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Research Methods (PML)


Admission requirements

Students in the International and European Governance and Public Management and Leadership tracks of the Master in Public Administration who started the master in February 2020.


This course provides a link between Research Design and the Master’s Thesis. It consists of a series of online learning modules covering different academic skills, qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection as well as methods of analysis (regression analysis; qualitative interviewing; survey research; comparative analysis; etc.). The online learning modules are combined with Kaltura Live sessions in which these methods are discussed and applied. Students do not need to take all modules, but are able to tailor their own learning track depending on their methodological needs and interests in the thesis. The online component includes video and audio lectures, exercises and quizzes. For the face-to-face group sessions, students will need to prepare an assignment. During the Kaltura Live sessions, students will be presented with short exercises to practice the methods they have studied online.

Course objectives

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  • identify appropriate methods of analysis and research techniques to answer a specific research question;

  • independently carry out quantitative or qualitative analyses based on statistical data, surveys and interviews, or documentary evidence;

  • effectively report and present the results of their quantitative or qualitative analyses in the field of public administration.


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

  • Interactive lectures (online)

  • Diagnostic quizzes

  • Written assignments

  • Kaltura Live seminars

Course Load

The total course load is 140 hours:

  • online modules, including assignments: 78 hours

  • Kaltura Live sessions: approx. 14 hours

  • self-study: 48 hours

Assessment method

Assessment consists of three written assignments (30%) and participation (10%).

Compensation of partial grades is possible between the three written assignments. The weighted average of the three grades needs 5.5 or higher in order to pass the course. Additionally, the participation grade needs to be 5.5 or higher in order to pass the course. The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the partial grades. Failed assignments can be resubmitted during the retake exam week.

From 2020-2021 onwards, partial grades will not remain valid after the assignment deadlines and the resit of the course.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website. Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Brightspace.

More information about participation in exams can be found in the Rules & Regulations.

Resit written exam
Students who want to take part in a resit for a written exam are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.

Reading list

Readings and assignments for each module will be announced on Brightspace.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

From the academic year 2020-2021 Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrollment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Dr. Kohei Suzuki

Dr. N.A.J. van der Zwan


A Brightspace website for this course will be made available one week prior to the start of the course. On this Brightspace website, you can find the online modules, readings and assignments. You can sign up for the face-to-face workshops. Brightspace will be used for course communication, the distribution of additional course information and for the submission of assignments.