Universiteit Leiden

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Honours Academy


The Honours education is for high school students and students and teaching staff of different faculties, which makes it multidisciplinary from the very beginning. This means that students are offered an extra challenge, in addition to their regular studies. Characteristics of the honours education are its small scale, personal approach, and future (educational) orientation.


High school students and students from all fields of study take part in the Honours Academy programmes, creating an environment where knowledge from many different disciplines is shared. In addition, teaching staff are encouraged to work with colleagues from other specialisations in their classes, so that considerable cross-pollination also takes place in the teaching. Honours education thus challenges students to look beyond the boundaries of their own discipline, and teaching staff gain experiences that can also be applied in the regular curriculum.

Education for everyone

The Honours Academy aims to be a place for everyone, where pre-university (VWO) high school students and university students can develop their talents to the full. Five programmes have been developed for this purpose, designed for high school students and bachelor’s and master’s students.

Pre-University College & Classes

For high school students (vwo), the Honours Academy offers Pre-University College and Pre-University Classes. These two programmes are aimed at school students who are looking for an extra challenge in addition to their regular schoolwork and are interested in following university education. The goal is to help school students discover their interests and further develop their talents. The participants are supervised by Leiden University, which gives them the opportunity to experience in advance what it’s like to be a student.

Honours College

The Honours College is the programme for bachelor’s students who are willing and able to follow extra education in addition to their regular studies. The students can choose between following a faculty track (30 EC) at their own or at another faculty. The Honours College is characterised by contact between ambitious students and cross-pollination between different disciplines. Everyone who successfully completes the track receives a certificate and remains involved with the Honours community.

Honours Classes

The Honours Academy organizes Honours Classes for students who are willing and able to follow an extra programme beside their study. Bachelor's students can follow Bachelor Honours Classes (5 EC), Master's students can choose between several Master Honours Classes (5-10 EC). Honours Classes are small scale and there is plenty of scope for personal focus and debate. A new range of classes is offered each year, which means that students are always working on topical themes and the latest research.

(International) Leiden Leadership Programme

For master’s students, there is the Leiden Leadership Programme (20 EC), which is characterised by a focus on personal development and collaboration in the context of an organisation. Students learn to utilise their own qualities and those of others, and a central element of the programme is the practical assignment within an organisation. The English-taught International Leiden Leadership Programme (5 EC) adds an international context to this, as the participants are students from all parts of the world.

Impact Challenges

Impact Challenges are extracurricular courses in which students work towards solving a current problem of an external partner of the Honours Academy. The education is project-based, high-level and multidisciplinary. Through Impact Challenges, students can positively impact a real-world issue. Some Impact Challenges are open to master’s students exclusively, while others are open to advanced bachelor’s students as well.

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