Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Theory and Practice of Sampling
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 5 Hours. (5 x 1 hour group discussions)
Practical 10 Hours. (5 x 2 hour practical classes)
Lecture 10 Hours. (10 x 1 hour lectures)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment coursework  40%
Semester Assessment survey reports  60%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   open-book, open-note practical examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, a student should be able to:
1. implement the theory of finite sampling;
2. calculate sample sizes necessary to achieve predefined goals;
3. draw samples of appropriate kinds from various populations;
4. compile a questionnaire to obtain quality information;
5. collect, collate, present, analyse and interpret the data from a sample survey.

Brief description

This module combines the theory of sampling with the experience of planning and conducting a sample survey.


This module will give the student an appreciation of the value of statistical theory together with the difficulties involved in the practical application of these ideas. The student will gain experience in working as part of a team, planning and organising a sample survey, producing a questionnaire, handling and analysing real data and writing a report.


1. INTRODUCTION: The benefits of sampling. The need for thorough planning. Populations, sampling units, sampling frames, sampling schemes. The art of asking the right question to obtain quality information.
2. FINITE SAMPLING THEORY: Theory of simple random sampling. Finite population corrections. Stratification, Quota, Cluster, Systematic and Multi-stage methods. Comparison of sampling designs for estimating means, totals, variances, proportions. Optimal sampling when total size or total cost is fixed.
3. PLANNING A SAMPLE SURVEY: Defining the problem, setting a time-schedule, deciding upon a suitable sampling scheme, compiling a questionnaire.
4. SOME PROBLEM AREAS: Target populations. Non-response. Surveying sensitive issues. Wildlife populations, elusive populations. Post-stratification.
5. DATA ANALYSIS: Checking for errors. Analysis of contingency tables, comparing proportions, distribution free (rank sum) methods, lucid presentation of results.

Reading List

Recommended Text
F R Jolliffe (1986) Survey Design and Analysis Ellis Horwood Primo search Scheaffer, Richard L. (2006.) Elementary survey sampling /Richard L. Scheaffer, William Mendenhall III, R. Lyman Ott. Thomson Brooks/Cole Primo search Thompson, Steven K. (March 2002) Sampling John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5