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Research Methods


Admission requirements

No formal prerequisites are set for this course. However, some basic knowledge of research, mathematics and statistics is assumed.


The course Research Methods is a practical course that teaches you the basics of performing empirical research. As this is an empirical research course, you will learn how to study phenomena in the real world. In addition the course would span five months to be able to perform a research study.

As there is only a limited amount of time available you will only study empirical research methods. In this course you will therefore not study the research methods used in mathematics (i.e. formal research), humanities (i.e. interpretive research) or engineering (i.e. design research). The inclusion of research methodology is what differentiates your Master of Science degree from a more practice-oriented master of business administration. However do not be misled that this course is only academically relevant, the discussions are oriented in a real-world research topic. As a future consultant or manager you will need to be able to make sound decisions based on the evidence at hand, which is exactly what you will learn during this course. During this course you will learn how to plan your research study and set your goals (i.e. set your research questions), collect data to gather evidence and finally analyse this data to turn the evidence into answers to your research question.
This course has been divided into sections of a research article:
1) introduction;
2) literature review;
3) methodology – data collection, and data analysis;
4) results, conclusion and discussion.
Majority of the sessions is devoted to the methodological aspect of research.

Course objectives

After successful participation in this course you should be able to:

  • Research ethics and misconducts

  • Understanding of good research, and structure of a research article.

  • Name and describe the ontological concepts underpinning the enterprise of science and empirical investigations.

  • Describe, explain and perform the empirical research process

  • Describe, explain and perform the data collection process

  • Explain and perform the data analysis process

  • Use of a software tool for qualitative and quantitative analysis


The schedule can be found on the LIACS website

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of 10 sessions, each session is 3 hours. The session consists of case study analysis to apply theories and concepts. 2 groups will be assigned to report on the class, the rest of the class will participate by taking opposite view of the arguments. The lecturer will facilitate the class discussion.

Assessment method

The final grade will be a combination of:
1. Practical assignment grade – 40%
2. Exam – 30%
3. Participation – 20%
4. Group evaluation – 10%


Research Methods

Reading list

During the course you will need this book:

  • Saunders, M. N., Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2013). Research methods for business students, 6/e. Pearson Education UK

  • Reader of selected articles and chapters (provided by lecturer on blackboard).

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 a limited capacity for students from outside the master ICT in Business. Please contact the Programme Co-ordinator

Contact information

Programme Co-ordinator ms. Judith Havelaar LL.M