Students participating in a lecture

Program and courses Methods and Statistics track

Become specialized in methods and statistics and study individual behaviors in different social contexts from three social sciences perspectives: social psychology, sociology, and organization studies. This specialization has a strong analytical and quantitative focus and you learn to tackle research questions with complex data.

Program structure

This two-year program consists of 120 credits (ECTS):

  • 13 core courses (51 ECTS)
  • 3 track courses (18 ECTS)
  • First year Paper (12 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (24 ECTS)
  • Internal traineeship (12 ECTS)
  • International traineeship (3 ECTS)

This program has one entry moment at the end of August.

Program content

First year content

Block 1 (August - October)

  • Multivariate Analysis including Multilevel Models
    You get an introduction into the classical multivariate methods, particularly regression models, starting with the linear regression model and (M)ANOVA. 
  • Foundations of Social Psychology
    Learn how interpersonal situations influence social interaction, how structural aspects of mutual dependence influences cognitions, motivations, affect and behavior. Address topics such as social identity, exclusion and the need to belong, conflict and cooperation, distributive and procedural justice, fairness and self0interest, negotiation, social exchange, and social influence.
  • Foundations of Sociology
    Examine different topics related to culture, social relations and inequality from a theoretical sociological perspective. 

Block 2 (October- January)

  • Multivariate Analysis including Multilevel Models
    You get an introduction into the classical multivariate methods, particularly regression models, starting with the linear regression model and (M)ANOVA. 
  • Foundations of Organization Studies
    Answer two major organizational questions from a theoretical perspective: how to govern organizations and how people and organizations learn about themselves by comparing themselves with others.
  • Mathematical Methods
    Study differential and integral calculus, matrix algebra and probability and statistical inference.

Block 3 (January - April)

  • Experimental Research
    Discuss every stage of experimental research.
  • Survey Research
    Learn how to conduct survey research.
  • Programming
    Learn how to work with the statistical program and language R and how to independently work with R in future courses and research projects.
  • Meta Analysis
    Learn how to conduct a meta analysis.
  • Research Integrity & Ethics
    Discuss and critically examine the important ethical issues that arise in the conduct of empirical research in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • First year Paper Methods and Statistics 
  • Experimental Research & Meta Analysis 

Block 4 (April - August)

  • First year Paper Methods and Statistics 
  • Academic Writing in Social Sciences
  • Intern Traineeship Methods and Statistics I
Second year content

Block 1 (September - October) 

  • International Traineeship in Methods and Statistics
  • Categorical Data Analysis
    Study regression models belonging to the generalized linear modeling family, technical aspects of maximum likelihood estimation, likelihood-based statistical inference, and class analysis. 
  • Intern Traineeship Methods and Statistics II
  • Psychometrics

Block 2 (October - January)

  • Structural Equation Modeling and Analysis
    You are introduced to a general statistical framework that brings together multiple statistical analysis tools.
  • Intern Traineeship Methods and Statistics III
  • Bayesian Statistics
    Study the concept of subjective probability, prior knowledge, prior specification, Bayesian estimation, Bayesian hypothesis testing using the Bayes factor, posterior predictive checking, and Bayesian computation using Gibbs sampling.

Block 3 (January - April)

  • Master's Thesis Methods and Statistics
  • Intern Traineeship Methods and Statistics IV

Block 4 (April - August)

  • Academic Presenting in Social Sciences
    Touch up your academic presentation skills and learn how to present an academic paper in an engaging, clear, personal and appropriate way and learn to communicate your research in a structured, coherent, clear, concise and attractive way. 
  • Colloquia & Seminars in Methods and Statistics
  • Master's Thesis Methods and Statistics
Master’s thesis

In your second year, you will write your Master’s thesis (24 ECTS), in English, under supervision of a knowledgeable staff member who will supervise you during both the research and thesis-writing processes. You write your thesis within your track. Your thesis should have a track related subject.

  • You will choose your own research topic and supervisor.
  • You will learn how to conduct all aspects of the research process: creating hypotheses, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing a scientific article.
  • Prior to writing the thesis, you will write an individual research proposal (IRP) based on an original idea, which your supervisor must approve.
  • You will conduct the research and work on your Master's thesis independently, for most of the time. However, you will be in constant and close contact with your supervisor.
  • The Master’s thesis should be written as a manuscript that could be submitted for publication in an ISI journal.

Examples of thesis subjects are:

  • A thermal imaging approach to detect deception
  • Statistical reporting inconsistencies in Psychology
  • Bayesian hierarchical models

During year 1 and 2 students participate in four in-house research traineeships and one international research traineeship. 

  • Through the in-house traineeships students acquire, improve, and effectively use their knowledge and skills required for performing scientific research by working together with staff members.
  • Through the international traineeship (summer in between year 1 and year 2), students get acquainted with scientific research and researchers abroad by attending summer school, participating and presenting at an international conference, or by temporarily joining an international research group.   
  • Students acquire a thorough methodological and statistical education and write two scientific papers as part of the curriculum (first-year paper + Master’s Thesis).  
  • Students need to attend 10 colloquia and/or seminars per year, to get more insights into the functioning of the academic world.

Watch a trial lecture

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions

Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.

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Short overview of the Methods and Statistics track

Become specialized in methods and statistics while studying individual behaviors in different social contexts from three social sciences perspectives: Social Psychology, Sociology, and Organization Studies.

  • You learn how to design high-quality research and develop and apply advanced statistical techniques to tackle research questions with complex data.
  • Your methodological and statistical skills, paired with interdisciplinary knowledge of the social and behavioral sciences, will give you a competitive advantage in a wide range of applied or fundamental (research) positions.
  • Participate in 4 in-house research traineeships and 1 international research traineeship and work together with renowned national and international academics. 
  • You will receive excellent personal guidance from renowned scholars and researchers in a small-scale and interactive seting. There are more full-time professors than students, with classes of no more than 30 students from different academic and cultural backgrounds.

Interested in the Research Master in Social and Behavioral Sciences?

Do you have:

  • the ambitions for an intellectual challenge

  • strong critical and analytical abilities

  • an interest in and experience with doing research

Then check your eligibility and the deadlines for application.