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Introduction to Statistics


Admission requirements



Whether you realize it or not, statistics is a part of your everyday life. Increased awareness and literacy in statistics provides the opportunity to be a more informed citizen and consumer, a more critical analyst of research, and creates opportunities for more effective communication with data. This course is meant to improve your ability to understand and communicate with data that matters in the real world. This is a skill that you will likely need in other courses during your education at LUC and can be applied in your everyday life now and in the future. Whether you have had a statistics course before or whether the concepts are new to you, this course is an opportunity to develop your skills to understand presented data, as well as effectively communicate and analyzing data using statistical techniques.

The course assumes no prior knowledge of statistics, but participants who are less confident about their mathematical skills or less familiar with basic statistics should plan to spend additional time preparing for class using posted videos and readings.

Course Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students are able to:


  • Understand the options for describing and presenting data

  • Understand basic principles of statistical inference


  • Apply statistical reasoning to real world examples

  • Effectively summarize data using descriptive statistics, tables, and graphs

  • Interpret and critically evaluate presentation of data and analysis in graphs and tables

  • Perform basic data description and analysis using the R software environment


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course will involve interactive sessions to practice interpreting, analyzing, and displaying data from real world examples. Most of the conceptual learning will be done though online videos and readings. This learning will be reinforced through its application in in-class activities and discussions, which means that it is vital that students come to class prepared. We will also have interactive lab sessions outside of class time to practice running analysis in the R software environment.

Assessment Method

  • Quiz responses during prerecorded videos– 5%, Weeks 1-7 (Learning outcomes 3, 5, 6)

  • Collaborative keys and group work – 15%, Weeks 1-7 (Learning outcomes 3, 5, 6)

  • Weekly online quizzes – 20%, Weeks 2-7 (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 5)

  • R Lab assignments – 15%, Weeks 1-7 (Learning outcomes 4, 6)

  • Group project presentation– 10%, Week 5 (Learning outcomes 3, 5, 6)

  • Final exam – 35%, Week 8 (Learning outcomes 3, 5, 6)

Reading list

The required textbook is:

  • Moore, David S., and William I. Notz. 2019. Statistics: Concepts and Controversies. 10 edition. W.H. Freeman. (Earlier editions after the 7th edition are also sufficient.)

The textbook can be purchased as a e-book with useful videos and online exercises with a discount. All participants will receive an email about this option before the course begins.

Additional readings and videos will be posted on Brightspace page.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Kristin Makszin (convener),