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Conducting and evaluating empirical research


Admission requirements

Knowledge of statistics, research methods and SPSS at the level of the Leiden Bachelor’s Degree Programme Education and Child Studies.


The course aims to get students acquainted with the practice of empirical research on the level required for their Research Master’s thesis. Scientific papers are examined in detail regarding their organisation and research methods. Attention will be paid to both the methodological design and the statistical analysis of results. The course offers tools for assessing the quality of published research results as well as for producing one’s own (basic) research report.

Course objectives

Achievement levels: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11.



Mode of instruction

  • Seven lectures

  • Seven tutorial sessions in which empirical research papers are examined (attendance obligatory)

  • Seven computer lab sessions (attendance obligatory)

  • There will be a tutorial-computer lab group for Research Master and foreign students.

  • Instructional materials will be in English.

Assessment method

Grades are mainly based on a final research paper, but the course also contains other obligatory assignments.


During this course Blackboard will be used. The Blackboard site will contain announcements, course documents, information on tutorials and computer labs, lecture notes and discussion boards.

Reading list

A detailed Student Manual will be available in August. Additional materials will be available on the Blackboard site of the course.


Please note that separate uSis registration is mandatory for lectures, seminars, exams and re-exams. Student who do not register, cannot attend courses or take exams.


  • Registration for the lectures of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first seminar at the latest.


Student must register for each exam through uSis. This is only possible until 10 calendar days before the exam. More information on exam registration

Contact information

  • First check the Student Manual, then the Blackboard module and only after failure to find what you want to know, contact the staff of the course;

  • For enrollment and organisational issues please mail: Dr. M. Malda

  • For specific issues with respect to tutorials, computer labs, end paper, and absence please contact your instructor;

  • Please pose general questions regarding the end paper on the general Blackboard forum;

  • Please pose specific questions related to the subject of your tutorial group on the Group forum.