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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:

  • Critique the argumentation and research design of academic articles;

  • Use library and online resources to locate relevant sources and compose a structured and appropriately referenced text;

  • Assess the quality, relevance and credibility of academic sources;

  • Deliver an informed and engaging team presentation by formulating an appropriate research question and using strong visual aids;

  • Work effectively in teams and manage time well;

  • Reflect upon progress and academic performance by implementing the feedback received in block 1; and

  • Analyse security challenges from different angles and acknowledge cultural differences and sensitivities.


On the right side of the programme front page 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 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 2023-2024.

In the case of written assessment methods, the examiner can always initiate a follow-up conversation with the student to establish whether the learning objectives have been met.

Reading list

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


Students who follow this course do not need to register for this course themselves. This will be done by the study coordinator.

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.

After registration for an exam you still need to confirm your attendance via MyStudymap. If you do not confirm, you will ultimately be de-registered and you will not be allowed to take the exam.
More information on registration via MyStudymap can be found on this page.

Please note: guest-/contract-/exchange students do not register via MyStudymap but via uSis. Guest-/contract-/exchange students also do not have to confirm their participation for exams via MyStudymap.


Course coordinator Celesta Kofman


For exceptions, please contact the Board of Examiners.