Principles of Data Collection - MA6528

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 15 (7.5) DR A Laurence checkmark-circle


Sampling: Simple random sampling. Sampling for proportions and percentages. Estimation of sample size. Stratified sampling. Systematic sampling. Ratio and regression estimates. Cluster sampling. Multi-stage sampling and design effect. Questionnaire design. Response bias and non-response.

General principles of experimental design: blocking, randomization, replication. One-way ANOVA. Two-way ANOVA. Orthogonal and non-orthogonal designs. Factorial designs: confounding, fractional replication. Analysis of covariance.

Design of clinical trials: blinding, placebos, eligibility, ethics, data monitoring and interim analysis. Good clinical practice, the statistical analysis plan, the protocol. Equivalence and noninferiority.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

38 hours

Method of assessment

80% examination, 20% coursework

Indicative reading

Barnett, V. (2002) Sample Survey Principles and Methods. 3rd edition. New York, Wiley.
Cox, D.R. (1992) Planning of Experiments. New York, Wiley.
Cochran, W.G. & Cox, G.M. (1992) Experimental Designs. 2nd edition. New York, Wiley.
Cox. D.R & Reid, N. (2000) The Theory of the Design of Experiments. Boca Raton, Chapman & Hall/CRC
Lawson, J. (2015) Design and Analysis of Experiments with R. Boca Raton, Chapman & Hall/CRC.
Matthews, J. N. S. (2000) An Introduction to Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials. 2nd edition. Boca Raton, Chapman & Hall/CRC.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcome
On successfully completing the level 6 module students will be able to:
1 demonstrate systematic understanding of key aspects of sampling and experimental design;
2 demonstrate the capability to deploy established approaches accurately to analyse and solve problems using a reasonable level of skill in calculation and manipulation of the material in the following areas: sampling, questionnaire design, analysis of variance, clinical trial design;
3 apply key aspects of sampling and experimental design in well-defined contexts, showing judgement in the selection and application of tools and techniques;
4 show judgement in the application of R for the analysis of data from experiments.

The intended generic learning outcomes:
On successfully completing the level 6 module students will be able to:
1 manage their own learning and make use of appropriate resources;
2 understand logical arguments, identifying the assumptions made and the conclusions drawn;
3 communicate straightforward arguments and conclusions reasonably accurately and clearly;
4 manage their time and use their organisational skills to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working;
5 solve problems relating to qualitative and quantitative information;
6 make competent use of information technology skills such as online resources (moodle), internet communication;
7 communicate technical and non-technical material competently;
8 demonstrate an increased level of skill in numeracy and computation;
9 demonstrate the acquisition of the study skills needed for continuing professional development.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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