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Honours College Humanities Lab

Humanities Lab is the Honours College programme of the Faculty of Humanities. This extracurricular 30 EC programme is open to all bachelor's students from Leiden University. If you are a first year student, and very motivated to take on an extra challenge, you can apply for a place in Humanities Lab. Application is possible twice a year: December - 1 March (at the end of the first semester of your first year) and half May - 31 August (at the end of the second semester of your first year). More information about the application process is available on the Honours Academy website.

Humanities Lab

Humanities make a difference!

Humanities are the wide range of disciplines that study human cultures, including their languages and histories, their religions, stories and myths, their shared beliefs and values, their poetry, novels, music and paintings. Humanities Lab challenges you to cross disciplinary borders when working on topical issues such as, (post) colonialism, identity, cultural memory, or sociolinguistics. These issues are too complex to be handled by any one discipline, either from the natural or social sciences, from law, medicine or the humanities. In Humanities Lab you learn how to switch conceptual and methodological tools while focusing on different aspects of the problems at hand. You work together in small groups to improve our understanding of the many different connections involved, pushing toward possible solutions.

  • Explore connections between different disciplines

  • Work on topical issues of societal interest

  • Boost your academic skills and attitude

Humanities Lab is a flexible 30 EC programme. You choose the six components (5 EC each) in blocks that combine best with your regular BA schedule. The introduction module Humanities Lab 101 and the concluding Capstone Project are mandatory for all students. From the electives on offer, you choose two key and one advanced module. Students enrolling in the second semester of their first BA year start with a key module in block 4, students enrolling in September of year 2 start with the compulsory module Humanities Lab 101. The sixth component is a bachelor honours class. In the sidebar on the right (Files > Humanities Lab programme) you can find the schedule of the programme.

Each module is taught in a block of 6 meetings, and typically features presentations, group discussions, guest lectures and excursions. All Humanities Lab modules are (usually) scheduled on Friday afternoons. Honours classes are offered by the Honours Academy, throughout the year and on different days and hours of the week. There are modules and classes scheduled both in Leiden and The Hague.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General module: Humanities Lab 101 (5 EC)

In this course, we jointly focus on the general theme of Humanities Lab: similarities, differences and connections among the humanities and between the humanities and the natural and social sciences.

Humanities Lab 101 5

Humanities Lab key and advanced modules (15 EC)

You choose three elective themes: two key modules and one advanced module. All elective modules are 5 EC. The themes in this part of the programme comprise intriguing topics such as cultural memory, Dutch colonialism, sociolinguistics, soft power, heritage and identity.

Key Modules

Food for Thought: Spicy Topics in Food Studies 5
Politics and Religion 5
The Politics of Energy: Power, Profit and the Green Transition 5
What Gardens Tell us about Culture 5
A Sacred Language in Modern Times: Language Ideology in the Arabic World 5
Culture as Soft Power 5
Tyranny: Ancient Histories & Modern Paradigms 5
War and Remembrance 5
  1. Advanced Modules
Academic cultures: Research communication in the Humanities 5
Big Data: Philosophical Perspectives on the Algorithmic Turn 5
Ethics for the Humanities 5
Moral Panics 5

Humanities Lab Capstone project (5 EC)

The closing module consists of a set of capstone projects. Each project is interdisciplinary and requires skills, insight and methods from different domains of knowledge. Teams of students are asked to demonstrate how insights and methods from the Humanities can make a difference to topical issues in society or in the world of science at large. Students present their findings at a closing conference with students and staff.
Students who have chosen the Individual track will participate in the closing module as well.

Capstone projects 5

Honours Class

As part of the Honours programme, students take at least one Honours Class. The Honours Classes are organised by the Honours Academy and have an interdisciplinary character. In these Classes you will work with students from different faculties.
You can find an overview of the Classes on offer in the prospectus. More information about the Honours Classes, the registration period and the application procedure is available on the Honours Academy website.

More information


Our FAQ contains all the questions we have encountered over the years. Please read through the FAQ, our website and prospectus to find the information you need.

Course regulations Honours Academy

The Course Regulations state which rules are applicable for students participating in the honours programmes of Leiden University: Course regulations Honours Academy


Upon successful completion of your bachelor's and Honours track, you will be awarded a certificate and have your Honours College credits mentioned on your bachelor's diploma supplement. Check all requirements on the website.

Other tracks

All faculties have their own Honours College programme. Please visit the Honours College website for more information about the other faculty tracks.

Board of Examiners

During your Honours/ Humanities Lab programme you may have to arrange certain things with the Board of Examiners. There are two Boards of Examiners, each with its own competences.


The Honours Academy Board of Examiners determines if you meet all requirements and are entitled to receive the Honours certificate. If you are not able to meet the requirement to complete your bachelor’s and/or Honours programme within three years, you can request an extension of time limit.
On the Honours Academy website you can find more information about filing a request, the course regulations and the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Examiners.


The Humanities Lab Board of Examiners is responsible for the level and content of the Humanities Lab honours programme as a whole, and for each individual programme. If you wish or need to make a change to your programme (for example because of a scheduling conflict), you need to send a request to the Humanities Lab Board of Examiners. Within the Humanities Lab programme it is possible to replace one module (key or advanced) with another module from the Humanities Lab programme or with an Honours Class. You can send a motivated request to, cc Attach (a link to) the course description to your request. It is not possible to replace Humanities Lab 101 or the Capstone Project with another course.