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Introduction to Research Methods


Admission requirements

Mandatory course for students enrolled in the bachelor’s programme Security Studies. Only students of the Bachelor Security Studies can take this course.


This course provides an introduction to doing social science research on a safety and security related matter. In seven modules you are challenged to critically engage in the different research traditions in social science research and you will explore the research cycle from design to analysis and reporting. You will learn about the foundations of research, the different methodologies that can be utilised to answer a specific research question and research ethics. This course will also introduce you to basic data collection and analysis techniques.

This course forms the starting point for the other research methods courses in year 2. This course as well as the research methods courses in year 2 will help you develop important research skills that will help you prepare for your bachelor thesis. For this reason, this course is compulsory for all students following the bachelor Security Studies. No prior knowledge or experience in research is required to take this course.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental concepts in social science research;

  • Have gained basic knowledge on a variety of research methods;

  • Identify appropriate research techniques and methods of analysis to answer a specific research question;

  • Be able to critically analyse the research done on a security and/or safety issue;

  • Have gained an understanding of the importance of intellectual integrity and ethical scholarship.


On the right side of programme front page of the e-guides you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of Instruction

This course has a blended learning course format. Students follow 7 online modules and 7 on campus lectures.

Total study load is 140 hours:

  • Contact hours: 21

  • Self-study hours (including following the online modules): 116 hours

  • Examination (end-term exam): 3 hours

Assessment method

Individual written assignment

  • 25% of the final grade

  • Grade must be compensated

  • Resit not possible

End-term exam

  • 75% of the final grade

  • Grade must be 5.50 or higher

  • Resit of a fail is possible

  • Resit will take the same form

Students will also be permitted to resit the end-term exam (75%) if they have a calculated overall course grade lower than 5.50.

Transitional Arrangement
Passed partial grades obtained in year 2021-2022 remain valid during year 2022-2023.

Reading list

Compulsory literature for this course is:

Grønmo, S. (2019). Social research methods: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (First ed.).SAGE. ISBN: 9781526441249.

Other (suggested) literature will be listed on Brightspace in due course.


Register yourself via MyStudymap for each course, workgroup and exam (not all courses have workgroups and/or exams).
Do so on time, before the start of the course; some courses and workgroups have limited spaces. You can view your personal schedule in MyTimetable after logging in.
Registration for this course is possible from Tuesday 12 December 13.00h

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in MyStudymap you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course. Furthermore, announcements and modifications will be communicated via Brightspace. Students have the responsibility to stay informed and are thus advised to regularly check Brightspace for updates.

After registration for an exam you still need to confirm your attendance via MyStudymap. If you do not confirm, you will ultimately be de-registered and you will not be allowed to take the exam.

More information on registration via MyStudymap can be found on this page.

Please note: guest-/contract-/exchange students do not register via MyStudymap but via uSis. Guest-/contract-/exchange students also do not have to confirm their participation for exams via MyStudymap.


Dr. Pauline Aarten


For exceptions, please contact the Board of Examiners.