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Introduction to Methodology


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies.


In this course students will get familiar with basic concepts in methodology and descriptive statistics necessary to conduct research in Urban Studies such as the empirical cycle, formulating a testable research question, spatial analysis with use of Geographic Information Systems, reliability and validity, probability theory, central tendency and variability, the normal distribution, relationsips between variables and describing and explaining variance.

Students will acquire practical skills of data analysis through several assignments that are imbedded in urban research.

Together with the course Data Collection, the course will form the compulsory basis for methodology courses in the second year.

Course objectives

Learning goal 1: student is able to describe core concepts of methods and techniques in Urban Studies such as the emprirical cycle, variables, measurement level, measurement precision, central tendency and variability, distributions, association, experimental design.

Learning goal 2: student is able to describe basic concepts in desciptive statistics such as measures of central tendency and variability, measures of association, measures of measurement precision and elementary geospatial data concepts (data formats, vector/raster, projections,and spatial tools).

Learning goal 3: student is able to use SPSS for descriptive statistics and will have elementary skills in using ArcGIS for spatial analysis


The timetable is available on the BA Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), equal to 140 hours, devoted to:

  • Attending lectures: 10

  • Attending practicals: 10

  • Reading (preparation lectures) : 86 (430 pages)

  • Assignments: 30

  • Exam: 4

Assessment method


  • Practical (SPSS) exam

  • Multiple choice exam

A student is allowed to miss a maximum of one practical.

4/5 assignments need to be of sufficient quality to be eligible for participation in the exam.


  • Practical (SPSS) exam: 30%

  • Multiple choice exam: 70%

Both elements need to be sufficient to pass.


  • Exam: yes (in principle only when grade for the exam was insufficient, i.e., < 5.5)

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

Reading list

  • Howell, D. (2012). Statistical Methods for Psychology, International Edition. (8th Edition).

  • Leary, M.L. (2012). Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods (6th edition). Boston: Pearson.

  • Pallant, J. (2016). SPSS Survival Manual (6th edition). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.

Examples will be used from:

  • Knox & Pinch (2010). Urban Social Geography: An Introduction (6th edition). London & New York: Routledge.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. J. Witteman Ing. M. van ‘t Zelfde