Universiteit Leiden

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Honours College

Are you a first year’s bachelor student, and are you looking for extra opportunities besides your regular bachelor's studies? The Honours College offers small-scale teaching to motivated students, with ample attention for personal development. There is a wide variety of options to choose from. You might start your own research project, do an internship or work on solutions for societal issues such as migration, climate change or the boundaries of health care.

What is the Honours College?

The Honours College is an extracurricular programme which is specifically created for motivated students who want to expand their knowledge in different areas or specialize in their field of expertise. During these specialised programmes of 30 EC, you will leave your comfort zone and learn to look beyond the limits of your own field of study. With excellent supervision and small scale education you will discover talents you didn’t know you had and develop yourself at both an academic and personal level. The programme starts in the second half of the first year with an orientation course and last until the end of the bachelor’s programme. If there are any spots left in your track of choice, it is also possible to start with the programme at the start of your second year.

The Honours College is for you if:

The Honours college has something to offer for all motivated bachelor students. If you recognize the following characteristics in yourself, then the Honours College might be just for you!

  • You are curious and motivated to look beyond the borders of your discipline;
  • You are able to follow an additional track alongside of your regular studies;
  • You want to develop both your professional and academic skills and talents.

What advantages does the Honours College offer?

Partaking in the Honours College is valuable during and after your education:

  • You’ll develop your talents;
  • You’ll expand your knowledge;
  • You’ll develop new skills;
  • You’ll earn extra credits;
  • If you successfully finish the programme, you’ll receive an Honours certificate and an endorsement on your degree supplement;
  • It will enhance your résumé and increase your chances on the job market;
  • You’ll broaden your network.

1. Faculty Tracks

Each faculty of Leiden University offers an unique and flexible Honours College programme. You can choose to follow the programme of your own faculty, or broaden your knowledge by participating in the track of another faculty.

During the faculty track, you will follow at least one elective Bachelor Honours Class. Here, you address complex scientific and social issues with classes such as ‘Robot Law’, ‘Language, Power & Identity’ and ‘Anthropological Perspectives on Dying and End-of-Life care’. But, there is also ample of opportunity to develop your own skills with courses such as ‘Personal Flourishing and Happiness’ and ‘Creative Writing’.

Read about even more Bachelor Honours Classes in the study guide.

Can our knowledge of the past help us change the future? In the Honours track Archaeology & Society you get to explore this question in multiple ways: you can engage with political topics and heritage from an archaeological perspective, and take part in ongoing scientific projects. Courses are taught by international professionals with focus on current issues such as sustainability, urbanisation and global networks. The track encourages students to hone new skills and broaden their academic and societal horizons – including in-depth debates, creative problem-solving, and public outreach. Interdisciplinary approaches are central to the track, which is open to students from all faculties.

  • Location: Leiden
  • Language: English
  • Open to all bachelor students of Leiden University.

For more information, visit the webpage.

Humanities Lab challenges students to cross disciplinary borders when working on topical issues such as climate change, the Internet, war and peace, colonialism, identity, or genetic privacy. These issues are too complex to be handled by any one discipline, either from the natural or social sciences, from law, medicine or the humanities. In the Humanities Lab students learn how to switch between their conceptual and methodological tools as they focus on different aspects of the problems at hand, working together in small groups to improve our understanding of the many different connections involved, pushing towards possible solutions. Humanities can make a real difference here!

  • Location: Leiden
  • Language: Dutch and English
  • Open to all bachelor students of Leiden University

For more information, visit the webpage.

Current challenges require new thinkers and potential leading experts and leaders, including public leaders, to solve crises at global and local level. This Honours track aims to educate students on how current problems play out in government, science and society and giving them the skills to tackle some of these issues theoretically, based on academic literature, and practically, at a local level. The learning experience is based on interactive activities, such as visits to the European Parliament and other public organisations in Brussels and The Hague, as well as simulation games.

  • Location: The Hague
  • Language: English
  • Open to all bachelor students of Leiden Univerisity

For more information, visit the webpage.

The Honours College track at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FSW) focuses on the interaction between science and society. You engage with prominent scientists and societal experts, meet students from other disciplines, and work together to find solutions for contemporary social problems. This increases your awareness and appreciation of different perspectives on a problem. You expand your knowledge of important issues in society and how these are researched. In the process, you develop skills such as initiating dialogue, writing accessibly, presenting, collaborating, thinking analytically and carrying out scientific research. In all this, you work together with bachelor’s students from other disciplines within and outside the FSW.

The main goal is to prepare for your contribution to tomorrow’s world, based on your own interests and motivation. Deeper knowledge of your own talents and competences will be your starting point to obtain a broader view of current scientific and social challenges.

  • Location: Leiden & The Hague
  • Language: English (it is also possible to follow parts of this track in Dutch)
  • Open to all bachelor students of Leiden University.

For more information, visit the webpage.

2. Individual Track

If you want to take the road less travelled, you can also compose your very own individual Honours College programme and go ‘solo’. Together with the Honours coordinator of your faculty you can put together a complete Honours College Study Plan for your individual track. This means you are not limited to courses within your own faculty. There is a great deal of freedom and flexibility. You can enroll in the lectures and seminars offered by one of the faculty tracks, organise internships or trips abroad, attend master’s courses, and much more. There are, however, some conditions, to make sure it is a coherent track. For this reason, the Board of Examiners has to approve your study plan.

Learn more on our student website.

3. Double Bachelor Plus

Are you already enrolled in two bachelor’s programmes or are you considering starting a second one? Do you still want to go the extra mile and are you following (at least) one of your bachelor’s programmes at Leiden University? If so, you can go for the Double Bachelor Plus! During this programme you can participate in the activities of the Honours Community and you will follow one or more different Bachelor Honours Classes. You can choose from around 40 different challenging Bachelor Honours Classes offered by different faculties and fields of study each year. Following classes from one of the faculty tracks, instead of Bachelor Honours Classes, can also be a possibility. By actively taking part in the Bachelor Honours Classes and the Honours Community, you will meet inspiring researchers and fellow students. Does this sound interesting to you? Then contact your faculty Honours coordinator to discuss the possibilities.

Learn more on our student website.  

What is the selection procedure for the Honours College?

To determine whether you are eligible for the Honours College, Leiden University looks at several things. For example, you have to have a good chance of attaining your first-year certificate (propaedeuse) in just one year. And, just as important is your attitude and motivation for wanting to do the Honours College. While details of application differ for each track, motivation plays a major role in all of them.

Read more information about the Honours College.


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