nl en

Research Methods 3


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.


Research Methods 3 focuses on strengthening the analytical skills that you have developed in Research Methods 1 and 2. It aims to enhance your knowledge and skills in how to analyse and interpret research in the field of security studies. The focus is on advancing and applying your methodological and analytical skills, interpreting and critiquing results, and connecting methodologies to "the big picture" of the research. Key elements of this course are: 1) assessing the design and execution of studies and 2) gaining ‘hands on’ experience with advanced analyses.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on some essential research methodologies in security studies. Particular focus will be placed upon developing critical thinking skills. In the second part of the course, you are asked to choose between two specialisation tracks, covering i) advanced qualitative analyses OR ii) advanced quantitative analyses. You are advised to choose your track based on the methodology of your bachelor thesis. In these tracks you will form a research question, analyse data and write up the results and conclusion in a scientific manner.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, you:

  • Are familiar with how quantitative and qualitative research is set up and conducted;

  • Have insight into the types of data collection methods and analytical strategies in the field of security studies;

  • Are able to critically reflect on the chosen research design, analysis and conclusions in your own and others' research;

  • Are able to conduct empirical analysis and critically reflect on the explanatory power of your analyses;

  • Are able to report your findings in a scientific manner.


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
3 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: 30

  • Self-study hours (including the hours spent on writing the papers): 110

Assessment method

Methodology paper (group assignment)

  • 25% of final grade

  • Grade must be compensated

  • Resit not possible

Final research paper

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

Transitional arrangement
Passed partial grades obtained in year 2020-2021 remain valid during year 2021-2022.
Students who did not meet the course lab attendance requirements in 2020-2021 are required to attend the course labs in 2021-2022.
Students who did not pass the final research paper in year 2020-2021 will need to attend the course labs in year 2021-2022, because the course labs introduce you to the topics and data needed to participate in the research paper for the year 2021-2022.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles will be announced on Brightspace.


Use uSis to register for this course. Registration for courses in uSis is possible from 15 December, 13.00h. Pay attention: registration for workgroups in uSis is possible from 15 December, 21:00h. 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. J.A. van Breen -


For exceptions, please contact the Board of Examiners.