32821 - Survey sampling

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Statistical Sciences (cod. 8873)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student should know the basic theory of survey sampling. In particular the student should be able: - to employ simple, stratified and probability sampling - to derive the estimators and associated standard errors of population in the different sampling strategies - to correct estimation by the ratio principle - to understand the difference between observational and experimental studies

Course contents

Probability sampling

Simple random sampling

Sampling proportions and percentages

The estimation of sample size

Stratified random sampling

Further aspects of stratified random sampling

Sampling from two frames

Ratio estimators

Regression estimators

Systematic sampling

Area frame sample designs

Single-stage cluster sampling: clusters of equal size

Single-stage cluster sampling: clusters of unequal sizes

Subsampling with units of equal size


Double sampling

Sources of errors in surveys


Cochran W.G. (1977). Sampling Techniques, third edition, Wiley, New York.

Chapters to be studied:

  • Introduction Chapter 1;
  • Simple random sampling Chapter 2;
  • Sampling Proportions and Percentages Chapter 3: from 3.1 to 3.2
  • Estimation of sample size Chapter 4: from 4.1 to 4.4; 4.6 ; 4.8; 4.11
  • Stratified random sampling Chapter 5: from 5.1 to 5.7;
  • Further aspects of stratified sampling Chapter 5A: from 5A.1 to 5A.3; from 5A.9 to 5A.11; 5A.15;
  • Ratio estimators Chapter 6: from 6.1 to 6.4;
  • Regression estimators Chapter 7: from 7.1 to 7.4; 7.6 and 7.10;
  • Systematic sampling Chapter 8: from 8.1 to 8.6; 8.8, 8.13, 8.14;
  • Single stage cluster sampling Chapter 9: from 9.1 to 9.4; 9.6;
  • Single-Stage Cluster Sampling: Clusters of Unequal Size Chapter 9A: from 9A.1 to 9A.3;
  • Subsampling with units of equal size Chapter 10: from 10.1 to 10.4;
  • Double sampling Chapter 12: 12.1; 12.2; 12.4;
  • Sources of error Chapter 13: 13.1.

Teaching methods

Lectures and practicals

Assessment methods

Oral exam made of two parts.

In the first part, the student must show to be able to solve exercises similar to the ones addressed in class during practicals. Excel and manuals can be used. Students are not permitted to use a mobile phone (and smart watch or similar electronic data storage or communication device). In the second part, theoretical questions are asked. The student has to show to be able to choose and apply the appropriate methods to be adopted for solving specific problems. The use of the manuals is allowed for discussing the formulas.

The final mark is out of thirty.

The same assessment method is adopted in presence and from distance.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint files.

Office hours

See the website of Elisabetta Carfagna


Quality education Decent work and economic growth

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.