Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) for Quantitative Social Researchers

This course is for social researchers who have a firm grasp of the foundations of quantitative research methods.
Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) for Quantitative Social Researchers
  • Event time:
    15th May 2024 09:30 – 16th May 2024 12:30
  • Format:

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are heralded as the gold standard of research design in the social sciences. RCT principles are used in research at all levels of complexity from evaluating national social policies to experimenting with the impact of website designs (there often known as A/B testing). This course is for social researchers who have a firm grasp of the foundations of quantitative research methods (e.g., linear regression and confidence intervals) and would like to learn how to design and analyse randomised controlled trials. The course incorporates a blend of presentations and participatory sessions, using examples from the social sciences.

The course covers: 

  • The fundamental problem of causal inference and how randomisation helps
  • Neyman–Rubin’s potential outcomes framework
  • An overview of RCTs, from idea and preregistration to final analysis and report
  • Methods of randomisation
  • Choosing a sample size 
  • Current best practice in analysing data from RCTs
  • Managing “non-compliance” and other threats to study validity

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Explain the life cycle of an RCT
  • Explain the benefits and costs of different RCT designs
  • Use the potential outcomes framework to define what can be estimated in an RCT
  • Choose a sample size for common designs
  • Apply prior knowledge of quantitative analysis to RCTs
  • Identify and address common threats to validity in RCTs

The course runs on two consecutive mornings from 0930 to 1230 on both days, for charging purposes this two half day course will be charged at one full day rate. 


The fee per teaching day is £35 per day for students / £75 per day for staff working for academic institutions, Research Councils and other recognised research institutions, registered charity organisations and the public sector / £250 per day for all other participants. In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.


  • Andi Fugard
    Co-Director of the Centre for Evaluation
    View full profile

    Dr Andi Fugard is Co-Director of NatCen’s Centre for Evaluation, providing leadership on theory-driven randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experiments. They have over 15 years’ experience in social science and evaluation, with over 40 publications on topics including mental health treatment outcomes, language processing and learning, psychology of reasoning, human-computer interaction, and social research methodology. 

    Originally studying computer science, Andi holds a PhD in cognitive science from the University of Edinburgh. They completed postdocs at the University of Salzburg (Austria), led research at the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (based at the Anna Freud Centre), and held academic positions at University College London and Birkbeck, University of London.

    Andi is a member of the UK Government's Evaluation and Trial Advice Panel (ETAP), which advises civil servants and What Works Centres on evaluation methodology. They are also an Associate Fellow of Advance HE, the national body for teaching in higher education in the UK, and a member of the UK Evaluation Society (UKES).


    Tel: 0207 549 9578 

    Find me on Mastodon 
    Google Scholar