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Principles of Economics


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.


This course is designed to introduce students in the BA International Studies to the fundamental concepts, principles, and models of the economics discipline - to ensure that you leave the course as an ‘economically literate’ citizen. To this end, the course will familiarize students with the central concepts and applications of economics as they are understood by economists, businesspeople, and most politicians, to equip students with the necessary tools to apply these concepts to economic trends in the global economy, and set a foundation on which students may build their capacity in assessing local, regional, and international economic affairs.

A second aim of this course is to serve as a base for the ‘economics pillar’ of the BAIS programme, which for many of you will lead to an internship or other placement within a functioning business organization.

A third and final aim of the course is to serve as a solid foundation for a career in business or government, in which a familiarity with the basic concepts of the economics discipline is essential.

Course objectives

By the end of this course students will have a thorough understanding of the most important economic issues and mechanisms, both macro and micro. They will get accustomed to key concepts in economics such as supply and demand, markets, growth, savings and investment, monetary policy, banking, international trade, Keynesianism, and neoliberalism. This knowledge will enable students to gain insights into most economic problems, issues and debates. They will be able to read not only the economic pages of newspapers and weeklies like for example the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, NRC, or the Economist but more importantly, they should obtain sufficient skills to analyse economics-related literature and learn how to interpret data sets on such things as trade flows and inflation rates concerning the region that they study from the second semester of year 1 onwards.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.


Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your Tutorial-lecturer in advance. Being absent at more than two of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (40% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first two sessions. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the Tutorial-lecturer.

Assessment method


  • Midterm Exam:
    Written examination with short open questions and (up to) 50% multiple choice questions.

  • Final Exam:
    Written examination with short open questions and (up to) 50% multiple choice questions.


Partial grade Weighing
Tutorials 40%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%

End Grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm Exam grade and Final Exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.

  • This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the Final Exam grade is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 60% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2023 – 2024.

Exam review and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

To be announced.


The programme’s administration office will register all first year students for the first semester courses in uSis, the registration system of Leiden University.

General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Exchange

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.



All other information.