Sampling and Surveying

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

      It is recommended that the students have knowledge on Methodology of Research, but it is not mandatory.

Teaching Methods

Active methods are privileged. The course is taught in theoretical-practical and practice laboratory lessons.

Theoretical-practical lessons are dedicated to the presentation and collective discussion, based on the use of practical examples, of assumptions, characteristics and conditions for the application of quantitative research techniques that are studied.

Practical laboratory lessons are organized on the basis of concrete studies (under projects developed in FEUC and CES), which apply the quantitative techniques studied during the course.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives

The main objective of this course is to provide students with the know-how to use quantitative techniques of sociological observation.

Specific objectives

 The specific objectives are that students attending the course might be able: to define the nature of the information produced by each one of the quantitative techniques of observation; to recognize and to put into practice the best technique to use in each quantitative empirical research, depending of its objectives; to plan and implement the field work; to treat quantitative data for analysis.


The student shall after completing the course show the following competencies:

Generic:  capacity to reflect on the research methods applied in quantitative published research in a theoretically and practically informed way, and reflexively plan the application of quantitative research methods in his/her own research.

Specific: Capacity to design a quantitative research and gather data through a questionnaire

Work Placement(s)



1. The nature of quantitative research: premises and critical issues in survey research

2. The relations between the universe and the sample

3. Sampling techniques

3.1 Probability sampling:

          Simple random sampling

          Systematic sampling

          Stratified random sampling

          Multi-stage sampling

          Cluster sampling

3.2 Non-probability sampling:

          Convenience sampling

          Snowball sampling

          Quota sampling

4. Questionnaire planning and construction

4.1 Conceiving the questionnaire: the adequacy to survey objectives

4.2 The questions: types, contents and sequence

4.3 Designing and structuring the questionnaire

4.4 Planning survey launching

5. Attitude scaling

5.1 Scales as measures

5.2 Thurstone, Likert and Guttman scales

5.3 Validation problems.

Head Lecturer(s)

Virgínia do Carmo Ferreira

Assessment Methods

Continuous Assessment
Test on sampling – 20% Test on attitude scales -20% Designing / reviewing a questionnaire-30% Applying a questionnaire-30%: 100.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


GHIGLIONE, Rodolphe ; MATALON, Benjamin - O inquérito : teoria e prática. Oeiras : Celta Editora, 1992. [BP 303 GHI]
HENRY, Gary T. - Practical sampling. Newbury Park : Sage Publications, 1990. [BP 303 HEN]
IAROSSI, Giuseppe - O poder da concepção em inquéritos por questionário : um guia do utilizador para administrar inquéritos por questionário, interpretar resultados e influenciar os respondentes. Lisboa : Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2011. [BP 303 IAR]
METODOLOGIA DAS CIÊNCIAS SOCIAIS. Orgs. Augusto Santos Silva e José Madureira Pinto. 9ª ed. Porto : Afrontamento, 1997. [BP 303 MET]
MOREIRA, João Manuel – Questionários : teoria e prática. Reimp. da ed. de 2004. Coimbra : Edições Almedina, 2009. [BP 303 MOR]
VICENTE, Paula ; REIS, Elizabeth ; SERRÃO, Fátima – Sondagens : a amostragem como factor decisivo de qualidade. 2ª ed., rev. e corrig.. Lisboa : Edições Sílabo, 2001. [BP 303 VIC]