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Basic statistical analysis for social research

Basic statistical analysis for social research
Understand fundamental statistical concepts and how to apply them to survey data.



This two day course aims to familiarise participants with fundamental statistical concepts and how to apply them to survey data. The course is highly participatory and comprises a mixture of lecture-type sessions and hands-on computer sessions with worked examples. During the course, participants will get the opportunity to practice the analysis methods presented in the lectures by analysing real survey data using SPSS for Windows.


  • Basic concepts in data analysis
  • Review of descriptive statistics: arithmetic mean, proportion/percentage, median, variance, standard deviation
  • The Normal distribution
  • Summarising and presenting data in descriptive tables
  • Precision of survey estimates and confidence intervals
  • Hypothesis/significance testing: null/alternative hypothesis, p-values, types of error
  • Comparing differences between means and proportions: t-tests, chi-square test
  • Power calculations

Who will benefit?

This course will be useful to someone who:


  •  Is a new researcher or new to survey analysis and statistics
  •  Has little or no prior experience in statistics and wants to explore the principles of statistical analysis
  •  Wants to learn or review how to analyse survey data and understand the rationale and interpretation of different methods of data analysis.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  •   select methods of data analysis appropriate to their data and research questions
  •   calculate commonly-used descriptive statistics for summarising survey data
  •   use SPSS syntax to produce appropriate tables and graphs to summarise survey data
  •   interpret and evaluate data presented in simple tables and graphs
  •   calculate standard errors and confidence intervals for means and proportions
  •   describe the correct interpretation of a confidence interval
  •  choose appropriate statistical significance tests and carry them out in SPSS
  •  interpret the results of a significance test
  •  recognise the role of power calculations when planning a study and know how to carry them out

Course tutors

David Hussey is the Head of Statistics at NatCen Social Research with nearly 20 years’ experience as a statistician, mostly in social and market research. He manages a team of statisticians and is involved in survey sampling and weighting, statistical modelling and training. He has experience of developing and delivering a wide range of courses in statistical methods and the use of statistical software. He has a degree in Mathematics and Master's degree in Social Statistics.

Christos Byron is a Research Director in Statistics at NatCen specialising in survey sampling and weighting, and analysis of complex datasets. Christos has over 15 years’ experience in writing and delivering academic and professional development training courses on statistics for universities, government departments and professional organisations. Christos has a first class degree in Mathematics and an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics.

  This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date.  No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.

12/9/2019 9:30 AM - 12/10/2019 4:30 PM
GMT Standard Time
NatCen Social Research 35 Northampton Square LONDON EC1V 0AX UNITED KINGDOM
This event is full.

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