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Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges

Leiden University College The Hague (LUC) is the international Honours College of Leiden University, offering an innovative and cutting-edge Liberal Arts & Sciences programme to highly talented and motivated students from all over the world. LUC is located in The Hague and offers a Bachelors of Arts and a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences that focus on today's Global Challenges: Peace and Justice, Sustainability, Prosperity and Diversity.




  • 180EC is required to be able to graduate. One of the four elective classes the student takes during the first-year should count towards the eventual Major, Minor/Electives component, or Global Citizenship.

  • the standard course load is 15 EC per block.

  • students have the option to go abroad for a semester, provided they are in good academic standing; this semester abroad should ideally take place in the first semester of the third year and its courses typically count towards the 30EC elective component.

Important Acronyms

EES: Earth, Energy, and Sustainability
CHS: Culture, History & Society
GED: Governance, Economics, and Development
GPH: Global Public Health
IJ: International Justice
WP: World Politics
GC: Global Citizenship

Year 1


  • Block 1: a) Global Challenges: Diversity, b) Academic Writing, c) History of Philosophy, d) Introduction to Statistics

  • Block 2: a) Global Challenges: Sustainability, b) Academic Writing, c) History of Philosophy, d) Elective 1

  • Block 3: a) Global Challenges: Peace & Justice, b) Elective 2, c) Elective 3

  • Block 4: a) Global Challenges: Prosperity, b) Mathematical Reasoning / Mathematical Modeling, c) Elective 4

General Information Year 1 Programme
The first-year programme also allows students to enroll in four 5EC elective courses, one in Block 2, two in Block 3, and one again in Block 4. These courses represent an ideal opportunity for students to explore other facets of the academic programme not represented in the compulsory part the first-year programme. Grades received in optional courses in the first year will not count towards the graduating GPA (but will count towards the cumulative GPA), although the credits may be used towards fulfilling the 85EC or 30EC requirement for a Major or Minor, respectively. As their first-year elective courses, students may select any of the 100-level courses below.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory courses

Academic Writing 5
Global Challenges: Diversity 5
Introduction to Statistics 5
History of Philosophy 5
Global Challenges: Sustainability 5
Global Challenges: Peace & Justice 5
Global Challenges: Prosperity 5
Mathematical Modeling 5
Mathematical Reasoning 5

Elective Courses

Please note first-year students do not take an elective in Block 1

Introduction to Comparative Politics 5
Introduction to International Relations & Diplomacy 5
Principles of Economics 5
Principles of Public International Law 5
Calculus 5
Sociolinguistics 5
Comparative Justice Systems 5
Introduction to Globalization and Transnational Politics 5
Social Theory in Everyday Life (Version 1) 5
Essentials of Journalism 5
Health, Society, and History 5
Health Systems and Management 5
Introduction to Psychology 5
Sharing Scarcity: Water 5
Earth System Science 5
Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies 5
Birth of the Modern World 5
Institutions of Governance and Development 5
Introduction to Gender Studies 5
Introduction to Socio-legal Studies 5
Sovereignty and Statehood 5
What is Culture? 5
Environmental Science 5
Healthcare Innovation and Artificial Intelligence 5
Introduction to Logic and Epistemology 5
Introduction to Programming 5
Media and Communication Theory 5
The World of Entrepreneurs 5
Social Determinants of Health 5
Energy and Resource Management 5
Women, Human Rights, and World Religions 5
Social Theory in Everyday Life (Version 2) 5
Biology 5
Global Histories of Health, Medicine and Disease 5
Philosophies of the World 5
Sharing Scarcity: The Commons 5



The following Majors are offered at LUC:



Apart from the Year 1 elective courses, there is an additional electives component amounting to 30EC worth of courses. Students can use this elective space to either take a Minor, take a set of elective courses, or take a Semester Abroad.

Students may complete a Minor in one of the following ways:

  • Minor in a Major; a student selects 30EC worth of courses (at least two at 300-level) within one of LUC’s six Majors.

  • A Minor included in the official list of Leiden University Minors. Please contact the Board of Examiners prior to starting the Minor for approval to include its courses into your LUC programme.

  • A student who wants to include a Minor from another university needs to ask permission from the Board of Examiners.

Please note that per 2023-2024, LUC no longer offers it five in-house Minors. The courses of these Minors can still be taken as elective courses and can be found below.

Instead of doing a Minor, it is also possible to take 30EC of electives. This option requires a set of elective courses (30EC) within the context of the individual study plan. Do note that a maximum of 15 EC of post-first-year 100-level courses may be used towards the 30EC elective space. The selection of courses should be in consultation with the student’s academic advisor and/or study advisor. Any course of a Major or Minor can be taken as an elective. It's also possible to take an external (i.e. non-LUC) class, but in that case you will need permission from the Board of Examiners to include the course in your programme.

Semester Abroad
Student can use the 30 EC elective space to go on a Semester Abroad. For more information, please visit our website.

Resident Assistants
Students who are Resident Assistants may receive 10ECTS for those activities if they meet the requirements, which involves writing an essay. More information will be published soon.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Masterpieces of Cinema I 5
Social Psychology 5
Cooperation, Conflict, and Negotiation 5
Essentials of Journalism 5
Introduction to Psychology 5
Psychology of Stress and Health 5
Applied Developmental Psychopathology 5
Cognitive Psychology: The Influence of Emotion on Cognition 5
Introduction to Logic and Epistemology 5
Introduction to Programming 5
Investigative Journalism 5
Media and Communication Theory 5
The World of Entrepreneurs 5
Masterpieces of Cinema II 5
Mental Health and Illness 5
Video Journalism 5
Audio Journalism 5



The Global Citizenship component offers students various options to develop their cross-cultural communication and reflection skills, and increase their appreciation of cultural and social diversity. This can be done by learning another language, participating in a community project, or by taking classes on citizenship and urban studies. Each path aims to increase the understanding of and communication with people from other cultures.

Note: most of these are semester-long courses and therefore run for the duration of the semester, i.e. Blocks 1+2 or Blocks 3+4.

Some of these courses may involve additional costs for students, such as an additional tuition fee or travel costs to another city in the Netherlands for an excursion. LUC has a limited fund available to help students who are unable to pay for these costs. Please contact, including the course title, a description of the costs, and a very brief explanation why you are unable to cover these costs.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2


Arabic - Beginners 10
Dutch - Beginners 10
French - Beginners 10
Spanish - Beginners 10
Russian - Beginners 10


Postcolonial World 10
French - Elementary 10
Spanish - Elementary 10
The Ecology Project: Exploring the History, Theory, and Practice of Nature Education in the Dutch Context 10
Searching for Sustainable Livelihoods: A Fieldcourse on Fieldwork in The Netherlands 10


French - Intermediate 10
Spanish - Intermediate 10


Spanish - Advanced 5


The 400 level of studies at LUC consists of a Capstone Thesis course, the successful completion of which is worth 10 EC. Students’ main activity in this course is to undertake an independent research project within their major under the guidance of a supervisor. During a period of approximately one semester, students first develop and complete a research proposal, and next write a thesis based on research they are doing. The Capstone differs from other LUC courses in that there are no regular class meetings. The Brightspace site of the course serves as a platform for the key resources and guidelines.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successfully completing the Capstone Thesis course, students are expected to have acquired the following skills.

  • Formulate a Research Question: Students will develop the ability to specify and narrow down a topic and question for their research project, ensuring it is feasible and worthwhile.

  • Identify and Implement a Suitable Research Design: By clarifying what to research, why that topic, and how the research will be pursued, students will learn to justify their choice of focus, and adopt a methodology that can yield convincing findings.

  • Present Ideas and Findings Effectively: Students will learn to coherently structure their thesis, create impactful visualizations, and convey ideas in clear and concise writing.

  • Manage Time Effectively: The Capstone provides an opportunity to enhance time management skills, enabling students to work towards deadlines and adjust them as needed.

  • Communicate Constructively: The Capstone also provides an opportunity for students to hone their communication skills, through clear messaging, careful reading and listening, and diligent correspondence with the supervisor.

Admission Requirements
To be enrolled in the Capstone Thesis course, students must have completed at least 120 ECs. Students are also strongly encouraged to have successfully completed the Research Design course in their major prior to their Capstone semester.

Each Capstone Thesis Course spans one semester; hence, one such course is offered in the autumn semester (Semester 1) and another in the spring semester (Semester 2). Once enrolled in the course, students are expected to submit a supervisor form as soon as they have found a supervisor. Later the proposal is due, and finally the thesis. The timeline will be given on the Brightspace site of the course; visible to students and staff once they are enrolled. This Brightspace site provides further information about the Capstone process.


  • Proposal: is graded Pass/Fail

  • A Pass grade is a prerequisite for pursuing the thesis research.

  • Thesis: is graded in letter grades. The result is worth 100% of the final grade.

The Capstone Administration, email:



Research Clinics (5 ECTS) introduce students to academic research by engaging them in ongoing research projects of LUC staff members. Students are invited to participate within various stages of a project, ranging from the set-up or the application for research grants, over the gathering of data and the drafting of findings, to the final polishing of a text and preparing it for publication.


Depends on clinic, see links below. While any clinic can be used as an elective class within a student's elective space, some clinics can also be used towards (a) particular Major(s).” Please note students can use only one research clinic towards the 180 ECTS necessary to graduate. Any additional clinics will count as extracurricular activities.

Level and ECTS

All clinics are offered at the 200-level and generate 5 ECTS.

Admissions requirements

  • Academic writing (or equivalent)

  • Other requirements may be in place for specific research projects.

  • Second or third year students only


Registration for Semester 2 Research Clinics
Please submit a short motivation on why you want to participate in the clinic of your choice to The deadline to do so is MONDAY 1 JANUARY 2024. On the day after the deadline, applications/motivations will be forwarded to the Clinic instructors, who will select the participants for their own clinics.

Clinics, Semester 2, 2023-2024

Clinics, Semester 1, 2023-2024

Note that any clinic may count as an elective class; it may only count towards your Major if the clinic is listed below as being part of your Major. If the clinic is only listed as "elective", it may only count towards your elective space.

Course objectives

After having successfully completed this course, students will have be proficient in one or more of the following course objectives to be able to :

  • formulate research questions and structure a collective project;

  • draft and revise an academic text of high quality;

  • utilize specific research skills and methodologies in the context of a larger research question,

  • cooperate in a research team.

As such, this course provides excellent preparation for students’ Capstone projects as well as later academic research at graduate or post-graduate level.


Once accepted for a clinic, students should check with the clinic coordinator about meeting times.

Mode of instruction

Each student is expected to meet with her/his project leader regularly to discuss her/his progress, receive feedback on earlier work, ask questions and outline further assignments.

Individual project leaders may require additional meetings during which students can be asked to give presentations to all project participants. Project leaders may also ask students to attend specialist lectures, seminars or conferences – insofar as relevant for the project.

Important: students are expected to keep a log of their activities, detailing per hour spent on the project what they have accomplished.


Participation during research clinic meetings
Weekly assignments
Keeping a research log

Note that all assignments as well as the final grade for the clinic will be stated as Pass/Fail.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact



Timetables, courses:

Block 1: 28 August - 20 October
Block 2: 30 October - 22 December
Block 3: 5 February - 29 March
Block 4: 8 April - (Wednesday) 5 June

Timetables, exams:
Block 1: 16 October - 20 October
Block 2: 18 December - 22 December
Block 3: 25 March - 29 March
Block 4: Thursday 30 May - Wednesday 5 June

Please note: exam timetables will be published during Week 2 or Week 3 of the relevant block.

Student Handbook
The Student Handbook contains information on practical matters, but also the Course & Examination Regulations, which includes the Grading Policy, Exam protocol, etc. The Student Handbook will be published at the start of the academic year.

Student Handbook, 2023-2024: LINK



Are you an international student and interested in spending a semester or a year studying at Leiden University College (LUC) in The Hague? This page contains all the relevant information on course offerings for incoming exchange students.

For general information about LUC’s unique character and structure within Leiden University as well as the application criteria please visit the LUC The Hague website for incoming exchange.

LUC Exchange students may select any course offered at LUC. However, please do take into account the following:

  • LUC maintains a maximum of 20 students per course. This means your enrolment in any specific course cannot be guaranteed. Courses will be allocated about a month before the start of the autumn semester and about two weeks before the start of the spring semester (due to the winter holidays). For more information please refer to LUC’s website for incoming exchange.

  • Some courses may have prerequisites, which are indicated in the course descriptions listed in this e-Prospectus. If you are worried you might not meet these prerequisites, please contact the listed course instructor.

  • Please realise that choosing LUC as your semester abroad destination means you take up all of your courses at LUC.

At LUC, all courses are part of different Majors and Minors. As an exchange student, you will not complete the entire academic programme; the Majors and Minors therefore do not directly apply to you. Nevertheless, they might come in handy when choosing your courses, as it will allow you to search those courses that correspond to your academic interests.

Please find below and overview of the different Majors and Minors. Follow the links to see an overview of the different courses which are part of the Majors and Minors.


Minors / Elective courses

See this page.

In addition to the courses which are part of the different Majors, there are also courses which are part of the compulsory (for degree-seeking LUC students) first-year programme and so-called Global Citizenship courses. All these courses are open to incoming exchange students as well.

The first-year courses fall under the broad categories of Global Challenges, General Education, and Academic Skills. Please click here to find the course descriptions of the first-year courses (scroll down and find courses listed as ‘Compulsory Year 1 courses’).

Click here for an overview of the Global Citizenship courses.

For the timetables and the Student Handbook (which contains information on attendance, the grading policy, etc.), please click here.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Exchange @ Leiden University College (30 ECTS) 30