Research Methods and Techniques: Sampling and Inquiry - 2nd semester


a) To understand the problem of quantitative research in social sciences;
b) To know and understand basic statistical notions associated with quantitative research and, particularly, with sampling techniques;
c) To understand the problem and functionality of sampling methods and techniques in the context research in sociology;
d) To know and understand the techniques, principles and types of sampling procedures;
e) To develop the ability to recognize the sampling procedures used in real-world examples;
f) To develop the ability to critically assess the theoretical relevance and correct application of the techniques of sampling procedures used in elementary real examples;
g) To develop the ability to create elementary processes of application of sampling;
h) To know and understand the theoretical concepts and methodological principles associated with conducting surveys and in particular the construction of questionnaires;
i) To develop the ability to critically assess the theoretical relevance and correct application of the instruments of survey used in real examples;
j) To develop the ability of devising survey instruments.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Lúcia Teixeira, Rui Santos


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



It is suggested that students previously take the course of Theory and Methodology of Social Sciences.


Arber, S. (2001). “Designing samples”, in Gilbert, N. (org.), Researching social life. Londres: Sage, pp. 58-82.
Bryman, A. (2004). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Levin, J. & Fox, J.A. (2004). Estatística para ciências humanas- São Paulo: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Ghiglione, R. e Matalon, B. (1992). O inquérito: Teoria e prática. Oeiras: Celta.
Simmons, R. (2001). \"Questionnaires\", in Gilbert, N. (org.), Researching social life. Londres: Sage, pp. 85-104.

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures (40%);
Practical classwork (60%): exemplification and exercise solving; discussion and exercise solving by students; oral presentation and discussion of ongoing work by students.

Evaluation method

Evaluation method:
Two individual written tests in class, concerning all subjects discussed in classes (90%);
Pratcical classroom exercises. (10%).

Subject matter

1. Theory, empirical research and measurement in sociology
2. Levels of measurement and construction of variables

1. Introduction to sampling procedures
2. Random sampling
3. Non random sampling
3.1. Quota sampling
3.2. Purposive sampling and snowball
4. General logic design of sampling plans

1. Observation and measurement in the Social Sciences, types of questionnaires, collection methods and situations
2. The questionnaire: between the theoretical and empirical conceptualization
3. Principles for organizing and administering a questionnaire
4. Questions, groups of questions and scales
5. Methods of response, record types, pre-coding and filters


Programs where the course is taught: