2017-2018 / SOCI0053-5

Survey Methodology


30h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in political sciences : general6 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE)6 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (en Science, Technologie et Société (STS))6 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (60 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Bachelor in human and social sciences3 crédits 
 Bachelor in sociology and anthropology3 crédits 
 Master en sciences du travail, à finalité (en alternance)3 crédits 
 Master in human resources management (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in population and development studies (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in sociology (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in labour sciences (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in sociology and anthropology (60 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in labour sciences (60 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in public health (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in journalism (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in information and communication (60 ECTS)5 crédits 


Marc Jacquemain

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The theoretical course resumes the stages of a quantitative survey. The main stages developed in the theoretical course are those concerning the principle and techniques of sampling, the preparation techniques of a questionnaire (including the qualitative interview), the modalities of signing of a questionnaire, the principles relating to interpretation of the results.
The course will also emphasize some of the cognitive mechanisms that lay under the problems of question wording. It will also develop some elements of the theory of public opinion and of the history of polls.

Practical lectures are organized for the most technical parts of the course (sampling, question wording and statistical interpretation of the results).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The purpose of the course is double: 1 ° to give to the students the theoretical basic knowledge necessary for the realization of a quantitative survey, mainly in sampling of populations, realization of questionnaires, statistical treatment and interpretation of results.

2° To give the students the necessary tools in order to understant and interpret the surveys they could be confronted to : how to understand sampling error, how to understand various forms of figures and tables, how to assess the effect of the ways questions are asked and the potential biases they can induce, which conclusions may drawn form allowable evidence.

3° To position survey techniques in relation to other ways of gathering relevant information in social sciences.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

If possible, knowledge of elementary notions of statistics and probability

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Each main part of the course will be followed by one or two periods of training.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Ex-cathedra lessons (30 h) illustrated by transparent frames. .
After each main chapter of the course, one or two sessions of practictal training will take place.

Recommended or required readings

A pedagogical frame is provided throuh detailed powerpoint. All technical elements of the course can be found there.The oral course is dedicated to explaining and exemplifying the content of powerpoint. To attend the course is very useful to understand the various slides.
CH I General questions of validity
CH II The questionnaire and problems of bias
CH III Notions of sampling
CH IV Introduction to presentation and analysis of survey results.
Mainly used books are : see French version.
Consulting the various books is not at all compulsory but may help the student to understand better or to deepen the study of some particular points.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination for both sessions
Written examination is composed of short open questions (usally 8 questions). The final note will take into account :
- exact response or not
- clear or obscure argumentaton : an answer with no argumentation will not be taken into account.
- relevance : the preseance of irrelevant considerations diminishes the note.
- capacity to synthesize
Students must be able to use the main notions from the courses in the context of simple problems.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

Slides are not send all at once by one chapter after another.
Those slides are indeed regularly adapted to furnich examples better linked to socio-political news and evolutions.


Teacher : Marc JACQUEMAIN, Tel: 04/366 30 72 - Fax: 04/366 45 20 e-mail : marc.jacquemain@ulg.ac.be