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Academic Skills: Data Analysis


Description Skills Year 2

In Year 2 of the bachelor’s programme, students are offered two academic skills courses of 5 ECTS each under the joint name Skills Year 2: How do I conduct political science research?
1. Semester 1 (block 1 and block 2)
Research Design: How do I develop a research design? (5 ECTS)
2. Semester 2 (block 3 and block 4)
Data Analysis: How do I conduct research using qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis? (5 ECTS)
These courses build on the academic skills courses of Year 1, and invite students to practise the academic skills required to successfully complete the BSc in Political Science/ International Relations and Organisations. At the core, these courses teach students to apply their knowledge and understanding, form judgments, and communicate their findings.
These skills are practised and deepened in workgroups and through an online learning environment. The courses build upon one another. Ideally, students should successfully complete the Research Design course before participating in the Data Analysis course. However, this is not compulsory.
The goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to practice designing, carrying out and reporting on political science research in a structured context, in preparation for designing and conducting research in a more independent context.
Semester 2: Data Analysis
The main objective of the Data Analysis course is to teach students how to implement a research design (as developed during the first semester course Skills: Research Design). This will be done by conducting small research projects using quantitative and qualitative data. The analyses of the data result in written reports. Moreover, this course trains students in giving academic presentations.

Course objectives

Objective 1: Acquire knowledge and understanding of the criteria for conducting sound qualitative and quantitative research.
Objective 2: Conduct qualitative and quantitative research and report on this in writing and during an oral presentation.

Mode of instruction

Lecture during week 1, followed by weekly seminars and individual meetings with tutor
Digital learning environment.

Assessment method

Written assignments
Participation grade
Graded presentation

Reading list

Halperin, S. & Heath, O. (2017). Political research: Methods and practical skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
This book was used during the Research Methods in Political Science course as well.
Field, A. (2018). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (5th edition). London: SAGE.
This book was also used during the Statistics courses.
IBM SPSS Statistics 25 or higher (available on university computers)
Please refer to the syllabus for other literature.


See general information on tab 'Year 2'.




Ellen van Reuler: