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Academic Skills: Data Analysis


Academic Skills: Data Analysis

Please note: a lecture will take place on Monday 7 February 2022, 17:15-19:00 in rooms AvB 2.21 and WH 3.60 (livestream). The working groups start as of Tuesday 8 and/or Wednesday 9 February (see MyTimetable for actual schedules).

Description Skills Year 2

In Year 2 of the bachelor’s programme, students are offered two academic skills courses of 5 ECTS each.

1. Semester 1 (block 1 and block 2)

Research Design: How do I develop a research design? (5 ECTS)

2. Semester 2 (block 3 and block 4)

Data Analysis: How do I conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis? (5 ECTS)

These courses build on the academic skills courses of Year 1, and allow students to practise the academic skills required to successfully complete the BSc in Political Science/ International Relations and Organisations. These courses teach students to apply their knowledge and understanding, form judgments, and communicate their findings.
These skills are practised and deepened in workgroups and through an online learning environment. The courses build upon one another. Ideally, students successfully complete the Research Design course before participating in the Data Analysis course. However, this is not compulsory.
During these courses students will practise designing, conducting and reporting political science research as preparation for writing a bachelor’s thesis in Year 3. The Research Design course has to be completed successfully before students can participate in a Bachelor project.

Semester 2: Data Analysis

The main objective of the Data Analysis course is to teach students how to conduct the empirical phase of a research project. This will be done by conducting small research projects using quantitative and qualitative data. The literature review and theoretical framework developed during Research Design in semester 1 serve as a starting point. The analyses of the data result in written reports. Moreover, this course trains students in giving academic presentations.

Course objectives

Objective 1: Students have knowledge about and insight into the criteria for sound empirical quantitative and qualitative research.
Objective 2: Students are able to conduct qualitative and quantitative research and report on this in writing and during an oral presentation.
Objective 3: Students gain experience with conducting a research project over a sustained time period. Working independently, time management and taking responsibility for the development of the project are central to this experience.

Mode of instruction

Lecture during week 1, weekly seminars, and (optional) individual meetings with instructor
Digital learning environment.

Assessment method

Written assignments
Participation grade
Graded presentation

Reading list

Halperin, S. & Heath, O. (2020). Political research: Methods and practical skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
This book was used during the Research Methods in Political Science course as well.
Field, A. (2018). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (5th edition). London: SAGE.
This book was also used during the Statistics courses.
IBM SPSS Statistics 25 or higher (available on university computers and through
Please refer to the syllabus for other literature.


See 'Practical Information'.




Ellen van Reuler: