The curriculum of the one-year Master’s specialisation in Methodology and Statistics focuses both on in-depth study of theory and on the acquisition of professional and research skills.
The distinctive feature of the programme at Leiden is that the teaching is not restricted only to the theory of research. Within a scientist-practitioner model, these insights are always connected to their behavioural consequences and intervention issues. In this way, not only do you develop your knowledge of psychology and methodology as a science, you also learn to apply this knowledge in order to understand practical problems, and to develop effective interventions for dealing with them.
In line with the profile of Leiden University as a research-intensive institution, the teaching programme is based on state-of-the art scientific research. It maintains a strong emphasis on the acquisition of academic and research skills. Completion of the MSc degree prepares you for subsequent academic degrees, including a PhD.
Computer usage plays an important role in most of your courses. Many courses consist of a mix of the theory and practice of computer skills in a laboratory setting. During the year, you are trained in consultancy, since it is very likely that you will require this knowledge in your future career. Furthermore, you are required to write a thesis in which an empirical data set is analysed using several methods. The results of these methods are compared with each other.
The objective of the programme is to equip you with advanced training in research methods and professional skills. This will prepare you both for a career involving psychological research as well as for the application of scientific knowledge and methods in various professional settings. Training is provided in all relevant skills:
“Quantitative research is more than numbers and calculations.”
“While studying education and learning problems at Leiden University I discovered that my interests lay particularly in the research and statistical side of the studies, so after graduating I decided to enroll in the master’s programme in Methods and Statistics. In this master’s I acquired knowledge, insight and skills in the fields of research design, data analysis and construction and evaluation of measuring devices. During the programme I was also trained in consultancy, and in the use of diferent computer programmes for data analysis.
While still involved in studying I had the opportunity to work at RIGO Research & Advice. RIGO is a research and advice institute which performs market and policy research. The institute’s expertise is in the liveability of the urban environment for people. My activities at RIGO are aimed particularly toward the methods and techniques of quantitative research, analysing various kinds of data and interpreting the outcomes. I enjoy the challenge of describing the outcomes of difficult analyses in a well-argued and easy to read paper. Consultation on statistical and methodological subjects is an important part of the job. Furthermore, I participate in the development of evaluation instruments.
Quantitative research is more than numbers and calculations. Besides data analysis, research involves communication with clients to discover research questions, studying literature, choosing appropriate instruments to collect data, making a research design, accompanying the field work and translating the outcomes of the data analysis into a paper or presentation. From large international research projects for ministries to small local research, working at a research and advice institute is challenging, interesting and diverse.”