Master in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology

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Studies overview

This interdisciplinary practical programme, the fruit of collaboration between the Faculty of the University of Neuchâtel, the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Lucerne, is characterized by its multilingualism and multidisciplinarity, with the emphasis on both academic and practical aspects. The course takes place on three university sites, requiring students to attend various locations.

Public opinion polls and surveys on social, political and consumer behaviour have become more important in recent years. At the same time, ever more complex methods of data collection have been developed, as have techniques and tools for data analysis and interpretation. Up to now, there have been no university courses that account for this development and its wider implications. There is now a recognized need for professionals who are able to combine strong theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge of survey research, and are moreover aware of the legal issues related to data processing.

Acquired skills and objectives

This Master’s programme is intended to teach students how to produce a survey independently, from design to data, for the public as well as the private sector. Students gain methodological insight and knowledge, particularly quantitative and statistical, enabling them to design, implement and analyse a survey in the private or public sector. In addition, they develop theoretical skills that allow them to understand how chosen methods and research questions can affect results.

Course structure

The Master of Arts comprises 90 ECTS credits and is composed of three parts:

  • a common programme of compulsory courses
  • elective courses
  • Master’s thesis, which may or may not be related to an internship

The common programme is split into three modules:

  • Module 1 “Theoretical foundations of SRM and of opinion formation”: provides a deep understanding of the definitions and theories underlying the concepts of public opinion and social, political and consumer behaviour.
     
  • Module 2  “Survey research methodology”: covers the various tools and techniques required to organize a survey, with respect to both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Module 3 “Analysing and presenting survey data”: focuses on the analysis of survey data and the visualization of results. It also provides an introduction to advanced methods of statistical analysis.

Specific strenghts

The course allows students to acquire a range of cross-disciplinary skills such as: discernment, analysis and summarization skills, research experience, acquisition and transmission of knowledge, independence, and the ability to form judgements in their field of specialization and related areas. This range of expertise, combined with specialist knowledge acquired during their studies, prepares students for professional careers in a huge variety of sectors.

 

Degree awarded
Master of Arts in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology
Credits
90 ECTS, 3 semesters
Teaching language
 English
 French - elective courses
 German - elective courses

Registration

Career opportunities

  • NGO's and international organizations
  • Federal and cantonal public administration
  • Institutions of public statistics
  • Private and public enterprises in the sector of polling, data collection and analysis
  • Journalism, Media
  • Communication, Public relations
  • Scientific research 
  • Teaching