nl en

Playful and Creative Science


Admission requirements

Bachelor degree (completed)


For students in the Media Technology MSc program, this course offers a logical continuation of the course "Research Fundamentals". Whereas "Research Fundamentals" is more about commonplace research practices, "Playful & Creative Science" discusses unconventional and playful ways of doing science.

The course is organized along three main steps in the scientific cycle: (i) asking questions; (ii) executing research to answer these questions; and (iii) formulating the answers. It shows how scientists have been playful and creative in those steps, and stimulates students to find their own ways within science and to be playful. To achieve this, it explains that scientists are less restricted to all kinds of rules than is often thought-and-taught, and sometimes produce outputs other than scientific articles. Teaching is based around many inspiring examples of unconventional research questions, methods and output.

Class attendance is compulsory and an active in-class attitude is expected of students. Lectures are combined with class discussions, homework assignments (including a final project), and student presentations.

Course objectives

After completing the course students:

  • understand the three main steps of the research-cycle, as defined within this course;

  • can reflect on restrictions posed by science, and where such restrictions do, but also don't apply;

  • have gained confidence to find their own ways in science, and dare to be playful;

  • understand that scientists also produce other outputs than scientific articles, and are expose to numerous examples of such "other" output.


Date, time and location of this course is included in the Media Technology calendar.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, in-class discussion, homework assignments, reading tests, student presentations, a final project.

Assessment method

The final grade for the course is established by determination of a weighted average of partial grades, combined with additional requirements: (a) The final grade is composed on the basis of evaluated take-home assignments and final project. (b) All separate assignments (including the final project) must be completed with grade 5.5 or higher. If this requirement is not met, then the final grade is the lowest obtained assignment or project grade. (c) All classes must have been attended.

Reading list

  • Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (2005), "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything", HarperCollins Publishers. This book can be purchased from any mainstream book-seller.

  • Various online available reading materials, communicated within the course.


  • You have to sign up for courses and exams (including retakes) in uSis.

  • Due to limited capacity, non-Media Technology students (elective, external and exchange) can only register after approval of the programme coordinator/study advisor Barbara Visscher-van Grinsven MA.

  • Students who have not yet completed their bachelor degree cannot be admitted to Media Technology courses.


Media Technology MSc programme coordinator/study advisor: Barbara Visscher-van Grinsven MA