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Statistics for Anthropologists: Introduction to Quantitative Analysis


Admission requirements

This course is open to the following categories of students:

  • Bachelor’s CA-DS,

  • Pre-Master’s CA-DS admitted for this specific course during their application procedure,

  • Contract students registered in accordance with the procedure set out on this page of the faculty website. However, it is inadvisable to follow this course before completing at least an introductory social science course.

Language of Instruction

Lectures are taught in English.
Practicals: First years bachelor students of CA-DS have chosen the preferred language of instruction for working groups during their application. Pre-master students follow the groups in English. Contract students may indicate the preferred language of instruction for tutorials during their application.
Exams are in the same language as tutorials.


The following topics will be discussed:
Introduction to descriptive statistics. Data matrix, variables and measurement level; univariate analyses; displaying distributions using graphs.

  • Introduction to bivariate analysis and relationships; coherence between two variables.

  • Introduction to samples and populations; collecting data; types of sample.

  • Introduction to probability theory; probability models; outcomes room; rules of chance.

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

  • Sample distributions for numbers and proportions; binomial probability distributions; normal probability distributions; standard normal probability distribution.

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

  • Keys for association between two variables.

The above topics are further applied to anthropology and development sociology data during compulsory SPSS practicals.

Learning goals:

  • Knowledge of and ability to determine and interpret univariate statistics, with SPSS; knowledge of appropriate univariate statistical measurements, such as average and median, based on research questions and measurement level variables.

  • Being able to choose, apply and interpret the results of bivariate statistics; suitable bivariate statistical measurements for coherence or comparing averages based on research question, measurement level variables and possible assumptions (parametric or non-parametric).


See our website

Registering for exams

First years students are not required to register.
Other students are required to register in uSis for exams and may do so up to 11 calendar days before the examination. Read more

Registration in uSis

  • First-year CA-OS students: registration for lectures, practicals, exams is NOT necessary. as students will be registered by the Student Services Centre (SSC).

  • Other students must register for the lectures and examinations (see above), but not for practicals.

Division of students in practical groups will be done during the first lecture of the course.

Registration periods and further information about procedure is given on the website on course registration.

Mode of instruction

  • lecture 14 × 3 hours = 42 hours = 63 sbu

  • practical: 7 × 2 hours = 14 hours = 14 sbu (compulsory)

  • literature ca. 378 pp = 63 sbu Total: 140 sbu (5 ECTS)


  • Open book written examination with multiple-choice and open questions on lecture material and assignments. The examination counts for 80% of the final mark.

  • Participation in compulsory practicals. Attendance will be checked.

  • A written paper which may be compiled during practical sessions; the paper accounts for 20% of the final mark.

Note: both examination and paper must be completed with satisfactory marks.

Only the final mark is registered in Usis; the written examination may be re-taken if an inadequate mark is achieved.


Brightspace will be the digital learning environment of Leiden University as of the 2020/2021 academic year. This means Brightspace will replace the current system Blackboard.

Students attending the first year of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology or resitting courses, will be the first working with Brightspace as their learning management system as of the academic year 2019-2020. Through Brightspace you can access news messages, retrieve study material and hand in assignments. You will need to visit Brightspace on a regular basis to be sure to have the latest information. Lecturers will assume that all students read the information provided in Brightspace.

How to login:
The homepage for Brightspace is:
Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

To get access to your courses in Brightspace you need to be registered in uSis for these courses.

Leiden University app
In this app, you can find most of your personal study information in one place. The Blackboard app will be replaced by the Brightspace app over time. Until then you have to use them both.


  • Field, Andy (2018). Discovering Statistics using SPSS. Fifth edition.

  • Collegesheets (made available via BlackBoard).

  • The literature on the course M & T1: Research skills is assumed to be known.


Dr. Annemarie Samuels