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Master Colloquium


Admission requirements



This weekly colloquium is recommended for all first-year Master’s students and consists of a two-hour meeting each week. During this course you will become acquainted with your fellow Leiden Master’s students, with the mathematical environment in Leiden and with the options that await you after completing the programme. You will practise giving a short mathematical talk and writing a CV for a job application.

Of the two hours of the colloquium, one hour will usually be dedicated to a talk or presentation by an invited speaker, and the other hour to short presentations by students. The focus in the first semester will be on giving an introduction to the programme and an overview of possible directions for study within mathematics; in the second semester some time will be dedicated to further study and career options within academia and outside, including sessions with former students and with the career service.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students will:

  • have an understanding of the structure of the Master’s programme in Mathematics and be able to use this to complete a study plan;

  • have an overview of the different subject areas represented within the Mathematics Institute, with a view to choosing a thesis topic;

  • know about possible future career directions after completing a Master’s degree, both within and outside academia, and have the skills to find out about and apply for such positions;

  • be able to plan and give a mathematical presentation.


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

Weekly meeting consisting of lecture and discussion

Assessment method

The grade for this colloquium is a simple pass/fail. To pass, students must:

  • participate actively in at least 18 of the sessions during the year;

  • complete their study plan for each semester and submit it to their study advisor;

  • give a short presentation on a mathematical topic and respond to feedback;

  • write a CV (for an imaginary job application inside or outside academia) and revise it in response to feedback.

Reading list



Please register for the course in 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 note that it is compulsory to register 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. Not being registered for an exam means your grade will not be processed.


Dr. Martin Bright