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Research Fundamentals


Admission requirements

Bachelor degree (completed)


In this course, principles, methods and organization of scientific research are presented. It aims to consolidate and extend prior views that students with varying educational backgrounds may have on academic research.

Topics of the course include principles of scientific research, organization of the academic world, academic careers, the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice, academic fraud, research ethics and the ethical approval process, scientific publication, the role of statistics, and basic statistical testing.

The course format is rather intense and student participation is high. Class attendance is compulsory and an active in-class attitude is expected.

Course objectives

After completing the course students can:

  • understand the principles and organization of academia;

  • understand academic careers paths;

  • reflect on the limits of what is acceptable in academic research;

  • understand the roles of ethics, integrity, statistics, and publication in academic research;

  • execute basic statistical testing.


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, Class discussions. Language: English.

Assessment method

Multiple take-home and in-class assignments form the basis of the final course evaluation: several reading, writing and/or presenting assignments, at least one statistical testing assignment. The final course result is a pass or fail predicate. To successfully pass the course the following requirements must all be met: (a) All graded assignments must be evaluated with at least grade 5.5. (b) All pass/fail assignments must be evaluated with pass. (c) All classes must be attended.

Uncompleted assignments are graded with 0. Retakes of individual assignments are available for failed assignments only.

Reading list

  • Alan F. Chalmers (2013), What is This Thing Called Science? (Fourth Edition), Open University Press.

  • Various selected reading materials, available 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 for questions regarding the programme, admission and/or registration.


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