governance: the 'ethics
quadrangle', Good Clinical Practice, research governance and consent, clinical
equipoise and applying for ethical approval, the Data Protection Act, data
quality, coding, and analysis.
- Module 4: Overview of Qualitative and Quantitative Research and Research
Design Issues: the definition and goals of qualitative and quantitative
research, types of study design and their advantages and limitations.
- Module 5: Statistics in the Research Process: introduction to the
statistical issues that are relevant to the survey method including: adopting
a study design, defining a target population, methods for random sampling,
reducing the potential for bias, choosing an outcome measure, planning the
analyses and determining a sample size.
- Module 7: Questionnaire Design and Survey Methods: the basic principles
of questionnaire design, how to design a survey, the advantages and disadvantages
of mailing questionnaires and interviews, and techniques for increasing response
- Module 8: An Introduction to Interviewing: a comprehensive introduction
to the process of interviewing, including the strengths and weaknesses of
the approach, the types of interviews that can be conducted and many of the
practicalities involved in conducting research interviews.
- Module 10: Statistics Issues in Data Analysis 1: probability and
distributions, objectives of inference, estimates and confidence intervals.
- Module 11: Statistics Issues in Data Analysis 2: hypothesis tests,
type I and type II errors, power and sample size.
Most of the teaching material is published on the CIREM website. This allows
students to choose where and when they study. Each student will also receive
a course folder, which provides supportive material and summary details of the
Tuition and student support
This course is currently without tutor support. However, students who
would like to have access to a resident tutor for the duration of the course
should contact the CIREM Programme Manager to discuss this possibility. The
tutors for CIREM courses are postdoctoral researchers. They can be contacted
by students for discussion of the course content and its application to the
student's own research ideas.
Duration and attendance
This course runs for ten weeks.
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