1. Choose a substantive research question and describe your target population. Note that you will not be evaluated on the quality of your research question, and thus, in this exercise, you are NOT expected to conduct a literature review to define an interesting and unaddressed question. For this section of the essay use this research question: Did the pandemic have an impact on university students’ mental health?
2. Conduct a review of existing national and international surveys, to identify whether they are a useful data source to answer your research question – you will refer to the data archives and websites of European Social Survey, Understanding Society The UK Household Longitudinal Study, Office for National Statistics. You will need to describe your database search and your findings in the essay. You may discover that you can answer your research question using data from an existing survey; if so, please report this finding, but, for the sake of this exercise, proceed with designing your own survey.
3. Describe and justify your sampling design.
4. Identify the data collection mode and justify your choice.
5. Describe and justify your contact strategy.
6. Design the questionnaire for data collection and include it in an appendix to your essay. Note: the questionnaire will not count towards the word limit. In the main body of your assignment, talk about how you designed your items and questionnaire, to demonstrate your understanding of good question and questionnaire design (or, if you use items from an existing survey, identify the survey and demonstrate your understanding by talking about why you chose that survey and those specific items).
7. Describe the pre-testing strategy and the fieldwork monitoring procedure that you propose to implement. You may want to use one of the pre-testing techniques discussed in class to pre-test your questionnaire on a small purposive sample of colleagues or friends.
8. Finally, describe which sources of error may arise from your design, in light of the Total Survey Error framework; also, discuss briefly how survey weights may be used to minimise some sources of survey error.
Throughout the essay, you will need to justify your choices with reference to the relevant methodological literature.