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Social Research

The competencies taught in this Social Research Specialization provide an excellent basis for careers in Academia and organizations where analytical and critical skills are valued. It focuses on general academic skills that are applicable in academia, business and non-profit organizations. The ability to gather and interpret data, to communicate empirical findings, and to work effectively in a team are among the most highly valued competencies that employers seek in University graduates. In this specialization the focus is on methods that are used in social sciences such as Social Psychology, empirical Sociology and Political Science, and which are also commonly used in many non-academic, commercial and non-commercial organizations.

This specialization is a part of the university’s research excellence initiative (IDUB) in the form of a grant to the Faculty of Psychology. This specialization is a Faculty wide specialization therefore, not an exclusive WISP specialization. All courses are conducted entirely in English, and some of the courses will be conducted or co-conducted by visiting professors.

Considering the methods-oriented content of this specialization, students are expected to have a good amount of motivation and ambition, as well as basic background in methods and statistics.

Number of available places: 16

In case the number of applicants is larger than the number of places, a selection will be made on the basis of the average grades of the following obligatory courses:

  • Statistics I, II and III
  • Research methods
  • Experimental psychology
  • Social Psychology

For this specialization, students are expected to have a laptop capable of running statistical software, and to be able to bring it to class at times. A regular, relatively recent laptop should be sufficient.

As this specialization focuses on applied research methods, the aim is that students will be embedded in actual ongoing research. Students are therefore expected to complete their master’s thesis research with a supervisor from CBU – Centrum Badań nad Uprzedzeniami / Centre for Research on Prejudice.


Overview of courses:

Semester 1

Course title hours ECTS
Questionnaire Design 15 2
Introduction to Statistics with R 30 4
Critical Academic Writing 15 2
Data Reporting and Visualization 15 2
Current Topics in Political Psychology – a Methodological Approach 15 2
Total 90 12


Semester 2

Course title hours ECTS
Programming in Python for Social Scientists 15 2
Advanced Regression 30 4
Experimental Design in Social Research 15 2
Qualitative Research Design and Mixed Methods 30 4
Current Topics in Political Science 15 2
Total 105 14


Semester 3

Course title hours    ECTS 
Third Variables: Mediation and Moderation 15 2
Survey Methods 15 2
Data Science 30 4
Exploring data: Factor Analysis and Cluster Analysis 30 4
Current Topics in Empirical Sociology 15 2
Total 105 14


Semester 4

Course title hours ECTS
Structural Equation Models – Introduction 15 2
Longitudinal / Time Regression (elective course*) 15 2
Multi-level Models (elective course*) 15 2
Structural Equation Models (elective course*) 15 2
Bayesian Statistics (elective course*) 15 2
Field Research Trip 30 4
Current Topics in Cross-Cultural Research 15 2
Total 120 16

* students must complete at least two of the elective specialization courses


Head of the specialization: dr Wouter de Raad