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Research Methods 3


Admission requirements

Mandatory course for students enrolled in the bachelor’s programme Security Studies.


Research Methods 3 focuses on strengthening the analytical skills that you have developed in Research Methods 1 and 2. It aims to enhance your knowledge and skills in how to analyse and interpret research in the field of security studies. The focus is on advancing and applying your methodological and analytical skills, interpreting and criticising results, and seeing the big picture. Key elements of this course are assessing the design and execution of existing successful and flawed studies and gaining ‘hands on’ experience with advanced analyses.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the essential methodologies in the research in security studies. Particular focus will be placed upon developing critical thinking skills. In the second part of the course, two specialisation tracks are offered, covering i) advanced qualitative analyses and ii) advanced quantitative analyses. You are recommended to choose one of these tracks based on the methodology of your bachelor thesis. In these tracks you will form a research question, analyse the provided data and write up the results and conclusion in a scientific manner.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, you:

  • Are familiar with how quantitative and qualitative research is set up and conducted;

  • Have insight into the types of data collection methods and analysis strategies in the field of security studies;

  • Are able to critically reflect on the chosen research design, analysis and conclusions in (your and other) research;

  • Are able to conduct empirical analysis and critically reflect on the explanatory power of your analyses;

  • Are able to report your findings in a scientific manner.


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

7 plenary lectures
3 course labs in smaller groups

Attendance of the course labs is mandatory. If you miss more than 1 course lab you fail the course and won’t obtain a final grade.

Total study load is 140 hours:

  • Contact hours: 30

  • Self-study hours (including the hours spent on writing the papers): 110

Assessment method

Methodology paper (group assignment)

  • 25% of final grade

  • Grade must be compensated

  • Resit not possible

Research paper

  • 75% of final grade

  • Grade must be 5.50 or higher to pass the course

  • Resit of a fail is possible .

  • Resit will take the same form

Resit eligibility
1. Students are only eligible for a resit of the research paper if they participated in the first deadline and did not submit a ‘pro-forma’ entry.

Transitional arrangement
Passed partial grades obtained in year 2019-2020 remain valid during year 2020-2021. Students who did not pass the methodology paper in academic year 2019-2020 will need to attend the course labs in order to participate in the methodology paper(group assignment) of this year.

Reading list

The study material will be listed on Brightspace.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis.
Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course. 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.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. Important information about the course is posted here.
After enrolment for the course in uSis you are also enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Dr. J.A. van Breen