Leiden University logo.

nl en

Academic Skills in International Studies

First year

Students start their academic skills training in the first year, first semester, course Academic Reading and Writing, where they learn what we mean by 'reading' at Leiden University and where they learn to write academically.

Second year

In the second year, first semester students learn about qualitative and quantitative research methods in the course Research Methods. This course is set up around various themes and students apply research methods in a study of a phenomenon connected to that theme. In the second year, second semester, students follow the course Philosophy of Science and they write their first extensive paper of about 5000 words for the Thematic seminar course.

Third year

In the final semester of their studies, students write their thesis in a Thesis seminar, which is the ultimate test of their research and writing skills and they do a consultancy project, Practicing International Studies (PRINS), in which they reach their final levels with regard to skills like collaboration, multidisciplinary research and presentation skills.

Continuous skills training in tutorials

In addition to all that, students practice various academic skills in the tutorials which are offered for all courses in the first and the second year, except for the above mentioned courses. The skills trained in the tutorials range from group discussions to doing a literature review and writing blog posts. Together with the courses which have the explicit goal of improving and testing the academic skills of students, this results in a system in which students acquire skills incrementally, reaching the highest level in the final semester of the last year in their two capstone projects: their thesis and the consultancy project PRINS.


  • Academic Reading & Writing
  • Research Methods
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Thematic seminar
  • Thesis seminar
  • Practising International Studies (PRINS)

All course information is included in the e-prospectus.

This website uses cookies.  More information.