Qualitative Analysis Techniques


• The student is able to compare different ways of pre-employment screening and to reason what method is preferred in regard to the alpha- and beta chance.
• The students is able to define the alpha chance and beta chance , and the differences between these two chances (insight) and to reason why these chances are important to intelligence research (insight)
• The students is able to formulate a threat-related research questions (apply) and to design a research to answer this question (analysis/synthesis)
• The student is able to compare different analysis techniques to each other and to analyse what techniques are most suitable for the above mentioned research questions (analysis)
• The student is able to name different qualitative analysis techniques used in intelligence research (knowledge), and compare these techniques (analysis). 
• The student is able to compose a research questions and able to answer this questions
• The student is able to find relevant sources and to assess these sources on the basis of content and reliability
• The student is able to give his or her fellow-student constructive feedback


The course is aimed at acquiring analytic research methods and practical skills that prepare students for their application in the context of this minor programme. We will respond to the known methods and techniques taught at several faculties, and amplify them. Also, these methods and techniques are now being applied in the context of the intelligence practice. 

The students that aim at a career in this field will get acquainted with methods and techniques that are common within the intelligence community.

A few aspects will get special attention during this course. First of all, methodological insights are placed in an interdisciplinary perspective. Moreover, attention will be paid to the characteristics of the applied sciences or applied research. Secondly, a case will be discussed on a step-by-step basis. The case will be exemplary for the content of intelligence questions, namely: key information is hard to obtain and ‘noise’ and speculation ought to be filtered out of the sources that are available. 

The goals of the course are twofold: training of analytic skills and practicing one’s specific role in research during a research project (for example playing devil’s advocate and Analysis by Competing Hypotheses).

During the first part of the course, different guest lecturers with a background in the academic and intelligence community will teach students about their practical experience with intelligence research. In the second part, one will acquire insight in working methods and procedures. This course is different from other methodological skills courses because it is especially developed for intelligence research, with special attention to the role of the absence of data, and the possibility of deception.

Preferred knowledge

Obligatory: Geheime Praktijken 1 and Geheime Praktijken 2 / Secret Affairs 1 and Secret Affairs 2 (or taking these courses simultaneously).


UvA-students can register themself from Thursday 16 June 2016 (look for code 5512CYBE6Y in SIS) until a week before the start of the course. If you have any trouble while registering please contact: servicedesk-iis-science@uva.nl

Other parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions, interested can register from 1 June 2016 through the registration form.

Contract students can only participate in this course when they follow the minor Intelligence Studies.


Lectures and tutorials.


For the actual schedule check https://datanose.nl/#course[52983]

Study material

For this course you will need the following book: R.J. Heuer & R.H. Pherson (2014), Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, CQ Press.

Furthermore we will use a digital reader which will be provided at the start of the course.


Free for UvA students.

Other parties can check http://iis.uva.nl/en/interdisciplinary-education/iis-courses/costs/costs.html  for more information.

Other parties can find more information about the costs of participating in the course here.

Number of students



Papers and research.


This course is a part of the minor Intelligence Studies. For more information about this minor, please take a look at the website of the Ad de Jonge Center, or send an email to addejongecentrum-science@uva.nl.

Conditions for admission
12 ECTS, 16 weeks
Language of instruction
Starts in

Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies