Master in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology
Public opinion polls and surveys on social, political and consumer behavior have become more important within recent years. At the same time, methods of data collection as well as techniques and tools for analysis and interpretation of this data have been developed and have become more complex. Up to now, no university courses have been offered that take into account this development in a broad sense. There is now a recognised need for professionals who are able to combine strong theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge of survey research and who are moreover aware of the legal issues related to data processing.
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. Further, they develop theoretical skills that allow them to understand how chosen methods and research questions can affect results. The course allows students to develop a large number of cross-disciplinary skills such as: discernment, analytical and summarising skills, research experience, acquisition and transmission of knowledge, independence, and the ability to form judgments in their field of specialisation and related areas. This range of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired during their studies, prepares students for professional careers in very varied sectors of activity.
The Master of Arts comprises 90 ECTS credits and is composed of three parts:
- a common program of compulsory courses
- elective courses
- Master thesis (which may or may not be related to an internship).
The common program comprises three modules. Module 1, “Theoretical foundations of SRM and of opinion formation” provides a deep understanding of 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.
This interdisciplinary MA program, 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 intended to teach students how to produce a survey independently, from its design to the analysis of data, for the public as well as the private sector. The distinctive features of the study program are its multilingualism and multidisciplinarity, with the emphasis on both academic and practical aspects. The course takes place on three university sites and requires mobility from the students (at least for two semesters).
- Non-governmental 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 (social and market research, advertising)
- Public relations