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Skills Lab 2


Admission requirements

Mandatory course for students enrolled in the bachelor’s programme Security Studies.


Skills Lab 2 builds on Skills Lab 1 and aims to further train academic and professional skills. Skill development training in this course takes place in the context of 6 different disciplines. Each week, a new discipline is introduced, and students will become acquainted with the fundamentals and methods of these disciplines. Students will improve their research skills and learn how to retrieve, assess and interpret data. They will also practise to critically reflect on the work of others and place it into context. In addition, students will work on improving their negotiation skills, intercultural skills, presentation skills and debating skills.

Through the Explore-Understand-Do method, Skills Lab 2 also aims to bring about a deeper understanding of the corresponding core course ‘Case Study Syria’ by explaining, discussing and practising the course content.

Various assignments will be used to monitor and assess the students’ skills development and study progress. Students will regularly discuss and reflect on their progress with each other and their tutor.

Course objectives

After this course students are able to:

  • Explain the role of theory and apply theory to study security cases;

  • Write a structured and well-argued text by effectively using library resources to locate academic sources and using citations;

  • Formulate and recognise the importance of a research question;

  • Reflect on and critique academic articles including the underlying research and methods used to build the arguments;

  • Argue a subject from different angles, work effectively in teams, give constructive feedback, use strong visual aids to present findings and acknowledge cultural differences and the effects they may have;

  • Define and apply core concepts of the corresponding course ‘Case Study Syria’ and;

  • Explain the merits of using different disciplines and research methods to analyse complex security challenges and start using these disciplines to understand them.


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide Bachelor Security Studies you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

The course includes 14 lab sessions, which will employ various active teaching methods.
Attendance of the course labs is mandatory. If you miss more than 3 sessions you fail the course and won’t obtain a final grade.

Total study load of 140 hours

  • Lab hours: 42

  • Self-study hours: 98

Assessment method

  1. 15% Participation
  2. 25% Written assignment I
  3. 30% Written group assignment
  4. 30% Group presentation

The grades for participation and assignments will be collected in a portfolio which makes up for 100% of the grade. The calculated grade of all portfolio parts has to be at least 5.50 in order to pass the course.

Students with a calculated grade of less than 5.50 for their portfolio are eligible for a resit of a maximum of 2 assignments. It is impossible to resit the 15% participation grade.

Transitional Arrangement
Grades obtained in previous academic years are no longer valid in academic year 2020-2021.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles, to be announced on Brightspace.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis.
Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. Important information about the course is posted here.
After enrolment for the course in uSis you are also enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Course coordinator drs. Celesta Kofman