CCSR Short Course Training in Social Research Methods and Statistics at the University of Manchester 2012

There are still a small number of places left on the upcoming courses on research skills, social statistics and data analysis at the Centre for Census and Survey Research. See

Introduction to Maths for Social Statistics – 15th October 2012
This course introduces social scientists to the essential mathematics that are utilized in social statistics. After completing this course, students should have a basic understanding of mathematical concepts that form the basis of statistical inference and modelling in the social sciences.

How to Conduct a Survey – 16th November 2012
The course offers a complete overview of the survey process. There are several key elements in the design of a successful survey, and all of them must be right otherwise the survey might fail. This course considers all of these elements of survey design and management and explores how they fit together and complement one another. The course is taught by a lecturer with hands on experience in delivering surveys across the public and private sector often with hard to reach groups in challenging social policy contexts.

Questionnaire Design – 20th November 2012
Rubbish in, rubbish out – have you ever discovered too late that your survey questions did not deliver useful or useable data? Through looking at a wide range of pitfalls, this course explores ways to assess the effectiveness of existing questionnaires as well as how to write successful new ones. It combines suggestions from the research literature on questionnaire design with a very practical approach. Common errors in the wording of individual questions are examined as well as how to combine individual questions into a meaningful questionnaire.

Standardised Multi-Item Scale Development for Surveys – 21st November 2012
Standardised multi-item scales are very common in psychology, education, and health, but much less so in sociology, political science, and survey research. This one day course is designed to inspire participants from all disciplines that it is possible to develop your own high quality multi-item scales. This course offers an introduction on how to do this: looking at psychometric principles, exploring the special questionnaire design concerns, introducing some basic statistical tools for assessing the reliability and dimensionality of multi-item scales, and practice evaluating some existing scales in a lab session at the end of the day.

Cognitive Interviewing for Testing Survey Questions – 22nd November 2012
This one day course is designed to familiarise participants with this powerful and efficient method of piloting survey questions called Cognitive Interviewing. This is a type of in-depth interviewing which focuses on respondents’ thought processing in answering survey questions and uses specialised techniques such as thinking aloud, probing, observation and paraphrasing. The course is about what cognitive interviewing is as well as how to do it. There are practical exercises as well as lecture time.

Data Linkage 1 Background to Techniques – 28 November 2012
The one day course will introduce basic concepts of data linkage, provide background information on data linkage applications and different data sources as well as aspects of preparing datasets for data linkage. By the end of the day, participants should have an understanding of what is involved when merging datasets.

Data Linkage 2 Theory to Practice – 29-30 November 2012
The course will cover probabilistic approaches to data linkage including pre-matching processes, string comparators, determining field weights, types of errors and decision theory, the evaluation of the quality of linkage procedures and the analysis of linked datasets. The course will have a strong practical emphasis to enable course participants to put the taught methods into practice and will include a tutorial and computer workshop.

Introduction to Statistical Testing in Research – 5th December 2012
The course aims to cover many of the commonly used parametric and non-parametric statistical tests, along with basic concepts of a randomized clinical trial and the analysis of survival data, with data examples from a health environment but for use in social research more widely.

For more information and to book a place please go to


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