Research methods

If you're undertaking some research as part of your course and don't know where to start, then this is the place. Here we've pulled together lots of our resources that are relevant to the research process

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Surveys and questionnaire design

Sampling distribution

This booklet will help you to

  • understand what is meant by the terms sample and sampling distribution

  • explain the importance of sampling in the application of statistics

  • explain the terms point estimate and the term interval estimate

  • calculate point estimates of means and variances

  • find interval estimates of population parameters for given levels of confidence

Data collection methods

This webpage introduces the four main methods of data collection: census, experiment, sample survey and observational study. It then discusses their advantages and disadvantages.

Survey sampling methods

This webpage describes the differences between population and sample and lists a number of possible approaches to take a sample for a survey study.

Bias in survey sampling

In survey sampling, bias refers to the tendency of a sample statistic to systematically over or under-estimate a population parameter. Bias often occurs when the survey sample does not accurately represent the population. This webpage gives examples of different types of bias in the survey sample and shows how to avoid them.


Experimental design

Experimental design HELM workbook

Explain the basic concepts of experimental design. Apply randomized blocks and Latin Square designs. Analyse the results from randomized blocks and Latin Square designs.

Aims of experimental design

This webpage introduces three aims that a good experiment should achieve, and then gives three examples of different designs.

Introduction to experiments

This webpage gives an introduction to the experiments and describes what kind of experiments are well designed. It also slightly touches on where the confounding may be in an experiment.


Choosing the right test

Title Description
What statistical test do I need? Describes the questions to be asked when deciding on an appropriate statistical test for different data types.
"What test?" flowcharts: one independent and one dependent variable Flow charts for deciding what test to use when there is a single independent variable and a single dependent variable.
"What test?" flowcharts: comparing two groups Flowcharts for comparing two groups, both when the data are paired and when the groups are unpaired.
What test tables Two tables, one for deciding on what statistical method to use when there are two variables measured on the same group of subjects, and one for comparing means or investigating relationships.
Two people sitting at a table looking at some work together
Two people sitting at a table looking at some work together

Book a 1:1 appointment or workshop

Would you like to explore a maths or stats topic in greater depth? Why not book a 1:1 with an advisor or a workshop (current students only).

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