Universiteit Leiden

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Heritage and Society (BA)

Programme structure

Study all aspects of cultural heritage from an archaeological prespective.

Programme outline

As a first year bachelor's student you will follow a number of general courses, laying the foundation of the knowledge and general skills that every heritage expert needs.

The general courses in the second year focus on, for example, the deep history of humanity, as well as the archaeology of empire and early globalisation. The remainder of your programme consists of subjects from your specialisation in Heritage and Society.

First year's programme

In the first year you will follow courses on heritage preservation, and the introduction to archaeology and landscape. You will also obtain your first excavation skills.

Your first year consists of the following courses:

Course EC
Introduction to Heritage Studies 10
Masterial Studies 5
Past and Future 5
World Archaeology 15
Landscape Dynamics 10
Exploratory Data Analysis in Archaeology 5
Field Techniques 5
Field School 1 5


Some courses in the spotlights

Introduction to Heritage Studies

This course is an introduction to the themes and methods of critical heritage studies as an interdisciplinary field of study. It introduces what cultural heritage is, how it is managed, and questions of who shapes and controls heritage and for what purpose.

Past and Future

During this course we introduce you to what archaeology was, what archaeology is, and – most importantly – what archaeology can be.
We will guide you through the history of archaeology, some of the very first excavations, and the reasons for the emergence of the field. We will meet some famous archaeologists and walk you through the main theoretical developments that the field has seen.
Mostly, we aim to demonstrate how archaeology is involved in politics, and how it is an important voice in tackling today’s societal challenges. We explicitly connect our modern existential challenges – think of inequality, climate change, cultural conflicts – with our long-term, dynamic human experience, known as the past.

Material studies

In this course you will get acquainted with the nature and physical properties of different materials and will acquire a basic understanding of the different production processes through which those artefacts were made.

Museums in Contemporary Societies

This courses explores the world of museums. You will focus on current debates and challenges in museums, such as repatriation and restitution; communities, participation and museums; institutional partnerships and collaborative practices; migration and dialogue; and conflict and reconciliation. The course incorporates museum visits where possible.

Want to know more?

Check out the Prospectus for Heritage and Society for detailed information about the courses. Please note that this is the course overview for 2019-2020. Since the programme has been launched in September 2018, there is no detailed overview of the courses of the third year yet.

Elective options

A minor is a related, logical package of subjects. A well-chosen  minor allows you to broaden your knowledge, insights and skills and to apply your experiences in your chosen field. Choosing the right minor also gives you the opportunity to prepare for the master's that you want to take after your bachelor's, so that you can increase the likelihood of gaining a place in the master's you would like to follow.

Spending some time abroad is a great opportunity to expand your horizon. You can go abroad in search of specific, specialist knowledge that is not available in Leiden.
On a personal level you will learn many skills that are also useful when verturing onto the job market, whether it's being creative in finding solutions, or learning a foreign language. On the current job market, an international mindset a highly sought-after commodity.

What will it be: England, France, Italy or another exciting place?

More about studying abroad

At the Faculty of Archaeology, internships are mandatory parts of the programme, and can take many forms.

Internships consist of fieldwork in the Netherlands or abroad, but the options are not limited to excavating. You can also arrange an internship in a museum, a laboratory, agency, or city council, according to your interests, specialisations, and the type of work you would like to do after your studies.

More about Archaeology internships

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