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Skills Lab 1


Admission requirements

Mandatory course for students enrolled in the bachelor’s programme Security Studies. Only students of the Bachelor Security Studies can take this course.


The skills labs courses in year 1 of the bachelor programme Security Studies aim to train both academic and professional skills. In Skills Lab 1 the focus is on developing learning skills and familiarising students with academic ways of working and thinking. Students will learn the basics of academic reading and writing, and will practice their public speaking, presentation and argumentation skills. The skills labs are highly interactive and require students to actively participate in a wide variety of in-class exercises.

Through the Explore-Understand-Do method, Skills Lab 1 also aims to bring about a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of safety and security by explaining, discussing and practising the content of the core course 'Introduction to Safety and Security.'

In Skills Lab 1 sessions, students will become familiar with the entire programme, the department staff and their fellow students, and will be able to find their way well within the university. Each student will also have an individual student-tutor meeting.

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:

  • Employ the basic principles of academic writing by summarising the core arguments of academic articles;

  • Compare the core arguments of multiple academic articles while working effectively in teams;

  • Recognise the importance of academic integrity by using correct citations and reference lists;

  • Distinguish between academic, non-academic and grey literature sources;

  • Deliver a well-constructed and visually appealing poster and presentation;

  • Apply the fundamentals of constructive feedback and engage in self-reflection; and

  • Demonstrate critical thinking to explore and understand safety and security challenges and the different disciplines used in the programme.


On the right side of programme front page of the e-guides 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 learning methods.

Attendance is mandatory. Missing more than 3 sessions will lead to a fail. Students who missed more than 3 sessions are not allowed to take part in the resit(s).

Total study load of 140 hours

  • Lab hours: 42

  • Self-study hours: 98

Assessment method

  1. 15% Participation
  2. 15% Written individual assignment
  3. 30% Written group assignment
  4. 20% Academic poster
  5. 20% Poster presentation

All grades (participation, written assignments, presentation and the academic poster) will be collected in a portfolio which makes up 100% of the grade. The calculated grade of all portfolio parts needs to be at least 5.50 in order to pass the course.

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

Transitional Arrangement
Grades obtained for this course in previous academic years are no longer valid in academic year 2022-2023.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles will be announced on Brightspace.


Students who follow this course do not need to register for this course themselves. This will be done by the study coordinator.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.

Access to Brightspace is necessary because the syllabus and other information about this course can be found here. Furthermore, announcements and modifications will be communicated via Brightspace. Students have the responsibility to stay informed and are thus advised to regularly check Brightspace for updates.


Course coordinator drs. Celesta Kofman


For exceptions, please contact the Board of Examiners.