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Research Methodology History


Admission requirements

Be registered as student of Bachelor degree at Leiden or another Dutch University.
This course is open to students who have a good command of Dutch and Spanish language, or students with a passive command of the Spanish but a good command of Portuguese.


This course is an introduction to the designing, carrying out and reporting of a scientific social research. The course covers the specific context for research on Latin America and the choice and delimitation of a subject for scientific analysis. The emphasis is on the theoretical underpinning and formulating of a problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. During the seminars a research question is formulated and writing techniques for the editing of the BA-thesis are put into practice. The guidance focuses on the preparing of a BA-thesis.
The transferable skills in this courses are: analytical thinking (analytical skills, abstraction, evidence); project management (planning, demarcation, results orientation); responsibility (ownership, self discipline, responsible attitude concerning own project, recognize errors); commitment (dedication, motivation, proactive attitude, ouwn initiative); self-regulation (independence, view on own goals, motives and abilities); written communication (writing skills, reporting, structure, summarizing); critical thinking (ask questions, check assumptions); integrity (honesty, morality, ethical action, personal values); intercultural skills (communication with different cultures).

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will be able to:
1. Identify the characteristics of Latin America as a study area.
2. Learn about the different research methods and techniques in the social sciences.
3. Conceive a research proposal based on a theoretical framework.
4. Learn the techniques and criteria for the writing of a BA-thesis.
5. Develop the methodological design of a BA-thesis.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of lectures (50%) and seminars (50%). During the seminars, students will prepare a research proposal based on individual literature review and specific methodological drafts.

Assessment method


The substance of this course is evaluated at different times.
A. Six drafts about specific methodological and technical aspects of a scientific proposal, basis for the BA-thesis.
The aspects that will be evaluated are: (a) writing skills (clarity in the reports) (b) relevance and consistency regarding the chosen topic (c) capacity to apply research techniques in the context of the chosen topic.

B. The individual active participation throughout the course is measured. The aspects that will be evaluated are: (a) presence (b) participation in debates and personal opinion (c) content level of the individual opinions concerning the chosen thesis theme (d) capacity to respond on the issues under discussion.

C. At the end of the course is submitted a final project. For this final project is a research proposal of at least 8 and up to 10 A4 pages with a table of contents for the BA-thesis worked out.
The aspects that will be assessed are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) definition and exploration of the research topic (c) quality and quantity of the collected bibliographical resources (d) accuracy of the investigation techniques on the chosen topic (e) proper use of bibliographic resources (f) structure and lay-out of the final project.

The lecturers of Modern History will be available in three moments to give individual advice about the research proposal.
During the course, students will read a weekly average of 30 pages of the relevant literature. This material will form the basis of the research proposal.


A. Six drafts: 60% of the final mark.
B. Individual active participation: 10% of the final mark.
C. Final project: 30% of the final mark.


Resit exam takes place if the mark of the final project is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the final project within a certain time.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Compulsory literature

  • ISLA MONSALVE, P. (2017). *Procrastinadores en acción. Guía metodológica para el diseño, realización y reporte de una investigación de tesis universitaria / Procrastinators in Action. A methodological guide to designing, carrying out and writing a university dissertation. *Raamsdonksveer: Solfers BV.

Complementary literature

  • BAARDA, B.; BAKKER, E.; FISCHER, T.; JULSING, M.; DE GOEDE, M.; PETERS, V. & VAN DER VELDEN, T. (2013). Basis kwalitatief onderzoek. Handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Groningen/Houten: Noordhoff Uitgevers, 3e. druk.

  • BAARDA, D.B.; DE GOEDE, M.P.M. & TEUNISSEN, J. (1995). Kwalitatief onderzoek. Praktische handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Houten: Educatieve Partners Nederland bv.

  • PADMOS, BRAM (2012). *De scriptiesupporter. Een doeltreffende aanpak van je scriptie. *Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 11e druk.

  • VERSCHUREN, PIET & DOOREWAARD, HANS (1998). Het ontwerpen van een onderzoek. Utrecht: Lemma, 2e druk.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in Engels and Nederlands

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve

Onderwijsadministratie: Reuvensplaats

Studiecoördinator: Tim Sanders


Attendance to the classes is mandatory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of two sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.

This course consists of 12 classes of 2 hours each, distributed in 12 weeks.

In this course Brightspace is permanently used to provide: the programme of the course; study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentation of each session); methodological indications and instructions; specific information about each college, and forms of the written reports and the research proposal.