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EMOS Core Module


Admission requirements

Students need to have sufficient knowledge about survey methodology and have some experience with programming in R.


The EMOS course module takes place in the first and second semester of the second year. The course has seven parts.

  1. Aspects of Official Statistics (lecturer Carina Fransen, Statistics Netherlands). The aim of the course is to give insight into the relevance of official statistics for society, to give an overview of the most important international organisations and their respective roles. Special attention will be paid to the European Statistical System, its legal basis, confidentiality laws and the European Statistics Code of Practice (among which quality of statistics).
  2. Sampling and Estimation (lecturers Barry Schouten, Utrecht University and Statistics Netherlands, and Marc Smeets, Statistics Netherlands). The aim is to give insight into the design of surveys and into statistical inference based on survey data, considering population and sampling frames, sampling designs, designs of survey experiments, adaptive survey design, sampling and non-observation error, nonresponse reduction and adjustment methods and small area estimation.
  3. Statistical Data Editing (lecturer Ton de Waal, Statistics Netherlands). The aim is to give insight into typical data editing and item non-response problems in official statistics and methods for dealing with them. Various imputation methods for dealing with missing data will be discussed.
  4. Administrative and Big Data (Lecturers Bart Bakker, Statistics Netherlands, and Piet Daas, Statistics Netherlands). The aim is to give insight into the possibilities and typical quality problems of administrative and Big Data sources and methods for dealing with them.
  5. Data Management in Statistical Production (Lecturer Mark van der Loo, Statistics Netherlands). The aim of the course is to give an overview of representation and processing of statistical data both on a technical and on a logical level, including the relation with enterprise architecture concepts, the production models usual in official statistics (e.g. metadata management, GSBPM) and monitoring and evaluating data quality.
  6. Statistical Disclosure Control (Lecturer Peter-Paul de Wolf, Statistics Netherlands). The aim is to give insight into the relevance and techniques to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information in tables and micro data. Also techniques to assess the risk of disclosure of sensitive information will be discussed.
  7. Interpretation and Presentation of Official Statistics (Lecturer Edwin de Jonge, Statistics Netherlands). The aim is to understand methodological issues and to interpret correctly the outcomes in some important fields of official statistics (National Accounts, Input-output tables, Price statistics, Beyond GDP, poverty and inequality, unemployment, migration) and to give knowledge and tools for an effective way of presentation of data in tables, charts and advanced visual graphics.

Course objectives

After taking this course the student understands the role of National Statistical Institutes. The student has gained knowledge on methods applied at these institutes and is able to apply them in practical situations. The student gained experience in writing reports for both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Mode of Instruction

A combination of self-study, lectures, lab and live-coding sessions.

Assessment method

Testing will be done in two different ways: by means of assignments (40%) and by means of a written exam (60%).

For all topics, except “Aspects of Official Statistics”, one or more individual assignments will be given. For each of those 7 topics (“Sampling and Estimation”, “Statistical Data Editing”, “Administrative and Big Data”, “Data Management in Statistical Production”, “Statistical Disclosure Control”, and “Interpretation and Presentation of Official Statistics”) a mark between 1 and 10 will be given. The average of these 6 marks will be the final mark for the assignments. That final mark for the assignments will constitute 40% of the total grade.

Written Exam (60%)

Time and Exam Table

See the Leiden University students' website for the Statistical Science programme -> Schedules

Non-compulsory reading list

See below for some suggested and obligatory reading material. Other reading material will be announced and made available later once the course has started.

Sampling and Estimation:

Bethlehem, J. and B. Schouten (2016), Nonresponse Error: Detection and Correction. Chapter 38 in Handbook of Survey Methodology - eds. C. Wolf, D. Joye, T.W. Smith and Y.C. Fu.

Schouten, B., M. Calinescu and A. Luiten (2013), Optimizing Quality of Response through Adaptive Survey Designs. Survey Methodology 39, pp. 29-58.

Schouten, B., N. Shlomo and C. Skinner (2011), Indicators for Monitoring and Improving Representativeness of Response. Journal of Official Statistics 27, pp. 1–24.

Statistical Data Editing:

Israëls, A. L. Kuijvenhoven, J., van der Laan, J. Pannekoek and E. Schulte Nordholt (2011), Imputation, Statistics Netherlands, The Hague/Heerlen, D2B89F6C214A/0/2011X3712.pdf

Waal, T. de (2013),Selective Editing: A Quest for Efficiency and Data Quality. Journal of Official Statistics 29, pp. 473–488,

Waal, T. de and S. Scholtus (2011), Methods for Automatic Statistical Data Editing. Paper presented at the KSS International Conference on Statistics and Probability

Administrative Data:

Ariel, A., B. Bakker, M. de Groot, G. van Grootheest, J. van der Laan, J. Smit, B. Verkerk, Record Linkage in Health Data: A Simulation Study, Statistics Netherlands, The Hague/Heerlen, ISBN 978903571786-6

Bakker, Bart F.M. (2011), Micro-Integration, Statistics Netherlands, The Hague/Heerlen. (obligatory)

Bakker, B. & P. Daas (2012), Some Methodological Issues of Register Based Research. Statistica Neerlandica. 66, pp. 2-7

Gerritse, S.C., B.F.M. Bakker, P.-P. de Wolf and P.G.M. van der Heijden (2016), Under Coverage of the Population Register in the Netherlands, 2010. Discussion paper 2016-02, Statistics Netherlands, The Hague/Heerlen.

Course Registration

via received approval of the Leiden course coordinator (Dr. M.M.D. Kampert).

Contact information

MKampert [at] math [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl


  • This is a compulsory course for those students who wish to receive an "European Master of Official Statistics (EMOS)" certificate on top of their diploma in Statistical Science.