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Statistics in Practice


Admission Requirements

This course is open to:

  • Students of the bachelor’s programme CADS

  • Premaster’s CADS admitted for this specific course during their application procedure

N.B.: Completing this course is required to register for the second-year courses Fieldwork NL, Research Preparation, and Multivariate Analysis.

Language of Instruction

Lectures are given in English.
Tutorials: First-year bachelor students of CADS have chosen their preferred language of instruction for tutorials during their application. Premaster’s students follow the groups in English. Contract students must indicate their preferred language of instruction for tutorials during their application.

Exams are in the same language as the tutorials.

Course Description

This course offers an introduction to quantitative analysis for anthropologists. The following topics will be discussed and practised in IBM SPSS Statistics:

  • Introduction to descriptive statistics: variables and measurement level; univariate analyses; displaying distributions using graphs

  • Discrete stochastic variables; expected value and variance; probability density function, distribution function

  • Sample distributions for numbers and proportions

  • Introduction to bivariate analysis

  • Introduction to inferential statistics, Null Hypothesis Significance Testing

  • Assessment of hypotheses; significance level, critical area, alpha and beta errors

  • Statistical tests for correlation and for the comparison of group means

  • Critique of Null Hypothesis Significance Testing

Course Objectives

This course will help you to:

  • Acquire knowledge of univariate analysis

  • Learn to determine appropriate central tendency measures and variable distributions with SPSS and learn how to interpret them based on the research question and the level of measurement of the variables

  • Acquire knowledge of bivariate analysis

  • Learn to choose appropriate statistical tests for correlation and comparison of group means and learn to carry out the tests through SPSS, correctly report and interpret the outcomes based on the research question, the level of measurement, and the possible assumptions (parametric or non-parametric)

  • Develop the capacity to reflect critically on Null Hypothesis Significance Testing and the role of statistics in scientific research and societal debates


See our website

Registration in My Studymap

All students will be registered for the lecture and the exam (including re-sits) by the Student Services Centre (SSC). Students do need to confirm the registration for their exams in My Studymap as described below.

Division and enrolment in the mandatory tutorials will also be done by the SSC and announced via uSis in the first week of lectures.

Confirming your exams

Please note: Students only need to confirm registration for the final exam and the resit of the final exam of Statistics in Practice via My Studymap. The midterm of this course will be conducted through Brightspace and does not need to be confirmed via MyStudymap.

It is mandatory for all students of Leiden University, including first-year bachelor students, to confirm registration for each exam (this includes re-sits) in MyStudymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in MyStudymap.

The following groups of students do not have access to MyStudymap, their registration and confirmation of participation of the exam will be conducted by the SSC: Premaster students, Exchange students, Contract students, Minor students from other universities than Leiden University.

Mode of Instruction

This is a 5 ECTS course (140 study hours [sbu])

  • Lectures: 14 × 3 hours * 1,5 = 63 sbu

  • Tutorials (mandatory): 7 × 2 hours * 2 = 28 sbu

  • Literature ca. 350 pages = 49 sbu

Assessment Method

This course will be assessed by a midterm exam, a final exam and tutorial assignments. Participation in tutorials is mandatory.


Brightspace is the digital learning environment of Leiden University. Brightspace gives access to course announcements and electronic study material. Assignments will also be submitted in Brightspace. Announcements about and changes to courses are made using Brightspace. Students are advised to check Brightspace daily to remain informed about rooms, schedules, deadlines, and details of assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on Brightspace.

How to login:

The homepage for Brightspace is: Brightspace

Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

For access to your courses in Brightspace you need to be registered in My Studymap for those courses.


Field, Andy 2018 Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (fifth edition). Sage Publications Ltd.

Lecture sheets (made available via Brightspace).

It is assumed that students will be familiar with the course literature for ‘Social Science Research in Practice’.


Dr. Belia Schuurman Dr. S.R.J.J. Hölsgens