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Playful and Creative Science


Admission requirements

Bachelor degree (completed)


For students in the Media Technology MSc program, this course offers a logical continuation of the course "Research Fundamentals". Whereas "Research Fundamentals" is more about commonplace research practices, "Playful & Creative Science" discusses unconventional and playful ways of doing science.

The course is organized along three main steps in the scientific cycle: (i) asking questions; (ii) executing research to answer these questions; and (iii) formulating the answers. It shows how scientists have been playful and creative in those steps, and stimulates students to find their own ways within science and to be playful. To achieve this, it explains that scientists are less restricted to all kinds of rules than is often thought-and-taught, and sometimes produce outputs other than scientific articles. Teaching is based around many inspiring examples of unconventional research questions, methods and output.

Class attendance is compulsory and an active in-class attitude is expected of students. Lectures are combined with class discussions, take-home assignments (including a final project), and student presentations.

Course objectives

After completing the course students:

  • understand the three main steps of the research-cycle, as defined within this course;

  • can reflect on restrictions posed by science, and where such restrictions do, but also don't apply;

  • can discuss and reflect on the creativity and playfulness exhibited as part of a given study;

  • have gained confidence to find their own ways in science, and dare to be playful;

  • understand that scientists also produce other outputs than scientific articles, and are exposed to numerous examples of such "other" output.


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

Lecture, Seminar, Research. Language: English.

Assessment method

The final grade for the course is established through a final (group) project and presentation, combined with additional requirements:

  • All other separate assignments must be completed with a pass or grade 5.5 or higher when graded.

  • All classes must have been attended.

Reading list

  • Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (2005), "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything", HarperCollins Publishers. This book can be purchased from any mainstream book-seller.

  • Various online available reading materials, communicated via Brightspace.


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.


Contact the lecturer(s) for course specific questions and the programme's coordinator programme's coordinator for questions regarding the programme, admission and/or registration.


Elective, external and exchange students (other than Media Technology students) need to contact the Media Technology MSc programme's coordinator due to limited capacity.