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SCS: Scientific Narration and Visualization


Admission Requirements

The course is open to MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences programme of LUMC. Other students who are interested in following this course, should contact their own study advisor for permission.

There are unfortunately no spots left for students who want to follow this course as an elective course and are not following the entire SCS specialisation

Please apply for this course through this registration form


SCS: Scientific Narration and Visualization is a 13-week course which is part of the Science Communication and Society specialisation. Imagine yourself responsible for communication and communication strategies at a corporation, science museum, university, or any other science institution. In this position, you have to be able to make the right decisions to have output and science communication products developed by a team of designer-creators. Based on your knowledge of science communication goals and of visual and narrative forms, you set the boundaries for the design and its purpose. This course gives you the necessary handles to do so effectively: you study the theory behind science communication goals and objectives, and you analyse the characteristics of narrative and visual science communication forms. You bring together what you have learned in a concrete product brief that purposefully connects goal and form.

Course Objectives

After completion of Scientific Narration and Visualization students are able to:

  • Describe key science communication goals (effects on Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour) and explain how they are related.

  • Understand and explain the form-mechanism-goal chain.

  • Describe how goals can be achieved through various mechanisms.

  • Describe how mechanisms function in various visual and narrative forms.

  • Analyse visual and/or narrative science communication examples.

  • Motivate choices concerning form for a specific science communication goal.

  • Pitch the idea for a science communication product.


Preliminary schedule: Classes will take place on Tuesday afternoon 13:15 -16h from September 6 - November 22 2022. Room schedule will follow.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of Instruction

  • In the first part of the course (week 1-7), you analyse a narrative and/or visual form of your choice within science communication and work towards a report and a group presentation in which you detail your findings.

    • Each session consists of three parts. First you are introduced to the key theory of science communication and its communicative goals, after which you work in groups on your analysis of form. Finally, we discuss how the theory is applied in the state-of-the-art. In week 7, you present your report through a poster presentation with your group.
  • In the second part (week 8-13), you apply what you have learned and work on a product brief in groups. We discuss your progress weekly and you give and receive peer feedback. Finally, you pitch your proposal to the rest of the class. This part also includes two guest lectures from professionals in the field.

Assessment Method

  • You individually build a science communication product collection (40%) on a single visual or narrative form of your choice. You combine your knowledge and that of your peers that chose the same form in a one-page advisory report (10%) which you present as a poster (pass/fail).

  • In a group you develop a product brief for a science communication challenge. You set the goal, the mechanisms needed to achieve it, and the most appropriate form to do so. You write it down in the product brief document (50%) and present your proposal in a short pitch (pass/fail).

Reading List



Please apply for this course through this registration form..

From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


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