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Research Design (EES)


Admission requirements

Required course(s):


Recommended course(s):

  • Quantitative Research Methods

Note: second-year EES students are strongly recommended to take this course in preparation for the writing of their Capstone during Year 3.


How do you identify gaps in the current literature? And how do you translate this into a good research question? What methods should you use to answer that research question? And what is the difference between a modelling study, quantitative and qualitative research, and (maybe more importantly) what do they have in common? How do you conduct a systematic literature review?

These are some of the topics which will be discussed in this course, and which will provide you a foundation for your capstone. The first two weeks are focused on the concept of knowledge, and how to scope the literature and identify research gaps. Next, we will explore the various research methods used in the EES major, ranging from quantitative to qualitative methods, as well as modelling and systematic reviews.

The assignments are skills focused, and will train you in writing an outline and turning the outline into a capstone proposal, as well as on how to conduct a systematic review.

Course Objectives

After completion of this course students are able to:

  • Scope and identify gaps in the literature, and use this to develop an outline for a research proposal;

  • Explain the concepts of validity and reliability in the context of research design;

  • Incorporate feedback on the outline, and use this to develop a research proposal; and,

  • Conduct a systematic literature review, with a focus on the method and result section


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

Mode of instruction

During the first session of the week there content regarding the weekly topic will be provided.. Subsequently, students will conduct a homework assignment, which will be the foundation of the second seminar.

Assessment Method

  • Individual assignment: Research outline and annotated bibliography: 30%

  • Individual assignment: Research proposal: 40%

  • Group assignment: Design of a systematic literature review: 15%

  • Class participation: 15%

Reading list

Will be made available prior to the start of the class.


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. Thijs Bosker,