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Science Journalism



Science Journalism is a 13 week course which is part of the Science Communication and Society specialisation. This course is also available in Dutch for native Dutch students as 'wetenschapsjournalistiek'. The course is open to MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences program of LUMC. Other students who are interested in following this course, should contact their own study advisor for permission. For Dutch students, this course is available in Dutch, see the Dutch description of this course for more information.

Because of COVID-19, we are expecting to move this course partly or completely online. However, we will keep to the same schedule and plan the course physically where possible. Consequently, you need to be able to be present for physical courses at Leiden University in case physical classes are possible.

There is a limited amount of spots for students who want to follow this course as an elective course and are not following the SCS specialisation. Make sure to register in time to obtain a spot in the course.


In this course, you will learn how to write a good story about science news and how to choose the most suitable genre of journalistic writing for a particular story. You will write and revise various types of articles. The aim is to produce articles that are fit for publication. We will also discuss writing for social media. Moreover, you will learn how to conduct a good interview with your sources. And for those who may end up doing research after all, you will learn how to present the results of your research in a clear and interesting press release.

Course objectives

After completion of Science Journalism students:

  • Gained insight into the field of science journalism and know the most important players.

  • Learned to see what is newsworthy and how news is presented in news articles.

  • Know what kind of topics are relevant for journalism.

  • Know when to choose a particular genre.

  • Understand the differences between a news article and a press release.

  • Learned how to build up a good feature, based on various sources.

  • Learned how to conduct a good interview.

  • Learned how to write up a profound but readable interview.

  • Know how to clarify and explain scientific information for a general audience.

  • Appreciate new journalistic genres and presentations.

  • Can give feedback on other students’ texts in a systematic way.

  • have te ability to revise their own text by adequately incorporating other students’ feedback.

Course Schedule

Preleminary schedule: Classes will take place on Thursday afternoon 13:15 – 16:00 from September 9 – December 2, 2021. Room schedule will follow if applicable.

Mode of instruction

Lecures, in-class activities, self-study, group work


This course will be assessed through assignments. The assignments will be evaluated according to checklists that will be handed out in class. The final grade for this course will be the average of all the grades for the assignments. This average may be adjusted positively or negatively depending on your adherence to deadlines and on the quality of your feedback on other students’ texts.


You can apply for this course through this application form.

Contact information

For any information regarding this course or the SCS specialisation in general you can contact our department through: