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Research Methodology: History


Admission requirements

Be registered as student of Bachelor degree at Leiden or another Dutch University.
This course is open to students who have a good command of Dutch and Spanish language, or students with a passive command of the Spanish but a good command of Portuguese.


This course is an introduction to the design, implementation, and reporting of a scientific research. The course covers the specific context for research in Latin America and the choice and delimitation of a subject for scientific analysis. The emphasis is on the theoretical underpinning and formulating a problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. During the seminars are formulating a research question and practicing writing techniques for the editors of the BA-thesis. The guidance focuses on the preparing of a BA-thesis.

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will be able to:
1. Identify the characteristics of Latin America as a study area.
2. Learn about the various research methods and techniques in the social sciences.
3. Conceive a research proposal with a theoretical framework.
4. Learn the techniques and criteria for writing a BA-thesis
5. Prepare the design of the BA-thesis.


Timetable LAS

Mode of instruction

This course has the format of a lecture (50%) and seminar (50%). In the course of the lectures, students will prepare a research proposal based on individual literature review.

Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total.

  • Lectures: 13 hours

  • Practical work: 13 hours

  • Preparation tutorials: 26 hours

  • Tutoring: 10 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 34 hours

  • Assignment(s): 24 hours

  • Preparation exam: 10 hours

  • Exam(s): 10 hours

Assessment method


The substance of this course is evaluated at different times.
A. Six drafts about specific methodological and technical aspects of a scientific proposal, basis for the BA-thesis.
The aspects that will be evaluated are: (a) writing skills (clarity in the reports) (b) relevance and consistency regarding the chosen topic (c) capacity to apply research techniques in the context of the chosen topic.

B. The individual active participation throughout the course is measured. The aspects that will be evaluated are: (a) presence (b) participation in debates and personal opinion (c) content level of the individual opinions concerning the chosen thesis theme (d) capacity to respond on the debated issues.

C. At the end of the course is submitted a final project. For this final project is a research proposal of at least 8 and up to 10 A4 pages with a table of contents for the BA-thesis worked out.
The aspects that will be assessed are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) definition and exploration of the research topic (c) quality and quantity of the collected bibliographical resources (d) accuracy of the investigation techniques on the chosen topic (e) correct use of APA system (f) structure and lay-out of the final project.

The lecturers of Modern History will be available in three moments to give individual advice about the research proposal.
During the course, students will read a weekly average of 30 pages of the relevant literature. This material will form the basis of the research proposal.


A. Six drafts: 60% of the final mark.
B. Individual active participation: 10% of the final mark.
C. Final project: 30% of the final mark.


Resit exam takes place if the mark of the final project is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the final project within a limited time.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentation of each session),

  • methodological indications and instructions

  • specific information about each college and

  • forms of the written reports and the research proposal.

Reading list

Compulsory literature

  • ISLA MONSALVE, P. (2017). Procrastinadores en acción. Guía metodológica para el diseño, realización y reporte de una investigación de tesis universitaria. Raamsdonksveer: Solfers BV.

Complementary literature

  • BAARDA, B.; BAKKER, E.; FISCHER, T.; JULSING, M.; DE GOEDE, M.; PETERS, V. & VAN DER VELDEN, T. (2013). Basis kwalitatief onderzoek. Handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Groningen/Houten: Noordhoff Uitgevers, 3e. druk.

  • BAARDA, D.B.; DE GOEDE, M.P.M. & TEUNISSEN, J. (1995). Kwalitatief onderzoek. Praktische handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Houten: Educatieve Partners Nederland bv.

  • PADMOS, BRAM (2012). De scriptiesupporter. Een doeltreffende aanpak van je scriptie. Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 11e druk.

  • VERSCHUREN, PIET & DOOREWAARD, HANS (1998). Het ontwerpen van een onderzoek. Utrecht: Lemma, 2e druk.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in Engels and Nederlands

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dhr. Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Class attendance is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of 3 sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.