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Research Methods in Political Science



This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of empirical research methods in political science. Students will become familiar with the core concepts and basic principles of political science research. They will not only learn why research methods are important but also how to use them. Among the topics covered in the course are theory, empirical reasoning, the development of testable and verifiable research questions, and the operationalisation of key concepts and terms. In addition to the lectures, students will attend corresponding workgroups and use SPSS to conduct empirical research. Besides working with SPSS, the workshops will focus on the presentation and interpretation of empirical results. A complete syllabus with the lecture and workgroup topics and examination dates will be available at the beginning of the semester.

Method of Instruction

The course consists of lectures and workgroups. Students are expected to attend both lectures and workgroups. Students must sign up in time for the course and for workgroups (numbers are limited).

Course material

Number of pages: 300-350.

  • Earl Babbie (2010), The Practice of Social Research, 12th edition, Thomson Wadsworth.

  • Andy Field (2009), Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, 3rd edition, Sage.


A final exam at the end of the course will cover material from both the literature and the lectures. The final course grade is based on the final exam and the average score of several SPSS workgroup assignments.

donderdag 28 oktober 2010, 13.00-16.00, USC

donderdag 13 januari 2011, 9.00-12.00, 1A20.


dinsdag 7 september t/m 19 oktober, 11.00-13.00 uur, SB45 and
donderdag 9 september t/m 21 oktober, 11.00-13.00 uur, Gorl03

wg 1: woensdag 8 september t/m 20 oktober, 9.00-11.00 uur, 2B04 (pc)
wg 2: woensdag 8 september t/m 20 oktober, 9.00-11.00 uur, 1A28 (pc)
wg 3: woensdag 8 september t/m 20 oktober, 13.00-15.00 uur, 1A30 (pc)
wg 4: woensdag 8 september t/m 20 oktober, 13.00-15.00 uur, 2B04 (pc) VERVALLEN
wg 5: woensdag 8 september t/m 20 oktober, 15.00-17.00 uur, 2B04 (pc)


Statistiek I & Statistiek II