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Literature Study


Admission requirements

Master students of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences. Research Project 1 needs to be completed before you can start the Literature Study.


The Literature Study is based upon a search, review, and critical discussion of literature to answer a research question or hypothesis in the area of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences. By performing the Literature Study and writing the literature review paper you will develop in-depth knowledge of the selected subject area. The Literature Study is completed by a literature review paper, an academic paper that provides a comprehensive summary of the field as well as the writer’s own evaluation, interpretation, and conclusions in a well-argued and substantiated manner.

This course aims to:

  • Let the student independently acquire in-depth expert understanding in a for their unfamiliar drug research subject area by critical review of scientific literature.

  • Advance the student’s skills to critically read and analyse scientific literature and develop their own perspectives on current debates and required future research in the subject area.

  • Improve the student’s academic English writing skills by writing a well-structured, coherent literature review paper.

Please note:

  • No recent review with a similar subject should have been published.

  • The subject of the Literature Study must not coincide with the subjects of the student’s Research Projects and is preferably supervised by a researcher outside the Division of their other Research Projects.

  • The Literature Study must be performed in an uninterrupted period of 7 weeks (effective study time 196 hours; equivalent to 5 weeks full time) and includes the writing of a Literature Review Paper of approx. 8000-10000 words (20 to 25 pages text, excluding figures and references). Guidelines for the Literature Study are available in the Brightspace module ‘MSc Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences’.

Course objectives

At the end of the Literature Study the student is able to:

  • Independently acquire in-depth understanding of the existing literature in an unfamiliar drug research area.

  • Recognize the current state of research in a specific drug research area (frontier of science) and demonstrate understanding of and insight into the field.

  • Identify and cite key contributors and major debates (e.g. conflicting theories/contradictory findings) in the field.

  • Identify gaps and areas for future research in a specific drug research area.

  • Write a well-structured literature review paper, in which the scientific literature is critically discussed and own original ideas are communicated in a logical, well-argued manner.


The Literature Study must be performed in an uninterrupted period of 7 weeks. Students should expect to be working on the Literature Study nearly full-time during this period as effectively it comprises 196 hours of work (equivalent to 5 weeks full time). In the Brightspace module of the MSc Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences a tentative schedule can be found for students to keep an eye on their progress.

Mode of instruction

Tutoring and self-tuition.

Assessment method

The course will be concluded with a Literature Study paper. The assessment will be performed by the supervising LACDR staff member and an independent examiner, based on the evaluation criteria as laid down in the Literature Study Assessment Form.

The final grade is expressed using a decimal integer between 1.0 and 10.0 and can be rounded off/up to a half integer, with the exception of the grade 5.5. The final grade should be ≥6.0 to successfully complete this course.

Reading list

During the Literature Study, the student is expected to get up-to-date with the relevant scientific literature in the closen area of drug research.


Approval by the study advisor via ProjectMAP is necessary. Students must send in the ProjectMAP application at least three weeks before starting the Literature Study.

Registration for the course via MyStudyMap is not needed.


For general information about the Literature Study, please contact the study advisor,


Every semester, there is a theory lecture scheduled where information about the Literature Study and the Research Project 2 is discussed. Please check My Timetable for the dates using the code 4323BPSJ1H
group 103 (semester 1) or group 104 (semester 2). Application via My StudyMap for these theory lectures is mandatory.
Attendance of the theory lecture prior to starting the Literature Study is advised, but not mandatory.

This information is without prejudice. Alterations can be made for next year.