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Quantitative Research Methods


Admission requirements

Only students of the Advanced MSc International Relations and Diplomacy can take this course.


This course explores various statistical methods as applied to international relations and comparative politics. It starts with simple, but essential, descriptive statistics. It further introduces learners to the topics of inferential statistics and, notably, linear and logistic regressions. The course finishes with the cutting-edge methods related to experiments in social science.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, the learners will be able to

  • identify data relevant for various research questions related to international relations or comparative politics;

  • describe and analyse the data with modern quantitative research methods techniques;

  • interpret the results of quantitative analysis;

  • evaluate and critique a research design; and

  • distinguish between the concept of causality and correlation.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

This course is a mix of lectures and tutorials. Tutorials serve to put theory into practice and get a good command of statistical software.

Study load: 140 hours

Attendance Policy
Attendance is mandatory, subject to course structure (see syllabus for details).

Assessment method

Final grades are calculated based on four components:

  • Theory test (20%),

  • In-class challenge (10%),

  • Written assignment I (30%),

  • Written assignment II (40%),

Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Brightspace.
You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.

Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.

  • Passed partial grades obtained in the academic year 2022-2023 remain valid during the academic year 2023-2024.

  • Passed partial grades obtained in the academic year 2023-2024 remain valid during the academic year 2024-2025.

  • Should a student fail the overall course, s/he can complete the course in the second year of the programme.

Reading list

  • Diez, David, Christopher Barr and Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel (2015). OpenIntro Statistics. Third Edition. Available under a Creative Commons license. Visit the website of OpenIntro for a free PDF, to download the textbook's source files, or for more information about the license.

  • Academic articles announced before the lectures.


Register yourself via uSis for each course, workgroup and exam (not all courses have workgroups and/or exams). Do so on time, before the start of the course; some courses and workgroups have limited spaces. You can view your personal schedule in MyTimetable after logging in.

Registration for this course is possible from Wednesday 13 December 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.


Dr. J.J. Kantorowicz

A. Pourebrahimi Andouhjerdi