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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 practice 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 practicing 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

At the end of the course students will be able to:

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

  • Write a structured and well-argued text using citations;

  • Formulate and recognize the importance of a research question;

  • Effectively use library resources to locate appropriate academic sources;

  • 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 Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

14 labs, including various active teaching methods.
Attendance is mandatory. Missing more than 3 sessions will lead to a fail.

Course Load

Total study load of 140 hours

  • Lab hours: 39

  • Excursion hours: 3

  • Self-study hours: 93

Assessment method

  1. 15% Overall participation in the Skills Labs including preparation and contribution to discussion
  2. 30% Written assignment I
  3. 30% Written assignment II
  4. 25% Group presentation assignment
    All assignments will be collected in a portfolio which makes up for 100% of the grade. The calculated grade of all portfolio assignments has to be at least 5.50 in order to pass the course.
    Attendance is mandatory. Missing more than 3 sessions will lead to a fail.
    In case of a fail, no grades will be given, only a fail. This implies that a resit will not lead to a pass.

Students will be permitted a resit if they have a grade lower than 5.50 for the portfolio or with permission of the Board of Examiners. Resit will consist of an alternative assignment to compensate for one or maximum two failed assignments of the portfolio. Due to its nature it is impossible to resit the 15% participation grade. Only this partial grade should be compensated.

Transitional Arrangement
Students who participated in the course “Skills Lab 2” in academic year 2018-2019 but did not manage to pass the course should fully participate in all elements of Skills Lab 2 in year 2019-2020. It is not possible to transfer grades between labs and years. This means that all the 2019-2020 constituent grades (both passed and failed) for students who did not successfully pass the course, are no longer valid for the academic year 2019-2020. These students will have to participate in all elements of the course, including those that were previously a pass.


Course page will be available one week in advance.

Reading list

To be announced on Blackboard.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.

Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. 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. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted there.


Course coordinator drs. Celesta Kofman