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Multilevel Analysis


Admission requirements

  • Basic understanding of the concepts underlying multiple regression analysis

  • Basic understanding of vector and matrix algebra


Multilevel analysis concerns the modeling of hierarchically structured data. These kinds of data are frequently encountered in many areas of (social) scientific research. Hierarchically structured data are characterized by so-called “nested” membership relations among the units of observation. For instance, students are nested within classes, which are nested within schools, or employees are nested within departments. Traditional, “single level”, data analysis methods fail when data are hierarchically structured, because the nested structure causes intra-class correlation among the observations within units at the higher level. As a result, the assumption of independence is violated.

Multilevel analysis is a class of methods employing hierarchical linear regression models that explicitly take into account the hierarchical data structure. It provides researchers with a flexible and powerful set of tools with respect to both model formulation and hypothesis testing. Multilevel analysis proves to be statistically more precise. Also, it has been argued that multilevel models are conceptually uplifting.

Course objectives

This multilevel analysis course provides students with a basic understanding of the so called random coefficient model, which can be regarded as one of the key models in multilevel modeling. Additionally, students acquire basic skills in the application of the software package MLwiN, one of the major programs for multilevel analysis.


Multilevel Analysis (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

14 Lectures and computer lab

Assessment method

Graded assignments during course and one final assignment.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Multilevel Analysis occasionally makes use of the learning environment Blackboard.

Reading list

Kreft, I, & De Leeuw, J. (1998). Introducing Multilevel Modelling. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Optional text:
Hox, J. (2002). Multilevel Analysis. Techniques and Applications. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (Ch 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10)


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. M. van der Leeden
Research Methodology and Statistics Unit, room 3B21
Tel: +31(0)71 527 3763