“This excellent book fills a significant gap in the literature supporting planning education by providing clear, succinct advice on the design and implementation of small-scale student research projects.” – Chris Couch, Professor of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool “A perfect text for supervisors to give students so that they plan their research projects carefully rather than leap headlong into data collection.” – Jean Hillier, Emeritus Professor of Sustainability and Urban Planning, RMIT University, Melbourne “Highly recommended... Ranging across topics such as planning a research programme and data management and the handling of ethical issues, the book will be very helpful to those embarking on a thesis or dissertation in the field.” – Peter Fidler, President of the University of Sunderland Research Design in Urban Planning is a short, accessible, and clearly written text on how to design research for a dissertation planning project. Aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, this text will:  • discuss research design, looking in detail at how researchers make their choices of methods  • examine these in reference to case studies/examples from the planning research literature  • explain to students how to interpret policy to define researchable questions  • review the issues comparatively  • situate the methodological questions in terms of research ethics. Packed with case studies, exercises, illustrations and summaries, Research Design in Urban Planning is an invaluable resource for students undertaking their first substantial, individual investigations.

Descriptive Questions: Scope, Claims and Sampling

Descriptive Questions: Scope, Claims and Sampling

Descriptive Questions: Scope, Claims and Sampling

Key questions

What is the scope of my research?

What are data sources? What data sources should I use?

How can I select (‘sample’) the cases to study? What is the significance of representativeness in a sample?

Key concepts

Definitions, Data sources, Sampling units, Cases, Validity, Reliability, Representativeness, Empirical generalisation, Probabilistic sampling methods: Simple random sample, Systematic sampling, Stratified sampling, Cluster sampling. Non-probabilistic sampling methods: Snowball sampling, Quota sampling, Convenience sampling, Volunteer sampling, Judgement or Purposive sampling


If the starting point for a research design is the generation of a researchable question, which can be justified as one which is worthwhile to investigate, the following stages of research design are concerned with developing some convincing way of answering that ...

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