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Admission requirements

Admitted to the Honours College FSW program.


‘What makes a leader succesful?’ is the key question in this course. The course is an introductory quest for successful leadership in theory and research. We will look for answers to the following intriguing questions: what is leadership? Is leadership necessary? How can leadership failure be explained? What is successful leadership?
The Leadership course is designed for students of het Honours College of Leiden University who have a scientific interest in leadership and/or the ambition to lead or to develop leadership skills. Understanding of the characteristics of succesful leadership at different levels and in various sectors of society is increased.

Course objectives

Understanding of and insight into:

  • Key concepts of leadership (conceptualization and operationalization).

  • Theories on successful and unsuccessful leadership.

  • Research on leadership (focus areas, research questions, and methodologies).

  • Acquisition of general academic competencies (analyzing problems in an independent and autonomous way, and presenting insights in a clearly structured manner, both orally and in writing).


Check the Science & Society program.

Mode of instruction

  • Interactive lectures

  • Field trip

  • Literature review

Assessment method

The design of the course is student-oriented and problem-based. The focus is on students themselves. The course facilitates intrinsically motivated learning by meeting important requirements for this type of motivations: the need for competence, autonomy, and relationship. Problem-based meanst that the course is structured around a central question. We will look for answers through various activities.

  • Review of a book

  • Analysis of scientific articles

  • Mindmapping

  • Paper

The final grade is established by determining the weighted average.

Reading list

  • Book

  • Additional literature will be announced on Blackboard.


Registrate with personal subplan.

Location and contact

Lectures take place at the Sterrewacht of Leiden University.

Secretariat Honours College FSW room 5A12.


Number of participants per semester is 30.