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Data Collection Methods


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme.


In this course students will get familiar with several types of data collection in the social sciences such as survey-research, participant observation, and conducting interviews and focus groups. Students will acquire practical skills of data collection through several assignments that are imbedded in field laboratories (partially outside the university, i.e. in the town of the Hague).

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

1) Students will have knowledge of four important methodological approaches in social research: survey, interview, observation, and participant observation;
2) Students will have the skill to formulate research questions based on concrete human behaviour in urban settings;
3) Students will have gained insight in how to choose appropriate methods of data collection;
4) Students will know the benefits and pitfalls over the several types of data collection;
5) Students will have practical skills in conducting interviews, making systematic observations, doing participant observation and designing a questionnaire;
6) Students will be able to reflect on their own role as a researcher.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Tutorial

Assessment method


  • Final exam
    Written examination with closed questions (e.g. multiple choice)
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4, 7, 10-11, 16
    -measured course specific objectives: 1, 3-4

  • Tutorial assignments
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 7, 10-11, 15-17, 19-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-6


Partial grade Weighing
Tutorial grade: assignments 30
Final Exam 70

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the tutorial grade and the grade of the final exam.

  • In order to complete the course, the grade for the final exam should be at least a 5,5.


  • If the final exam grade is lower than 5.50, there is a possibility of retaking the final exam.

  • If after the retake of the final exam, the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 5,5), but the grade for the final exam is higher than a 5,5, there is a possibility of retaking the assignment.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

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 organised.

Reading list

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other material will be used. More information will be given during the course.



  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA Urban Studies