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Skills Lab 2


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.


Skills Lab 2 builds on Skills lab 1 and aims to further develop the students’ academic and professional skills. Students will enhance their research skills and learn how to retrieve, assess and interpret data. They will practice to critically reflect on the work of others and place it into context. Students will also work on improving their intercultural skills, visual mapping skills and debating skills. In addition, students will learn how to structure and deliver a coherent and comprehensible team presentation. 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 2 also aims to bring about a deeper understanding of security related concepts and topics by explaining, discussing and practising the content of the core course 'Case Study Syria'.

Various assignments will be used to monitor and assess the students’ skill development and study progress.

Course objectives

After this course students are able to:

  • Differentiate between academic, non-academic and grey literature, as well as assess the credibility, relevance and quality of a source;

  • Write a structured and well-argued text by effectively using library resources to locate academic sources and using citations;

  • Interpret and critique academic articles including the underlying research and methods used to build the arguments;

  • Develop and deliver effective team presentations by formulating appropriate research questions and using strong visual aids;

  • Work effectively in teams, manage time properly and give constructive feedback;

  • Apply theory to study and analyse security challenges; and

  • Argue a subject from different angles and acknowledge cultural differences and sensitivities.


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 have 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. 25% Written individual assignment
  3. 30% Written group assignment
  4. 30% Group presentation

All grades (participation, both written assignments and the group presentation) will be collected in a portfolio which makes up for 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 in previous academic years are no longer valid in academic year 2021-2022.

Reading list

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


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.