Grading, rules and guidelines

The colloquium is designed to test your skills in literature searching, critical reading, using source materials, extracting relevant information from the literature, reviewing a topic, writing good sentences and paragraphs, creating a logical argumentation structure, using visuals, following author guidelines, using good academic English, giving a presentation and engaging in scientific discussion.

This page contains the guidelines for the colloquium essay and presentation and details the grading criteria and procedure.

Guidelines for the essay and presentation

The essay should have a total length of 10-15 pages (as a guideline: circa 5000 words) excluding the bibliography. The number of references should be 30-50 of which the majority should be primary research articles and at least 10 should be less than 2 years old. The first page of the essay should be a title page containing at least:

  • your name
  • student number
  • colloquium supervisor name
  • mentor name
  • jury member names
  • the word count (excluding the bibliography)
  • number of EC points
  • date

The style of the essay should be as an academic review article and should contain at least an abstract, an introduction and scope, a body with review of the topic and a conclusion and outlook. Use of figures is allowed, either from references or original work. The presentation should be a discussion of your essay lasting 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes discussion with the audience. The intended target audience for both your essay and colloquium presentation is your fellow MSc students. Remember that they may not be specialising in the same research area as you are.

The colloquium supervisor cannot be your mentor, but you can discuss possible topics and fields of study that interest you with your mentor. They should be able to advise you on suitable colloquium supervisors. It is also not allowed to choose a topic directly related to the research project, but a topic may be chosen in the same field as the research project.

Grading of the colloquium

The final grade for your colloquium is determined by your colloquium jury. This jury consists of an independent committee of two LIC staff members and cannot include your mentor or colloquium supervisor. The colloquium supervisor will advise the jury on your process. The grade is a weighted average of your essay (70%) and presentation (30%).

For the colloquium essay, the jury will look at

  • the scientific level and depth
  • the style, structure, tone
  • the level of English and readability
  • the use of literature

 In addition, for the presentation, the jury will look at

  • the scientific level
  • your presentation skills
  • your ability to answer questions

 The jury uses the oral presentation rubric to determine the grade and provide feedback on the performance.

The jury will fill in the colloquium grading form. The student should bring a printed copy of the grading form to the presentation for the jury. The mentor, colloquium supervisor or a jury member should hand in the grading form at the Science Student Administration (Educatief Centrum) at room B117. Download the grading form here.

Part of the requirement for the colloquium is attendance at other students’ colloquia. Every student has to attend at least 10 student colloquia of the various specialisations during the MSc period. Students are recommended to especially attend colloquia from students in other research specialisations, as those colloquia can discuss interesting topics which can enrich their knowledge base. Active participation in the form of asking questions is expected from all students. Print and bring the attendance list to be signed at the colloquium by a LIC staff member. This list needs to be handed in at graduation to prove you attended at least 10 colloquia. Colloquia are announced on the MSc website in the calendar.