Postgraduate Research Finder

PhD Survey Methodology

Location: Colchester
Duration: 3 Years
Tuition fee: Find out using our fee pages
Funding available: Find out using our scholarship finder
Department: ISER
Further information: For more information, please e-mail us or see for yourself by booking a place at one of our open days

About PhD Survey Methodology

For our PhD Survey Methodology, we offer supervision in quantitative survey methodology, particularly: sampling; weighting; non-response; response maximisation techniques; mode effects; data linkage; and measurement error. We especially welcome those interested in sampling and non-sampling issues using cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, such as our British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society. You will be supervised by some of the world’s leading experts in their field.

Studying with us will open doors to an academic career for you, as well as to a professional life in government departments, international organisations and statistical institutions. Several of our PhD students now work at: Department of Economics, University of Chicago, USA; Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia; Department of Economics and Public Finance, University of Turin, Italy; Department of Economics, University of Linz, Austria; Centre for Research on Social Dynamics, Bocconi University, Italy; Applied Microeconomics Research Unit, University of Minho, Portugal; and School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University, Canada.

We also offer an Mphil in this subject.

Please note, part-time research study is also available.

Why study PhD Survey Methodology at Essex?

Our Institute for Social and Economic Research enjoys an outstanding reputation at both a national and international level for cutting-edge and high profile research, which is reflected in our publications in top-ranked journals, in our contribution to our University’s outstanding Research Assessment Exercise ratings for economics and sociology, and in our consistently high level of support from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Our research focuses primarily on the life course of the individual and the changing nature of society, so our work to date has examined the family, labour markets, income and poverty, social disadvantage and public policy. This means our research is used by academics and researchers around the world, by policy makers, by politicians and by journalists involved in ongoing debates about society.

Our facilities

Our Institute for Social and Economic Research is home to the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, an interdisciplinary centre with a prestigious team of staff who have a wide range of expertise in social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, demography, geography, health research and statistics.

We are also home to the UK Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC), funded by the ESRC, which aims to promote longitudinal research. Our experienced and talented team support users of longitudinal data through the provision of advice, information, training in longitudinal analysis and resources to make data easier to use. Methodological research is carried out to improve longitudinal survey methods and to ensure the production of high quality data for users. We run the British Household Panel Survey, which has interviewed the same sample members since 1991, and Understanding Society, the world’s largest longitudinal survey with 100,000 sample members from 40,000 households.

Our PhD students are provided with their own desk, usually in a shared office, and have access to specialist resources such as The Hilary Doughty Research Library, with significant holdings of published and unpublished material on longitudinal and panel data methodology, and its application to economic and policy issues. In addition, you can use our variety of longitudinal and panel data sets, including the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and Understanding Society. Access to such unique materials enhances and furthers your individual research.

Location: Colchester
Duration: 3 Years
Tuition fee: Find out using our fee pages
Funding available: Find out using our scholarship finder
Department: ISER
Further information: For more information, please e-mail us or see for yourself by booking a place at one of our open days

Introduction

A research degree gives you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.

As a research student at Essex, you’ll work at the heart of our internationally-acknowledged and well-connected research community. We offer world class supervision and training opportunities, and encourage you to engage with other researchers, professionals, practitioners and research users, where possible. Our research is supported by a wide spectrum of UK research councils, EU framework programmes, public-sector organisations and departments, charities, and private-sector industry and businesses. Engagement with these external funders and stakeholders enriches the quality and relevance of your experience and training.

Your supervisor

Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.

How you will study

Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, our students invest time mainly working on their thesis under the supervision of one or two researchers. Most of the theses in ISER are organised in three main chapters, plus introduction and conclusions. Ideally, you should produce a complete draft of a new main chapter by the end of each academic year. If your chapter is judged of enough good quality, you can progress to the following year. You can decide to structure your thesis differently, if needed, but you should discuss and agree the structure with your supervisor.

We encourage our PhD students to attend training courses whenever their research requires acquiring new skills. You are also invited to take part in our Institute for Social and Economic Research group meetings and to attend research seminars. You should also present your research work at ourresearch student seminar series at least once per year.

Finalising your PhD

Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, our students are supposed to have a supervisory board meeting every six months to discuss progress, training needs and other issues. Any potential issue is considered at the Student Progress Research Committee.

You can enter into completion if, by the end of your third year, you have a complete draft of all thesis chapters (excluding introduction and conclusions) and these are of good quality.

Seminars and conferences

Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, our students attend research presentations by distinguished visiting speakers, as well as by our staff and fellow postgraduates. We run a number of seminar series, as well as occasional research seminars and workshops.

Location: Colchester
Duration: 3 Years
Tuition fee: Find out using our fee pages
Funding available: Find out using our scholarship finder
Department: ISER
Further information: For more information, please e-mail us or see for yourself by booking a place at one of our open days

Career destination

Some of our PhD students now work at: Department of Economics, University of Chicago, US; Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia; Department of Economics and Public Finance, University of Turin, Italy; Department of Economics, University of Linz, Austria; Centre for Research on Social Dynamics, Bocconi University, Italy; Applied Microeconomics Research Unit, University of Minho, Portugal; World Bank, US; and School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University, Canada.

Support for postgraduates

Our University of Essex has a range of support services designed to help you to achieve your full potential and get the most out of your studies. These form a co-ordinated network of support, and are an important part of your overall student experience at Essex.

Within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, our research students have the opportunity to become actively involved in the activities of our research groups. You are strongly encouraged to attend relevant taught courses given by our staff and in other university departments, and required to attend ISER seminars. You are also required to attend a short applied training course on professional writing and presentation skills, currently offered as part of the University’s training and development for research staff.

Our research students also have the opportunity to learn, at first hand, the different stages involved in the design and collection of a major national data source (the BHPS) and how these support (and limit) subsequent research opportunities. Thus we offers a far more rounded environment for research training than is usually possible for students engaged in (secondary) analysis of large scale survey data. There is the possibility of short placements of students with other groups engaged in similar work with household panel studies (particularly those in Berlin, Michigan and Luxembourg).

Location: Colchester
Duration: 3 Years
Tuition fee: Find out using our fee pages
Funding available: Find out using our scholarship finder
Department: ISER
Further information: For more information, please e-mail us or see for yourself by booking a place at one of our open days

For research study within our Institute for Social and Economic Research, we normally require a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. A well developed research proposal is also essential.

If English is not your first language, then we will require you to have IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Location: Colchester
Duration: 3 Years
Tuition fee: Find out using our fee pages
Funding available: Find out using our scholarship finder
Department: ISER
Further information: For more information, please e-mail us or see for yourself by booking a place at one of our open days

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