nl en

Cultural Studies


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.


Culture plays an important role in how social groups (societies, communities, regions) and individuals understand themselves and the world; more specifically, culture is understood as the practices and activities through which people give meaning to the world, their community and themselves. So how can we understand and analyse these practices and activities? How can we gauge their relation to other social and individual domains and activities such as politics, economics and technological changes? And how has the emergence of a globalised world impacted the way we understand culture, cultural transference and the specificity of culture?

Cultural Studies offers students an overview of the most important theoretical and historical approaches to studying culture, cultural transference and cultural representation. During the course students will come to understand that culture is never monolithic and is always in flux: studying the difference between elite and mass culture, between high art and lowbrow entertainment, you will learn how you can study both high and low, both elite and mass culture to understand a society and its specificity. The course focuses on the present situation. Special emphasis will be on the relation of culture to economics, politics and technology.

Course objectives

By the end of the course:

  • students can recognise and recall the most important discussions on the nature and impact of culture;

  • students can accurately explain in their own words how culture relates to economics, politics or to technology according to the major theories in the field of cultural studies;

  • students can correctly define the most important methods and concepts within the field of Cultural Studies; and

  • they can apply these concepts and methods to describe the interaction between culture, politics, technology and economics in a cultural object of their own choosing.


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. For this reason, if you are unable to attend a session, it is required that you inform your tutor in advance. 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 tutor.

Assessment method


  • Tutorials:
    Written assignment (web-post of 500 words, 10% margin), chairing a student discussion, and participation in the tutorials (see tutorial guidelines for details).

  • Final exam:
    Written examination with short open questions.


Partial grade Weighing
Tutorials 40%
Final Exam 60%

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 and Final Exam grade.

  • 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 the Final Exam grade. 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 2021 – 2022.

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.


  • Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.

  • Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.

  • General information about uSis is available on the website.

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



All other information.