Designing a Survey Questionnaire for a Masters’ Dissertation

Data collection is an important constituent of a Master’s dissertation. Survey questionnaires are among the most popular data collection techniques to gather reliable data. Survey questionnaires are common in qualitative and quantitative research. The survey questionnaire design must be straightforward and precise to gather credible data. Designing a survey questionnaire for a Master’s dissertation can be overwhelming without proper guidelines. We will give you the tips and techniques to design a survey questionnaire suitable for a Master’s dissertation.

Designing a Survey Questionnaire

Set Survey Goals

The first step in designing a survey questionnaire is to align the survey with your research goals. Keep the following things in mind:

  • What is the scope of your research?
  • What kind of information do you want to gather?
  • How much information do you need?
  • What are the aims and objectives of your study?
  • Your survey questions must be an extension of your key research questions
  • Identify the research design that is the qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method approach. It will help you in formulating survey questions.

Sample Size

It is impossible to conduct a survey without defining the limit of the respondents. You need to choose a sample size and define it at the early stage of survey design. You will have to define your target audience relevant to your research problem. Data collection for a Master’s level dissertation must be broad. You will have to choose a large sample size to increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your data. It will provide you with deep insights into the research problem you are investigating. You can choose the probability sampling method or non-probability sampling for survey questionnaires. It can be overwhelming to do this on your own, but you can always utilize the services of Dissertation Writers UK for designing a survey questionnaire.

Language of the Survey

Vague survey questions confuse your respondents, and you might not get the intended results for your dissertation. The language of the survey questionnaire must be clear and concise for the readers to understand the questions. The wording of your questionnaire has a deep impact on gathering the relevant answers. Readers must be able to understand your questions clearly and respond accordingly. Keep the following things in mind:

  • Use clear language and avoid using jargon
  • Keep the target audience in mind and formulate questions in a simple manner
  • Do not use overly complex language

Open-Ended and Close Ended Questions

Questions types depend upon the research design of your dissertation. If it is purely quantitative research, then close-ended questions are enough. But if your research design is qualitative, then open-ended questions are most suitable. You can also use both open-ended and close-ended questions for your survey design.

Close-Ended Questions

Close-Ended questions provide a limited choice to respondents. They have to choose from a limited number of options. Close-ended questions are appropriate for quantitative research. For example:

What is your country of origin?

  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • India

Open-Ended questions

Open-ended questions are more flexible and are most frequent in qualitative research. Respondents can answer the questions in their own words. Open-ended questions enable the respondents to share their thoughts and opinions without any restrictions. For example:

What is your opinion about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia?

Short and Specific Questions

The survey questionnaire must not have leading questions. Leading questions contain too much information and direct the respondent towards the answers. Keep the questions short and specific, and relevant to your research problem.

Sequence of Questions

The order and sequence of questions must be logical. You should start with simple questions and move to complex questions. Questions must have a logical flow.

Validate Your Survey

The most important thing is to validate your survey to ensure that your survey results are reliable. You can validate your survey by getting a review from two different groups. The first group comprise those people who know about your topic. They can analyse whether your survey questionnaires are in harmony with your research topic. You can take a second opinion from experts who are familiar with the process of survey design. You can seek assistance from Dissertation Writers UK to ensure that your survey design is reliable and accurate.

Structure of the Survey Questionnaire

Following are the steps to structure a questionnaire

Study Protocol

In this step, you make the literature review, define the objectives and develop a hypothesis and main information to test a hypothesis

Plan of analysis

In this section, you decide how the information gathered will be analysed. You select the statistical tools for the analysis

Information Needed

You make a list which information is required from participants. In this section, type and format of variables is determined

Designing different parts of Survey Questionnaire

In this section, you design the parts of the questionnaire using the information needed

Write Questions

You should write questions keeping in mind the population, its language, background, age group and ethnicity. The questions should be adaptable to the population

Order of Questions

You should start with an easy question, the general and difficult questions.

Complete the Questionnaire

Add the general information and instructions for the participants. Also, define the keywords.

After developing survey questionnaire, pilot study is required to be done to test if there are any changes required. After pilot study, refine the questionnaire and distribute it in the population


Designing a survey questionnaire for a Master’s dissertation is important for dissertation writing. A well-crafted survey questionnaire enables the researchers to gather reliable data for a Master’s dissertation. You can follow the guidelines mentioned above to design a survey questionnaire. You can also hire experts from Dissertation Writers UK to help you design a survey questionnaire.

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