Citizen Science

Course content

This MSc course offers an in-depth introduction to citizen science: the involvement of the public in all levels of the scientific process. The development and application of citizen science is increasing around the world at universities, NGOs, museums, govermental institutions, etc. Citizen Science is an innovative method with the potential to collect large amounts of data over short time periods and is increasingly recognized for its enormous potential to make research relevant to the public by their involvement in the research process. Through lectures and discussion seminars, students are presented various applications of citizen science. The course includes lectures led by a number of experts and prominent researchers from Europe and North America from both academic and non-academic institutions, representing fields of natural & environmental science, social science, and the humanities. Students get experience with data handling in exercises and during the course there will be field work opportunities as well as workshops focussing on motivation, communication, and evaluation processes. By the end of the course students pitch and design their own project to address a specific research question using citizen science approaches.

Learning outcome


During the course you will:

  • Critically evaluate and discuss citizen science literature and projects
  • Identify research questions relevant for citizen science and reflect on solutions
  • Target specific groups of volunteers based on motivation, prerequisites and preferences
  • Design a citizen science project including all aspects from idea/question and communication to methods development and data analyses
  • Apply contributory, collaborative and co-creation methods in citizen science, and understand benefits and limitations of citizen science in research



During the course you will obtain the following skills:

  • Communication of scientific methods and research results to various public target groups
  • Design research projects using citizen science methods 
  • Understand biases in, and handle and analyse citizen science data



During the course you will obtain the following knowledge:
Basic aspects of citizen science such as typologies in citizen science, communication of scientific methods and research results to the public and specific target groups, collaboration and co-creation with the public, various levels of citizen engagement from contributory to extreme citizen science, designing and applying scientific methods to meet the interests and needs of the public, digital tools and technologies used in citizen science projects (from crowdsourcing platforms to artificial integelligence and gamefication), data handling and management, links of citizen science research to UN Sustainability Goals.

Students will learn by participating in citizen science activities, discussing published citizen science studies, and designing and developing their own citizen science research projects.
A mixture of lectures, exercises, workshops, seminars, lab activities, fieldwork and excursions will be used.

The course will be completed with each student having one week to write a 5-page written assignment (essay), in the week following the end of the course. The essay assignment will be introduced at the start of the course.

A literature list including journal articles and book chapters will be provided based on the daily themes planned in the course (via Absalon). Background literature and learning materials for preparation prior to the course including chapters of the book "Citizen Science – Innovation in open science, society and policy", by Hecker et al. UCL Press will also be provided.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
Continuous assessment
Written assignment (40 hours). The course will be completed with each student having one week (40 hours) to write a 5-page written assignment (essay). Students will be given time to pitch their project ideas in class.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

Evaluation based on participation and written assignment (one week).

Part time Master and Diploma courses

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 60
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Practical exercises
  • 15
  • Field Work
  • 15
  • Excursions
  • 4
  • Laboratory
  • 16
  • Exam Preparation
  • 8
  • Exam
  • 40
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
31 July - 11 August 2023 (Week 31 and 32);
11 days in total:
Monday 31 July - Friday 4 August,
field work either Saturday 5 August OR Sunday 6 August,
and Monday 7 August - Friday 11 August.
Written assignment (40 hours) should be written during week 33.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • The Natural History Museum of Denmark
  • Department of Science Education
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Anders P. Tøttrup   (9-64737772777775787343767170316e7831676e)

Anders P. Tøttrup (SNM), Natalie Ahlstrand (SNM), Marianne Achiam (IND) and many other local and international guest lecturers.

Saved on the 30-09-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students