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Methods in Political Science (Spring) - Quantitative Track



Information Session and Registration

In March there will be an online informative session for this course where teachers will be available for answering your questions. Students will receive the invitation by email. Registration via MyStudymap.


The Methods in Political Science course aims to sharpen students’ knowledge of research designs and methods in order for them to successfully complete their Master thesis projects. The course also has a strong practical focus and guides students in applying specific methods to address their research questions by means of concrete exercises. After an introductory meeting in the preceding block, students select the track of their choice.

The quantitative research methods track specifically assists students who wish to investigate political behaviour and phenomena (e.g. voting, protests, lawmakers’ bill sponsorship, treaty agreements, violent conflict) with the goal of observing general patterns and associations. The course starts with a refresher on the use of linear (OLS) regression analysis. After this, the course continues with logistic regression analysis, techniques for working with complex survey and country-level data (e.g., cluster correction, weights), and basic multilevel analysis (random intercept models). Students who want to participate in this track should have some prior experience with statistics (with a ‘rough’ understanding of OLS regression as the baseline requirement). The open source statistical software package R will be used. Prior knowledge of R is not required.

Selection of a specific Methods in Political Science track does not determine the method students can choose to use in the Master thesis.

Course objectives

  1. Students will gain insight into different types of social science data used for quantitative analysis
  2. Students will learn how to apply some of the most common statistical analysis techniques in social sciences
  3. Students will be able to accurately report on the results of statistical data analyses
  4. Students will be able to work with R statistical software

SPOC Research Design in Political Science

Students are highly encouraged to follow the online SPOC course before starting Methods in Political Science. This online course can be accessed at any moment during semester 2. There are no EC’s attached to this course.

Entry requirement: Master student in one of the Political Science’s specialisations (both Leiden or Den Haag).

For more information regarding this course click here.

Mode of instruction

2 sessions of 2h per week (for a period of 8 weeks): Lecture sessions focusing on understanding different statistical analysis techniques followed by practical sessions in a pc-room. A substantial amount of course time is reserved for completing course assignments.

Assessment method

Three written assignments focused on the application of specific methods. The final grade is determined by weighting the assignments as followed:
Assignment 1: 30%
Assignment 2: 30%
Assignment 3: 40%

Reading list

Slides, teaching material, and exercises will be made available through Brightspace.


See 'MyTimetable'