« Data and Analysis/Applied Data Analysis

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Inference from social and population surveys rely on a sufficiently large sample of respondents that are representative of the population of interest. Some biases in sample selection can be adjusted for after survey completion (using weights), but biases based on unobserved characteristics cannot be. Regardless, the more representative the sample, the more likely it is that researchers will be able to accurately make inference for the population of interest. Larger sample sizes have less uncertainty around their estimates, but this comes at the costs of interviewer/recruitment time and respondent burden. There are a number of ways to select samples including simple random samples, stratified samples, clustered samples, or non-probability methods.


  1. Sampling methodology with a focus on practical ways to design a sample recruitment strategy
  2. Critique a sampling method that has been used on a pre-existing survey

Learning outcomes 

Upon successful completion, enrollee's will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Discuss the basic concepts of sampling for social and population surveys
  2. Critique sampling methodologies for existing surveys
  3. Design a simple sampling strategy that balances costs and error
  4. Know the basic concepts for more advanced sampling strategies and where to obtain further information

Indicative assessment 

Assignment 1 – Introductions and identification of research questions (500 words, 20% of final mark) LO: 1, 2

Assignment 2 – Research design (1,500 words, 80% of final mark) LO: 3, 4

Assumed knowledge 

This micro-credential is taught at graduate level and assumes the generic skills of a Bachelors or equivalent.

Micro-credential stack information 

This micro-credential may be undertaken as a stand-alone course.


Course Code: DATA28

Workload: 21 hours 

  • Contact hours: 7 hours
  • Individual study and assessment: 14 hours

ANU unit value: 1 unit

AQF Level: 8

Contact: Professor Nicholas Biddle

This Micro-credential is taught at a graduate level.  This is not an AQF qualification.

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