In our example of the 10, university students, we were only interested in achieving a sample size of students who would take part in our research. Convenience sampling is perhaps the most common of all sampling techniques which is because it is the easiest to perform. It is why to generalise such results to the entire population is not possible. To understand more about convenience sampling, how to create a convenience sample, and the advantages and disadvantages of this non-probability sampling technique, see the article: Perhaps our population is not Facebook users , but frequent, male Facebook users in the United States.

Random sampling is a probability based method of data collection that ensures each portion of the population undergoing studying has a chance to be selected at random. Under-sized samples A sample is under-sized when you are unable to achieve your goals i. Skip to main content. This is especially the case for convenience sampling. Overall, this method of sampling can be used instead of random sampling to gain a quick understanding of certain trends, but does not allow for a more complete representation of the populous.

However, where it is not possible to use probability sampling, non-probability sampling at least provides a viable alternative that can be used.

Even if you know that non-probability sampling fits with the research strategy guiding your dissertation, it is important to choose the appropriate type of non-probability sampling techniques.

Despite this, for researchers following a quantitative research designnon-probability sampling techniques can often be viewed as an inferior alternative conveinence probability sampling techniques.

Deciding whether non-probability sampling is appropriate If you are considering whether to use non-probability sampling, it is important to consider how your choice of research strategy will influence whether this is an appropriate decision.

Non Probability sampling & its types

Whilst making generalisations from the sample to the population under study may be desirable, it is more often a secondary consideration. For some of the different types of non-probability sampling technique, the procedures for selecting units to be included in the sample are very clearly defined, just like probability sampling techniques.

In our example of the 10, university students, if we were only interested in achieving a sample size of say students, we may simply stand at one of the main entrances to campus, where it would be easy to invite the many students that pass by to take part in the research.


The key component is that research subjects or organisations volunteer to take part in the research rather than being approached by the researcher directly.

For example, they may control what access is and is not granted to which individuals, coerce individuals into taking part in your research, and influence the nature of responses. For example, maybe the researcher would avoid sakpling certain groups e.

A convenience sample is simply one where the units that are selected for inclusion in the sample are the easiest to access. However, these calculations can be complex, and are typically not performed at the undergraduate and master? Sampling bias Sampling bias occurs when the units that are selected from the population for inclusion in your sample are not characteristic of i.

To learn more about other purposive sampling techniquessee the article: However, since you may find other convejience referring to these units as people, cases, or pieces of data, we have provided some further clarification below: Despite the size of the company, there may only be managers that have been on such assignments.

Sample When we are interested disseryation a population, it is often impractical and sometimes laerdd to try and study the entire population. Convenience sampling explained Imagine that a researcher wants to understand more about the career goals of students at the University of Bath. There are theoretical and practical reasons for using non-probability sampling.

laerd dissertation convenience sampling

Often a list does not exist. Disadvantages limitations of convenience sampling The convenience sample often suffers from biases from a number of biases. The important point is that you fail to answer your research questions not because a dissertztion answer did not exist, but because your sample size was too small for such an answer to be discovered or interpreted.

Customer transactions at Wal-Mart or Tesco between two time points e.

laerd dissertation convenience sampling

Sampling techniques As we have mentioned lxerd, when we are interested in a population, we typically study a convebience of that population rather than attempt to study the whole population e. Overall, the types of non-probability sampling technique you are likely to come across include quota samplingpurposive samplingconvenience samplingsnowball sampling and self-section sampling.


Self-selection sampling Self-selection sampling is appropriate when we want to allow units or cases, whether individuals or organisations, to choose to take part in research on their own accord. Theoretical reasons Non-probability sampling represents a valuable group of sampling techniques that can be used in research convenienxe follows qualitativemixed methodsand even quantitative research designs.

Therefore, you want to know whether this is affecting students’ performance; or more specifically, the concentration levels of female students in the classroom. The different purposive sampling techniques can either be used on their own or in combination with other purposive sampling techniques.

To understand more about snowball sampling, how to create a snowball sample, and the advantages and disadvantages of this non-probability sampling technique, see the article: Since the characteristics of the sample researchers are interested in vary, different types of probability sampling technique exist to help you select the appropriate units to be included in your sample. Non-probability sampling focuses on sampling techniques that are based on the judgement of the researcher [see our article Non-probability sampling to learn more about non-probability sampling].

Convenience sampling A convenience sample is simply one where the units that are selected for inclusion in the sample are the easiest to access. This raises potential data protection and confidentiality issues because units in the list i.

Sampling: The Basics | Lærd Dissertation

To try and minimise the potential ethical issues that come with convenuence and under-sized samplesthere are instances where you can make sample size calculations to estimate the required sample size to achieve your goals. Practical reasons Non-probability sampling is often used because the procedures used to select units for inclusion in a sample are much easierquicker and cheaper when compared with probability sampling.

Let’s say that the university has sampking 10, students.