The specialisation Science Communication and Society concerns science communication in a broad sense. The programme prepares students for a career in popularisation of science, for example, as a science communicator, a science policymaker or a public relations or health communication officer, or for a career as a scientist with a communicating mind-set. For future science teachers the specialisation is also a valuable preparation. Students with an MSc specialisation Science Communication and Society are admissible to a PhD programme in their MSc research field or in Science Communication.
The MSc programme in combination with the Science Communication and Society (SCS) specialisation consists of two components:
Preferably, the component within the chosen MSc programme should be followed during the first year of study, the Science Communication and Society component should be followed during the second year. The SCS specialisation programme comprises at least 40 EC. A maximum of 20 EC of electives can be filled in with either SCS courses, or with components within the MSc programme of choice.
The Biology component consist of a research project of 36 EC and 24 EC of advanced theory (courses and lectures). The Biology component can be extended with an additional 20 EC (courses or extension of the research project). The research project has to take place in one of the research groups of the IBL, CML or Naturalis, other Institutes of the Faculty of Sciences or LUMC. A “Fish specific animal experimentation course (2 EC) or a “Bird specific animal experimentation course (2 EC) is obligatory in case of a research project in which experiments with fish or birds are involved.
Theoretical components should be minimally at level 400. The individual study programme consisting of choices of courses and the research project must have prior approval by the Board of Examiners through approval of the individual study plan of a student and approval of the research agreement.
Science Communication and Society
The Science Communication and Society component consists of the following:
SCS Fundamentals, 19 EC
Scientific Narration and Visualization, 4 EC
SCS research proposal, 3 EC
SCS internship(s), 14-34 EC
Approval of program
All master students have to submit a master study program, consisting of choices of courses and one or two research projects, to the studyadvisor. Through the submission of this study program, the Board of Examiners determines whether the individual study program can be approved.
During study program MSc Biology we want to provide you with the best possible preparation for the job market. In addition to knowledge, it is important that you develop skills, gain practical experience, orientate on positions & careers, and reflect on your own profile and development. In addition to substantive knowledge, it is also important to be aware of the so-called transferable skills that you develop outside and during your education. These are, for example, your cognitive skills such as critical thinking and communication. Altogether, this contributes to your development as a professional and offers good preparation for the labour market.
At various times during your studies, questions about this subject may arise, such as: How can you use the knowledge and skills you gain within and outside your study program in the labor market? Which direction do you choose within your study and why? What are you already able to do, and what skills do you still want to learn? How do you translate the courses you choose into something you would like to do later?
You may have already discussed this with the study advisor, mentor, tutor, the Science Career Service, fellow students or made use of the Leiden University Career Zone. All kinds of activities are organized where you get the chance to orientate yourself on the job market and gives opportunities to reflect on your own development, possibilities and (study) career profile as well. Central to this are the questions: "What are my capabilities?", "What do I want?" and "How do I achieve my goals?".
In the prospectus, learning objectives have been formulated for each subject, the purpose of which is to inform you which components are covered in the development of your (study) career profile and preparation for the labour market. Various activities are also organized that help you in making all kinds of career choices and to develop skills. An overview of activities is shown below.
(Study) career meetings
Company visits and company dinners
Lunch & Learn lectures by companies
Introductory meeting with the study advisor
Information meeting student counsellor
(International) Leiden Leadership Programme
Mentorship and tutoring
Workshops en Career Colleges (Science Career Service)
Science Career Event
Regular information sessions with the study advisor
Research Project Market
Research skills as part of the master research project
Science Career Service
Science Career Service, one of the utilities of the Science faculty, offers information and advice on study (re)orientation, career planning and personal professional profile as well as preparation for the job market, such as job applications. Facilities provided to students include online information, walk-in consultations, workshops and individual counselling sessions. In addition, Science Career Service offers expertise and support to programmes that want to strengthen the connection between their curriculum and the job market. This can vary from providing specific guest lectures/workshops to advising on integrating career orientation programmes into the curriculum.
LU Career Zone
The Leiden University Career Zone is the website for students and alumni of Leiden University to support their (study) career planning. You will find advice, information, video recordings of webinars and tools such as professional tests to get an idea of your personal profile. You can also explore positions and sectors, you will find tips about CV, job application, LinkedIn and there is a vacancy platform that you can make use of.
Leiden University likes to prepare students and young alumni well for the job market. For this we use the knowledge and experience of Leiden alumni. To bring students and young alumni with questions about their careers into contact with experienced alumni, Leiden University has established the Mentor Network. Students and young alumni can register for free.
Do you have questions about your (study) career choices and has the above information not been able to help you further? Your study adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org) is always available to discuss your plans and concerns BioMScStudieadviseur@biology.leidenuniv.nl.