Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives (BA)

About the programme

What exactly is justice and will robots ever replace carers? Philosophy is all about addressing the Big Questions. And by questioning beliefs from cross-cultural and historical perspectives, this programme will raise your game when it comes to current problems in science and society.

Student support

Do you need support during your study? We make sure to offer our students the support they need. A mentor will be at hand to offer the help or advice that you need.

Should you have any questions about the programme, our coordinator of studies is available to provide advice or help you make practical arrangements if needed.

Apart from study advice, we offer many more support services. Our Career Services can help you arrange a study abroad or find an internship position.

In case of psychological issues, a university psychologist can be consulted. In the event of chronic illness, dyslexia or a physical or psychological disability, you can contact the university’s Fenestra Disability Centre.

The POPcorner is an accessible study support point with locations in Leiden and The Hague, focused on creating an inclusive and diverse learning environment. As well as organising POPtalks on D&I related topics, the POPcorner helps students develop study skills through workshops, create social and support networks, establish personal and academic goals, and connect them with university resources and services.

Programme overview

In the first year there will be a focus on acquiring academic and communication skills like reading, argument analysis, and writing short essays. You’ll also learn how to think critically, analytically, and independently. There will be compulsory courses in subjects such as as Ethics, Arabic Philosophy, and Epistemology. After reading abstract texts, you will be asked to systematically process complex issues individually and in teams. This will help build up your resourcefulness and intercultural skills. For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus.

From year two you’ll further advance your skills and knowledge and, thanks to the programme’s flexibility, you can start to tailor your study. The first semester comprises six compulsory courses on subjects that include Chinese Philosophy, Language and Thought and Concepts of Selfhood. Then, in the second semester a discretionary space means you can take a minor, study abroad, do an internship, or create a package of electives from other programmes that will help round out your education to fit with your academic and career interests. For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus

In the third year you’ll get plenty of opportunities to apply the skills you have acquired in five advanced philosophy courses of your own choice, three during the first semester and two during the second. Then to close of the final semester, as proof of competence you’ll be expected to research and write your final bachelor’s thesis, on a subject of your own choosing. For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus

Emma Abdi Wansbrough


Emma Abdi Wansbrough

"Philosophy is one of the best ways to learn about other cultures. By studying philosophy, you learn to be at home everywhere. You learn to discuss and open dialogues with people from all over the globe. You learn to not take anything for granted, to think critically and to have original thoughts. You can apply philosophy to a great variety of different fields. For example, I followed courses on Philosophy of Economy and on Philosophy of Science."

Lorenzo Marsili

First year student

Lorenzo Marsili

"I really like the Chinese Philosophy. Confucianism and Daoism for example, since they reflect my ideas of thinking. The Chinese school of thought with a bit of western influences corresponds very much with what I think. That’s why I like this course. I think Logic, for example, is much easier to understand than Chinese philosophy. Once you have a grasp of the principle it's done. In Chinese philosophy, you have to first understand where to look for possible understanding, then battle with a cultural dimension, then battle with an interpretive dimension."

Stephen Harris


Stephen Harris

“A great feature of our programme is that it builds upon Leiden’s strong tradition in political and continental philosophy by adding work from Asian and Islamic thinkers. Alongside Plato, Heidegger and Rawls, students can study the thoughts of the Buddha, Nāgārjuna, Confucius and Avicenna."

Educational methods

If you take on the Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives bachelor’s programme, be prepared to put in a full working week of about 40 hours. Of this, an average of 20 hours will be spent in the classroom, attending lectures or tutorials, for example. The rest of these hours will be spent on independent study. Each lecture will be focused on a particular topic, and complemented by tutorials in which the material will be discussed in greater depth and with more student input, such as individual or group presentations.

Tim tells you everything about the Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives programme

Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.

Watch the video on the original website or

This website uses cookies. More information.