Introduction to Python for Humanities and Social Sciences


Course Objective

Goals of this course:
• Get to know the basics of the Python programming language;
• Make a start with becoming an independent programmer, who is able to
find solutions to new problems.

Skills you will acquire during this course:
- Learn how to develop Python code using Jupyter notebooks as well as
Python modules (.py files);
- Learn how to make your own code project;
- Learn how to create readable code that can be understood by others;
- Learn how to debug your code;
- Learn how to deal with unstructured textual data;
- Learn how to perform linguistic processing with established NLP

Course Content

During this course, you will learn how to analyze text data using the
Python programming language. No programming knowledge is required; we
believe that anyone can learn how to program.

You will learn how to extract information from text corpora; deal with
different file types (plain text, CSV, JSON). We will focus on
readability and understandability of your code so that you will be able
to share it with others, and reuse your code in the future.

Teaching Methods

The course is organized in blocks (3 lectures of 2 hours per week).
Blocks typically follow this routine:
-Lecture 1: introduction of concepts in the form of an (interactive)
lecture. Students are expected to have worked through preparatory
exercises and ask questions in class.
-Lecture 2: the lecture is mostly dedicated to working on the
assignment. Students will have the opportunity to ask for help and
clarification. The lecturer may start the session by dedicating time to
more difficult concepts. The deadline for an assignment is typically
soon after this lecture.
-Lecture 3: this lecture is a feedback session. The lecturer provides
general feedback about the submitted assignments.

Method of Assessment

Individual bi-weekly assignments (60%): The assignments are designed to
practice your programming and problem-solving skills. Moreover, they
allow us to keep track of your progress, and identify topics that
require more attention in class. To pass this course, you need a passing
grade (at least 5.5) for the total grade for the assignments. For
students who do not reach a passing grade, there will be an option to
submit a retake assignment (which can make up for one of the bi-weekly

Final exam (40%): The final exam is designed to test your knowledge of
Python. To pass this course, you need a passing grade (at least 5.5).

Entry Requirements

None; We advise against using Netbooks or Tablets for this course since
you will need to use the command line and execute Python code.


To be announced on Canvas. All materials are freely available online.

General Information

Course Code L_AABAALG075
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. H.D. van der Vliet
Examiner dr. H.D. van der Vliet
Teaching Staff P.J.M. Sommerauer MA
dr. H.D. van der Vliet
M.C. Postma MA

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: