Institute for Global Health


Collecting and using data – Essentials of quantitative survey research

Collecting, managing and presenting quantitative data in a rigorous manner is essential for monitoring and evaluating programs and interventions. A good grounding in survey methodologies provides key skills for those who wish to collect or interpret data in both academic and NGO settings.

This module equips students with the concepts and skills required to design and conduct surveys for diverse population groups and to critically evaluate surveys carrried out by others. The course emphasises practical learning and focuses on real life experiences and application and covers

Module Code: CIHDG019

UCL Credits: 15

Module Organisers: Zelee Hill and Ed Fottrell Please direct queries to the course administration team in the first instance igh.adminpg@ucl.ac.uk

Who can study this course?

MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development students, other UCL MSc/PG Dip students, Taster course students, Short course students

Admission Requirements

MSc and PG Dip students: Open to all UCL MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development, and to any UCL MSc/PG Dip students.

tropEd students: evidence that you are registered as a tropEd student, successful completion of core course.

Taster students: UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or upper 2nd class Honours or an equivalent qualification.  Two academic or professional reference letters.

Short course students: Professional work experience in a relevant area and/or UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or 2 class Honours or an equivalent qualification.

In addition to the above, all students must demonstrate a GOOD standard of English Proficiency with 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Course length 3 weeks 
Course dates 29 January to 16 February 2018
Days and times Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 09.30 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.30. Student presentations on last Friday of course.  Written assessment to be submitted on 5 March 2018 by 9 am.



  • The steps in designing and conducting a quantitative survey
  • Key concepts in sampling in household questionnaires and for hard to reach populations such as sex workers
  • Key constructs in questionnaire design
  • Modes of data collection
  • Measuring morbidity and mortality
  • Data processing and database design basics
  • Practical sessions on STATA: advanced features of the data editor, coding and re-coding data, running commands and viewing outputs, working on a sub-set of the data, graphics, data cleaning and basic analysis.
  • Packaging and presenting data for different audiences

Teaching and learning methods

The course includes lectures, group work and computer laboratories. Conceptual sessions are followed by a presentation by an eminent researcher giving practical examples and experiences from the field.


Oral presentation on group project 50% (15-30 mins including discussion)

Individual scenario based written exercise 50% (2000 words)

Assessment Date

The oral presentation will be on 16 February 2018.

Written exercise to be submitted on 5 March 2018 by 9.00 am.

Selected Reading List

Schuldt JP, Konrath SH, Schwarz N (2011). "Global Warming" or "Climate Change": Whether the planet is warming depends on question wording.  Public Opinion Q.  75(1): 115-124.

Butler D. (2010) Verbal autopsy methods questioned Nature 467(7319):1015.

Magnani R, Sabin K, Saidel T, Heckathorn D (2005). Review of sampling hard-to-reach and hidden populations for HIV surveillance. AIDS 19 (Suppl 2):S67-72. 

Byass P, Hounton S, Ouédraogo M, Somé H, Diallo I, Fottrell E, Emmelin A, Meda N (2008) Direct data capture using hand-held computers in rural Burkina Faso: experiences, benefits and lessons learnt. Tropical Medicine & International Health 13:25-30. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2008.02084.