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Research in science communication



Research in science communication is a 13 week course which is part of the Science Communication and Society specialisation. The course is open to MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences program of LUMC. Other students who are interested in following this course, should contact their own study advisor for permission.

Because of COVID-19, we are expecting to move this course partly or completely online. However, we will keep to the same schedule and plan the course physically where possible. Consequently, you need to be able to be present for physical courses at Leiden University in case physical classes are possible.

There is a limited number of spots for students who want to follow this course as an elective course and are not following the SCS specialisation. Make sure to register in time to obtain a spot in the course.


Research in science communication gives students an introduction to science communication as a research field. You will get an overview of the history of science communication, the different subfields, research methods and some important communication theories. The main focus will be on how to do science communication research. We will study good examples in the science communication literature and you will do a small literature review in this field.

Course objectives

After completion of Research in science communication students are able to:

  • Describe the history of the field of (science) communication

  • Search, read, and process science communication literature

  • Describe various (science) communication research methods

  • Describe various (science) communication theories

  • Interpret results from science communication research

  • Write a science communication research proposal

Course Schedule

Preliminary schedule: Classes will take place on Wednesday afternoon 13:15 – 16:00 from September 8 – December 1 , 2021. Room schedule will follow if applicable.

Mode of instruction

Lecures, in-class activities, self-study

Reading material

Students should purchase the following books before the start of the course:

  • Eric Jensen and Charles Laurie - Doing Real Research. A Practical Guide to Social Research, SAGE Publications Ltd (2016).

  • Frans van Dam, Liesbeth de Bakker, Anne M Dijkstra and Eric A Jensen (Eds) - Science communication. An Introduction, World Scientific Series on Science Communication: Volume 1 (2020).


Throughout the course you will write an essay on Science Communication, a literature review and do an assignment on coding. The course will be finalized with an (open book) exam.


You can apply for this course through this application form.

Contact information

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