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Discover and develop your personal leadership style. Reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and learn how to effectively use your own qualities in cooperation with others. Those are the objectives of the International Leiden Leadership Programme (ILLP), an extracurricular honours programme for talented and ambitious master’s students at Leiden University, Delft University of Technology or Erasmus University Rotterdam.
You will be taught in a small interdisciplinary and international group and work on your own development in a very personal way. You learn to identify and optimally utilize your own talents in an multidisciplinary and international context.
This extracurricular programme of 5 EC covers 5 months in the second semester of a Master’s programme, from February through June. It is not possible to do part of the programme or to do the programme in a different order. The ILLP is not offered in the first semester of the year.

The programme consists of:

  • an assessment

  • training sessions

  • seminars

  • coaching


The programme begins with an assessment. This is where your (leadership) talents, ambitions and challenges are mapped. It consists of a number of personality tests and a High Potential Assessment originating from a multinational.
You will be working with the insights from the assessment in consultation with a coach and based on these you will write a personal essay about yourself.

Training Sessions

In February and March you will take part in training sessions about various communication and cooperation skills. These sessions will be taught by Dr. Menno Mennes.
The training sessions take place on Saturday and are very interactive. You are encouraged to reflect on why you do things in a certain way. They gives you insights into the effects of your behaviour on others and how you can manage this best.
You will develop these insights through role playing and conversations as well as reflection.
The topics covered are:

  • listening and interviewing skills

  • giving and receiving feedback

  • negotiation

  • conflict management

  • appreciation

  • motivation


In a number of interactive seminars you will deepen your knowledge about leadership. You enter into dialogue and discussion with guest speakers, some of whom are scientific experts on leadership and some of whom are successful leaders. For example, an ex-minister of Dutch parliament, an CEO of a corporate business and business-consultants have given seminars in previous editions. In the seminars you get a better idea of the complex context of leadership which you can incorporate into your final personal essay: the personal leadership roadmap.
The last two seminars are devoted to a business game, in which you can test the skills you have acquired up to this point.


The International Leiden Leadership Programme is an intensive programme. Participants are therefore supported in their progress by coaches. These coaches are teachers and university staff who have been specifically approached for this programme. They help students reflect on themselves and their assessment results and give feedback on the personal essays.


The International Leiden Leadership Programme is structured in such a way that it can be completed within a semester by motivated students who follow a master's programme. The seminars are taught in the evenings (from 17.00 to 21.00h). Training sessions and the High Potential Assessment are scheduled on Saturdays, so they do not coincide with your regular master’s classes.
If you are admitted, you will receive the complete schedule as soon as possible.


The themes of the International Leiden Leadership Programme overlap to a certain extent with the studies psychology, public administration, and also with the bachelor honours classes Motivation and Negotiation & Conflict Management. Thanks to the practical, experiential and reflection-oriented approach, the experience is that in most cases this does not have to be a problem. If you are not sure whether there will be too much overlap in your case, please contact us.

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Assessments: 25 hours

  • Training sessions: 27 hours

  • Seminars and other meetings: 32 hours

  • Preparation and course work: 16 hours

  • Essays: 20 hours

  • Coaching: 20 hours
    Attendance is mandatory.
    The programme takes place alongside a regular master's program. The extracurricular credits cannot count towards obtaining a study programme.

Objectives and grading

The main goals of the ILLP are for students to
1. Develop sensitivity for themselves and to
2. Develop sensitivity for others.

Throughout the programme, there will be an emphasis on reflection and students write two individual essays: the self-evaluation and the personal leadership roadmap. Grading is based on the level of reflection, ambition and growth and the outcome is checked against the experience of the coach.
Formats for the essays will be provided.

Grades will be on a scale of 1-10 and rounded off to the nearest 0,5 point.

Blackboard and uSis

Blackboard will be used in this course. Students who are admitted will be automatically registered for the Blackboard site.
Students are not required to register through uSis for the programme. Your registration will be done centrally.


No literature will have to be purchased. Any necessary materials will be provided via Blackboard.


The ILLP offers approximately 25 places for (international) master’s students, but there are always more applications. That is why an extensive selection process takes places every year. You are eligible for the programme if you recognise yourself in the following profile:

  • You must be enrolled in a master’s or an advanced master’s programme at Leiden University, Delft University of Technology, or Erasmus University Rotterdam;

  • You are motivated to attend an intensive extracurricular programme alongside your master’s programme and you have the opportunity to do so;

  • You are highly motivated to reflect on your personal development;

  • You have an interest in looking beyond the limits of your own discipline and working with students from other fields;

  • You are interested in learning about leadership and your personal leadership style;

  • You are willing and motivated to experiment with different leadership skills;

  • You have achieved good study results in your bachelor's programme or you can provide an explanation of why these are missing.
    Although the programme is primarily focused on international students, Dutch students can apply.
    It is not possible to participate during a pre-master or a gap year. If you are only enrolled for a part of the semester as a master’s student, you are not eligible either. Are you not sure whether you meet the requirements? Contact us (see below).
    You can register by uploading an online registration form with a CV, a transcript of your bachelor study results and a motivation letter according to a fixed format. These documents and other information can be found via the ILLP website
    The deadline for registration is 15 November 2018.


On the basis of your written application you can be invited for the next phase of the selection. This consists of a short selection interview with two members of staff. The selection days will take place in December.
If you successfully pass this phase, you will be officially admitted to the International Leiden Leadership Programme.


Participation requires a contribution of 200 euros. If you are admitted, you will receive a payment link before the start of the programme. If you cannot (directly) pay this amount, please contact us as soon as possible after admission to look for a solution.


Janna van Helden