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Discretionary space (Philosophy)


Admissions requirements

The first year of study (60 EC) must have been completed.


In addition to the required courses in the bachelor’s programme, the student is required to take of total of 30 EC in elective courses. The elective requirement can be satisfied in a variety of ways provided the prevailing faculty and university requirements and norms according article 3.2 of the Course and Examination Regulations are met.


A minor is a specified programme that is approved in advance. All university faculties offer a range of minors. The minors offered by the Faculty of the Humanities are often interdisciplinary in nature. For this reason, certain topics, which are sometimes social issues, are approached from various angles.

On the minors site you will find information about the minor system. For more specific information, the minor programmes on offer can be found in the online prospectus: minors in English. Please note that a number of minors on this page are in Dutch: minors in Dutch.

Elective Package

If you wish to assemble your own personalised elective package using course offerings at either Leiden University or another institution of higher education, the following conditions apply: The courses chosen must exhibit cohesion and structure. You must consult with your Coordinator of Studies concerning how to satisfy your elective requirements. The individual elective package must be presented to the examination committee for approval, using the request procedure.

Studying Abroad

A study abroad programme is a good experience for any student and an excellent way to complement the curriculum for your own major area of study. Your time studying abroad also helps you prepare for the job market. For more information about exchange programmes with a foreign university and about grants, please contact either the Humanities International Office or your Coordinator of Studies.


You can also satisfy part of your elective requirements by completing an internship. This involves working at a business or organisation under the guidance of a lecturer in the faculty and an employee of that organisation. The activities during an internship are often related to what you have learned in your degree programme. If you chose to do an internship, the Student Career Service can help you find a suitable placement at one of a large number of businesses and institutions. Take a look at the internship guidelines and the internship rules and regulations.

Completed HBO degree

Students who have completed an HBO (university of applied sciences) programme may have the option of using portions of that programme to satisfy their elective requirements. To do this you need to submit a request to your department’s examination committee using the request procedure.


Students are recommended to get in touch with their Coordinator of Studies early on and present their elective preferences and then to submit them to the examination committee for approval using the request procedure. The choice of courses for satisfying your elective requirements has to be approved by the Board of Examiners. When evaluating a student’s choices, the Board of Examiners will base its decision on the cohesion and standard of the package selected.


In the bachelor's programme in Philosophy the discretionary space has been scheduled in the second semester of the second year. Students may, however, move the discretionary space to their third year, for instance if they wish to take a minor that is spread over the whole academic year. In that situation students can attend third year courses in the second semester of their second year - provided that they have completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme.