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Essay & Colloquium


Admission requirements

Mandatory component for MSc students Chemistry or Life Science & Technology (LST) in the research specialisation. Suitable as an elective component for all specialisations in MSc Chemistry and MSc LST. Not available as an elective for other MSc programmes.


The colloquium consists of a literature review on a relevant topic, a presentation on this topic and active participation in scientific discussions at other colloquia.
All rules and guidelines for the colloquium are explained on the MSc website

Course objectives

At the end of the literature study and after the presentation the student is able to

  • Independently find recent literature relevant to the chosen topic.

  • identify and cite key contributors to the field.

  • critically read and analyse primary literature, extracting and comparing the major findings.

  • demonstrate understanding of the specific research subject.

  • recognise the current state of research in the field (the frontier of science).

  • write a clear, well-structured and concise review of the matter under study in proper academic English.

  • create visuals where appropriate to complement their writing or presentation.

  • give a clear and engaging presentation discussing the main lines of the topic.

  • answer questions and participate in discussion concerning the topic.


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

Self-study and discussions with supervisor.

Assessment method

A written literature review essay of approximately 5000 words (50%) and an oral presentation of 20 minutes plus 5 minutes discussion (50%), both on the same topic. Both parts need to be graded with at least a 6.0 to pass this component.

As a part of this component, the student is required to attend at least 7 colloquia of fellow MSc students (Chemistry or LST) before their own colloquium. An attendance list must be handed in before the colloquium is graded.

Reading list


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.



The Brightspace environment for this component is integrated into the programme Brightspace module.