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Advanced Survey Design

Organizing institution
Utrecht University - Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Course code
Course fee (no housing)
€ 550.00

NOTE: this course is fully booked! New applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

This 4-day course in ‘ advanced survey design’ takes student beyond the introductory courses offered in BA and MA programmes, and will discuss the state of the art in both the design of surveys, and the analysis of survey data. We explicitly discuss new ways to analyse text data and sensor data generated by modern surveys. Course participants must be proficient in working with a package for statistical software (SATA, SAS, SPSS or R).

This 4-day course in survey design takes student beyond the introductory courses offered in BA and MA programmes, and discusses the state-of-the-art of one of the most important data collection techniques: surveys. The course focuses on the methodology of how to do surveys, and the use statistical techniques to analyse and correct for some specific survey errors. It combines short 1-hour lectures with exercises on most of the topics discussed.

Course participants must be proficient in working with a package for statistical software (SATA, SAS, SPSS or R). Course materials are prepared for working with R, while most of the exercises will also work with SPSS.

The course is interesting for social scientists or statisticians at the PhD level or beyond, working on academic research projects. Two courses are offered in the Utrecht Summer school that slightly overlap with this course: S15 (Survey Research: Design, Implementation and Data Processing) and S16 (Survey Research: Statistical Analysis and Estimation). The current course is however more advanced and more focused on survey research within the academic (university) setting.

We expect students to have some knowledge of survey research (for example by using survey data extensively) and have knowledge of statistics at the MsC level for social scientists (the general linear model).

Note: Participants need to bring a laptop computer to the course, with SPSS or alternatively with R ((https://www.r-project.org/) installed.

Course outline:

Day 1: Total Survey Error Paradigm. Choice of survey mode. The principles of probability sampling designs given different survey modes (simple random, cluster, stratified and multistage sampling).

Day 2: Questionnaire design, with specific attention to mixed-mode and mobile-device surveys.

Day 3: Cognitive pre-testing survey questions, the analysis of text data (using manual coding and machine learning). Nonresponse and weighting (both design and nonresponse weights).

Day 4: Paradata (what are they and how to use them?). Surveys and big data. Working with geo-location data to enrich survey data.

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF) Apply online now!

Course director

Dr. Peter Lugtig


Dr. Bella Struminskaya, Dr. Peter Lugtig

Target audience

If you want to know the current state of the art in survey data and survey data analysis, this is a course for you. This course assumes minimally MsC level knowledge of methods and statistics. In the course SPSS or R will be used extensively, and good knowledge of either of these two software packages is essential
The course is intended for PhD students, and others at the postgraduate level who wish to know more of survey data and it’s collection in the 21st century.

A maximum of 25 participants will be allowed in this course. IOPS students will get priority.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of theory and practice of modern survey design and analysis, in particular focusing on the analysis of new types of data (text, sensor data). This course is useful for more experienced students. After the course, participants are ready to apply the learned towards their own surveys, are able to critically assess existing surveys and survey documentation and analyse survey data themselves successfully

Study load

The course consists of 1-hour lectures mixed with 1-hour exercises using the computer, that apply the tools presented in the lectures.
A typical course day starts at 9.00 and ends at 16.00 with breaks for coffee, lunch and tea (included in course fee). Everyone actively participating on all four days of the course and attending the grading session on Thursday will qualify for ECs. (2 EC). Certificates of attendance are available upon request.
There is no reading required before the start of the course. However, we will provide an overview of further reading with every formal lecture on a topic.


Course + course materials + lunch € 550.00

Tuition fee for PhD students from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences from Utrecht University will be funded by the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences.
PhD candidates from IOPS will be covered by IOPS.


Utrecht Summer School does not offer scholarships for this course.

More information

Irma Reyersen - ms.graduate.program@uu.nl - + 31302534732


Application deadline: 20 August 2018