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Literature Review


Admission requirements

A signed literature review agreement must be send to the Educational Office before the start and ask for approval by the study advisor by submitting a petition request in Usis.


Reading and critically evaluating scientific literature is one of the key activities of an active scientist. Each student will write and present a critical thesis about the most important findings within a research field of choice (in a broad sense). The writing of this thesis should be supervised by one of the staff members of the research group of choice. More information can be found in the ‘Richtlijnen’ for literature review on Brightspace.

Course Objectives

After completion of the course, students are able to:  
1. Interpret and assess the importance of relevant literature.
2. Identify and locate the most relevant literature related to a field of research in which they plan to be active.
3. Analyze and review scientific papers.
4. Compose a concise document that reflects the remaining questions in a research area.


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. Pleas 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

Study of literature, writing and presenting a thesis.

Assessment method

Evaluation of the written thesis by the supervisor.

Reading list

Instructions provided by staff members. All legally available scientific literature.


  1. Ask for approval by the study advisor by submitting a petition request in Usis
  2. A signed ‘Literature review agreement’ must be delivered to the Educational Office prior to the start.
  3. Register for the course, see below.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for more information on how to apply.

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 on MyStudymap can be found here.


Education Office Biology


The thesis has to be completed within 4 weeks.