Vanwege de coronamaatregelen kan de onderwijsvorm of tentaminering afwijken. Zie voor actuele informatie de betreffende cursuspagina’s op Brightspace.


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Organizing, Managing, Analyzing and Interpreting Political Science Data



This course builds upon your knowledge from Statistics 1 & 2, Research Methods in Political Science, Research Design and Data Analysis. Going through this course you will develop more knowledge on various data modelling techniques, sometimes using SPSS, but mostly R, thereby furthering your computer aided analysis skills. The course follows a ‘hands-on toolbox’ approach, where you will be graded on a number of R assignments analysing and relating Covid-19 data from John Hopkins University to Political variables (e.g. polityIV), and data from the ESS on the current 'rule of law' stalemate in the EU. The last assignment will relate to the subject of your bachelor thesis. If you are planning on developing f.i. a case study design, then you will investigate with the course instructor in a 1-to-1 online meeting how a cross case analyses (cf. John Gerring in the Oxford handbook of Methodology) could help you in selecting the cases for such a design.

Apart from the books that are referred to in the courses mentioned above, we mainly use online sources (articles, manuals and tutorials), to be mentioned in the syllabus. During this course we will be doing a lot of R code reading. This (online) course is new to the curriculum, so it is possible that there will be some (minor) adaptations along the way. Perhaps a word of warning is in place here: people learning R, frequently experience a 'steep learning curve'. If you plan to follow this seminar, make sure that you have downloaded and installed both R and SPSS on your computer when we start our first meeting. R is public domain software and SPSS can be bought for only a few euros through your campus licence on

Course objectives

1 Knowledge of data analysis techniques; knowledge of R (SPSS);
2 Gaining insight into the interrelatedness of datamodels, dataanalysis techniques and their relative positions within the spectrum of achieving political knowledge.

Mode of instruction

Seminars with slide presentations and R code readings, exercises and homework.

Assessment method

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:

1) The raw final grade for the course is calculated as the (weighted) average of a number of assignments;
2) Coming prepared to the class and participating in the class could play a role in rounding the final grade for this course, turning a 6.3 into a seven instead of the (regular) 6.5.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.

Provided in the syllabus available online through Brightspace.




See general information on tab 'Year 3'.


Contact information