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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. This means that you need to have passed this course to be able to start with 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.

This is a new course within the Bachelor Security Studies. This course is a substitute course for Research Methods 1. Students who have not yet completed ‘Research Methods 1’ before must take a look at the transitional arrangements tab to find out how they can redo Research Methods 1.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course students 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

The final grade for this course is based on two types of assessments:

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.

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.


Use uSis to register for this course. Registration for courses in uSis is possible from 15 December, 13.00h. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.

Access to Brightspace is necessary because the syllabus and other information about this course can be found here. 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.


Dr. Pauline Aarten


For exceptions, please contact the Board of Examiners.