Download a glossary of terms used in this course.
Ensure that your research population is well defined. Targeting individuals, groups or objects outside of this population will lead to skewed or biased results.
A sample is a set of objects, individuals or groups selected from the
Samples are used in cases where it is not possible or practical to carry out a study of the whole research population (a census). This could be due to access, finance or time constraints, for example. Sampling can also be used to analyse a subset of a data set; in these cases researchers must ensure that the sample is representative of the full data set.
Sampling may not be required for some types of research (for example, arts-based research that creates art as a method of inquiry, scientific research where there is only one specimen or feature to analyse, or humanities research where there is only one artefact or object to explore or interpret).
Consider the following videos to find out more about different sampling techniques.
Continue on to find out more about different sampling techniques.
It is extremely important that you choose the right sampling method(s) for your research. To do this effectively, you need to have a good understanding of the methods available. Take your time, speak to your supervisor, analyse and critique your chosen methods and use a combination of sampling methods if it is appropriate to your research.
Match each type of sample with the correct research project by clicking the boxes you wish to connect. If you need a hint, refer to the 'Useful information' pod on this screen.
Match each type of sample with the correct research project. If you need a hint, refer to the 'Useful information' pod on this screen.
Do not assume that
A useful practical guide to sampling has been produced by the National Audit Office in the UK and can be downloaded here.
The following are some relevant definitions of sample types: