Universiteit Leiden

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Heritage and Society (BA)

About the programme

The 3 years bachelor's specialisation Heritage and Society offers a versatile programme in which you explore the cultural heritage of past and current societies. With your obtained knowledge you will learn to better understand cultures from the past. Moreover, with your insights in societal issues in the past, you will be ideally suited to help solve these issues in the present.

Programme overview

Making your choice

In the first year you will choose one of the two specialisations of the Bachelor's programme in Archaeology. You are now on the website of the specialisation Heritage and Society. The other specialisation is called World Archaeology

General skills for your career in the heritage sector

In your first year you will learn the general skills every heritage specialist needs, and you will discover the full width of the heritage sector. This will lay a strong foundation for your further career. The subjects of the courses vary widely and focus on a variety of regions, periods, material aspects, and theoretical frameworks.

  • Learn everything about the development of archaeology as a discipline and dive into the important archaeological terms and theories.
  • Discover how to properly communicate archaeological data, in order to inspire a wide audience.
  • Explore the wide range of expertise offered by the Faculty of Archaeology. In the mornings you will study theory, in the afternoon you will participate in tutorials and practicals.
  • Follow an intership and explore the ins and outs of heritage management and policy. Here you can put your obtained knowledge to the test.

See for more information on the courses the programme structure.

Study load

The first year has about 32 hours of lectures per week. Besides, you are required to spend about 8 hours per week on autonomous study.

Those 40 hours in total include: lectures, practical sessions, tutorials, fieldwork, excursions (e.g. to a museum or excavation), exams, literature study, and writing papers and reports.

Language of instruction

In your first year you may choose between a Dutch or English language programme. The language of instruction for the second and third years is English.

Credits

Tests are taken in the form of written examinations, presentations, assignments or papers. For each subject you pass you will be awarded a number of credits. One credit (ec) stands for 28 hours of study. One year of fulltime study equals 60 credits.

Mentor system

In this programme, you are never left to your own devices. Every first-year student is assigned a mentor, and students regularly get together in small mentor groups. Your study progress is carefully monitored to maximise your study experience so you can graduate in time. Your mentor will be there for you throughout the whole bachelor programme.

Modes of instruction

Instruction consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials. In the lecture the lecturer talks about his or her field. You prepare by studying articles and books at home. In the seminars and in particular in the tutorials, you examine the material in more depth and discuss it with your fellow students and the lecturer. You also carry out assignments, give presentations and write papers. You must make an active contribution to tutorials and attendance is compulsory.

Binding Study Advice (BSA)

In the course of your first year you will be given regular advice on your progress. This advice is based on objectives that are a good indication of whether or not you are likely to be able to complete your study successfully within the time prescribed. If you want to continue with your study programme in Leiden, you need to earn at least 45 out of the 60 study credits at the end of the first year. If you do not meet this criterium, you will not be able to carry on with your study in Leiden. In formulating this study advice, any relevant circumstances, such as sickness or other personal factors, will, of course, be taken into account.

After your first year

To help you monitor your study progress after your first year, you and your study adviser will draw up a study plan. You can use the plan to note which subjects you still have to take, the optional courses you want to take and any other plans, such as a study abroad period, for example. You will then be able to see at a glance whether you have planned too many or too few subjects, and whether you are still on track.

In your second year you will dive into themes like heritage management in an international context, globalisation, migration and identity, landscape and society.

You will gain practical experience during internships in, for example, museums or international heritage management organisations, like UNESCO.

Within this specialisation you will follow courses together with students of the programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. 

Choosing your path

You will follow some general courses regardless of your chosen specialisation. You will focus, for example, on humanity's deep history, urban societies, and the phenonemon of globalisation in the past.

In the second half of the year you will choose your tutorials; these are where you will look at the themes in greater depth. At the end of this year you will conduct fieldwork in one of the faculty’s research projects.

Freedom of choice

No classes are scheduled for the first half of the third year, giving you time to follow a minor (a fixed package of courses) to broaden or deepen your programme. Or you may opt to study abroad.

You can thus choose the direction that you want to take, creating a path that matches your interests.

Internship, fieldwork or studying abroad

An internship is an obligatory part of the third year, a perfect way to get to know the job market! Depending on your personal preference, you might want to do an internship at a government agency, a city council or a museum.

Bachelor's thesis

In the second half of the year you follow a few remaining general courses and do a final internship. You write your thesis on a theme connected to your specialisation. A perfect training of your research and writing skills. This is an experience that will come in handy on the job market!

Modes of instruction

Our instruction consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials:

  • In the lecture the lecturer talks about his or her field. You prepare by studying articles and books at home.
  • In the seminars and in particular in the tutorials, you examine the material in more depth and discuss it with your fellow students and the lecturer. You also carry out assignments, give presentations and write papers. You must make an active contribution to tutorials and attendance is compulsory.

Visit our the Experience Day to experience it yourself.

Study guidance

During the first year, you will be given intensive supervision. At the start of the programme you will have an introductory meeting with one of the lecturers or the study adviser. You will also take part in mentor meetings regularly, in which you practice academic skills en discuss your study progress. And if a certain situation requires it, your study adviser will invite you for a study progress consultation.

There is always a helping hand for Archaeology students who need it.

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