NOV 2014 short courses programme at University of Manchester

Introduction to R: 14 Nov 2014–  aimed at people who wish to familiarise themselves with R. It serves as a pre-requisite for the statistical analysis of social networks course, but taken as a one-day course, it is also suitable for anyone interested in using R more generally. R is a command language that can be used to carry out standard statistical analyses but also has powerful facilities to enable users to create their own routines or implement methods designed by other researchers.

Understanding Statistics: 18 Nov 2014–  covers understanding of statistics in social policy reports and behind the software packages. It is an opportunity for participants to ask the basic statistical questions they have always wanted to. This course focuses on basic statistical concepts such as: the four levels of measurement, measures of central tendency (median, mean, and mode), measures of dispersion (percentiles, variance, standard deviation, and standard error), confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, design effects and the issue of causality. These skills allow participants to interpret and evaluate existing research findings within the remit of basic statistics. The course is composed of a combination of lectures and practicals.

Introduction to Survey Sampling: 19 Nov 2014– introduces participants to what survey sampling is, why it is important, and how it is implemented. It focuses on the practical aspects as well as some of the technical details. There are four topics covered in the course: Sampling preliminaries and practical considerations (e.g. population and sampling frame); Different types of sampling strategies; Sampling error and sampling size; Design effects. It is suitable for anyone new, or fairly new, to survey research who wishes to conduct their own survey or commission a survey. Participants should have some knowledge of statistics.

Cognitive Interviewing for Testing Survey Questions: 20 Nov 2014– is designed to familiarise participants with this powerful and efficient method of piloting survey questions called Cognitive Interviewing. Cognitive Interviewing is a type of in-depth interviewing which focuses on respondents’ thought processing in answering survey questions and uses specialised techniques such as thinking aloud, probing, observation and paraphrasing. The course is about what cognitive interviewing is as well as how to do it. There are practical exercises as well as lecture time.

Introduction to Statistical Testing in Research: 28 Nov 2014–  aims to cover many of the commonly used parametric and non-parametric statistical tests, along with basic concepts of a randomised clinical trial and the analysis of survival data, with data examples from a health environment but for use in social research more widely.


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