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Research Methods


Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements for this course.


The course will introduce you to conducting research and how to present it. To this end it will consist of several sections:

  • General introduction to conducting research: What is “research”? How can “research” in general be divided into different fields (e.g. qualitative/quantitative, positivism/interpretivism)? What is “research ethics”? What is plagiarism?

  • Analysis of scientific texts: What are the components/sections of a scientific writing piece? How can the quality of a scientific text be assessed? What are the assessment criteria?

  • Finding and formulating a research question: How can an interesting research question be identified? What are the criteria for a suitable research question?

  • Conducting the research: What is “literature research”? What kind of research methodologies exist? Which one is suitable to answer my research question? How do I collect data? How do I analyse them academically? How do I interpret my results?

  • Writing up the research: How do I document my research in a way that it will be accepted? Which elements are mandatory to be addressed in each section of a scientific text?

Course objectives

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

  • Distinguish the different concepts of scientific research

  • Assess the quality of a scientific text

  • Understand and know the differences between the chapters of a scientific text

  • Conduct literature research

  • Identify a research question and write a research proposal

  • Plan your research

  • Choose the appropriate research methodologies and understand how to apply them

  • Collect the necessary data

  • Analyse your data and interpret your findings

  • Conduct a research project more or less independently

  • Write a scientific text/paper/thesis about your research, the results and their interpretation


The schedule can be found on the LIACS website

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The mode of instruction will be a mixture of lectures, exercises to apply the introduced theories and concepts and student presentations. Active participation in the class discussion is required to attain the learning goals and will be taken into account for the final grade.

Assessment method

The final grade will be a combination of:

  1. Class participation – 20%
    1. Homework assignments / class presentations– 30%
    2. Final paper assignment – 50%


Research Methods

Reading list

  • Saunders, M. N., Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2013). Research methods for business students, Pearson Education UK, ISBN: 978-0-273-71686-0

  • Andrew H. Van de Ven (2007): Engaged Scholarship: A Guide for Organizational and Social Research, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199226306

  • Reader of selected articles and chapters (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