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Applied Research Methodology

Course 2017-2018

Admission requirements



Applied research methodology bridges theoretical methodology courses and the master thesis research. The course is geared towards empirical studies in ICT-related settings.

During the lectures and assignments, a research problem is addressed in small groups. Generally, a research objective (including associated research questions) is decided on in the first session. Then, two sessions are spent on development of the measurement instrument (in past years we used a grounded theory approach in combination with interviews and, e.g., a survey). The two last sessions are used for testing of the measurement instrument and integrating the results.

All sessions contain lectures on theoretical foundations of the applied scientific methods as well as group debates regarding implementation-specific challenges. Literature consist of a variety of scientific articles. The objective is to write up the results of the study in a scientific paper.

Course objectives

Learning objectives are threefold. First, students will be exposed to current research and research approaches and gain a better understanding of academic research in this area. Second, students will gain experience in analysing and addressing a complex, scientific problem and the methods to address such a problem. Third, students will increase their ability to assess, translate and apply research to real-world situations in an organisational context. The main focus of the course is the research that is done at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). However, some valuable additions to the course may come from outside the LIACS.


The schedule can be found on the Leiden University student website

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

Mode of instruction

5 lectures (3 hours each) spread over one semester. All sessions contain lectures as well as group debates.

Assessment method

A set of written assignments need to be handed in during the course. Typically, two or three smaller assignments and one larger assignment at the end of the course. These assignments are graded.
There is a closed book exam.The material tested here consists of the book and what is covered during the lectures.



Reading list

Literature (scientific papers) is handed out during the course.
Book: Gary Thomas "How to do your research project" (3rd Ed), Sage

Signing up for classes and exams

You have to sign up for classes and examinations (including resits) in uSis. Check this link for more information and activity codes.

There is only limited capacity for external students. Please contact the [programme Co-ordinator](

Contact information

Programme Co-ordinator: ms. Esme Caubo