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Quantitative 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.


In this course we move from learning the basic concepts in social science research, as you have learned in Research Methods 1, to gaining an in-depth insight into data collection techniques and analysis possibilities in quantitative research. Specifically, you will learn about survey research, how to make your own survey and how to collect data with survey research. Furthermore, you will explore various statistical methods that you will need to apply to help you answer a safety and/or security research question.

This course is divided up into lectures and course labs. The lectures will provide the theoretical knowledge on how to make a survey, how to distribute it and the various statistical methods that you can utilise to help you answer a research question. The course labs will focus more on gaining practical skills on how to make a survey using existing software such as Qualtrics and analyse data using the statistical software programme SPSS.

Important information
This course – Quantitative Research Methods – is for students who started the Bachelor Security Studies in the academic year 2020-2021. Students who started their first year of the Bachelor Security Studies before the academic year 2020-2021 and who have not yet completed Research Methods 2, should take Research Methods 2 this academic year. Please take a look at the transitional arrangements tab to learn more.

Course Objectives

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

  • Identify and explain what quantitative research methods entail;

  • Develop and distribute a quantitative survey;

  • Carry out univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses on quantitative data;

  • Choose the correct statistical method to help you answer your research question;

  • Use the statistical software program SPSS to help you do quantitative analysis;

  • Analyse and interpret the results from SPSS in a correct manner;

  • Critically evaluate and critique (your own) quantitative research design(s);

  • Report your findings with clarity and precision;

  • Work in a team on a research project.


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

7 plenary lectures
4 course labs in smaller groups.

Attendance of the course labs is mandatory. If you miss more than 1 course lab you fail the course and won’t obtain a final grade.

Total study load is 140 hours:

  • Contact hours (lectures and course labs): 33 hours

  • Self-study hours (including working on the end-term assignments): 107 hours

Assessment method

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

Group assignment

  • 25% of the final grade

  • Grade must be compensated

  • Resit not possible

Individual paper

  • 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 individual paper (75%) if they have a calculated overall course grade lower than 5.50.

Reading list

Compulsory literature for this course is:

Aarten, P.G.M., Froneberg, E., Hewitt, J., Krüsselmann, K., & Peterscheck, A. (Eds.) (2020). Research Methods for Security Studies. SAGE. ISBN: 978-1-5297-5409-4.

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


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. 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. Registration for courses and workgroups in uSis is possible from 15 July, 13.00h.

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.