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Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges

Leiden University College The Hague (LUC) is the international Honours College of Leiden University and offers an innovative Liberal Arts & Sciences programme to highly talented and motivated students from all over the world. LUC teaching is intensive and small-scale, offered in a residential setting which also stimulates students to develop outside the classroom through a range of extracurricular activities.

LUC offers BA and BSc degrees in Liberal Arts & Sciences that focus on the global challenges of today: peace and justice, sustainability, prosperity, and diversity. In keeping with the liberal arts ethos, students have a high degree of freedom to construct their own programmes. However, each student will organise their diverse, interdisciplinary studies around a central theme or major: Human Diversity (BA); International Justice (BA); World Politics (BA); Earth, Energy, and Sustainability (BSc); Global Public Health (BSc); or Governance, Economics, and Development (BSc). The goal of the programme is encapsulated in the motto of LUC, “Building Knowledge for a Better World” and our graduates aspire to make a real difference in the world.



Class of 2017
First-year programme (60 ECTS)
Major (80 ECTS)
Minor or Electives (30 ECTS)
Global Citizenship (10 ECTS)

Follow the links above for information on the different programme components. For a schematic overview of the entire 180 ECTS programme, click here.

Please note:

  • the standard course load is 15 ECTS 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 Minor or Electives (30 ECTS) component.

Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016


Important Acronyms

Each course has one or several “tags”; these tags indicate the Major, Minor, or other programme component the course is part of. You will find the tags in the course descriptions. This is an overview of the different tags:

GJ: Global Justice;
GPH: Global Public Health;
HI: Human Interaction;
ID: International Development;
PSc: Policy Science;
PA: Political Arts;
S: Sustainability;
WP: World Politics.

New majors:
EES: Earth, Energy, and Sustainability;
GED: Governance, Economics, and Development;
GPH: Global Public Health;
HD: Human Diversity;
IJ: International Justice;
WP: World Politics.

Ec: Economics;
En: Entrepreneurship;
GWS: Gender & Women’s Studies;
J: Journalism;
RA: Rhetoric & Argumentation.

New minors:
BE: Business & Entrepreneurship;
GS: Gender Studies;
J: Journalism;
L: Languages;
Psy: Psychology.

BSc: Bachelor of Science course;
GC: Global Citizenship.

Year 1



The first-year programme comprises of nine compulsory courses (45 ECTS in total) that fall under the broad categories of Global Challenges, General Education, and Academic Skills:

The first-year programme also allows students to enroll in three 5 ECTS elective courses in blocks 2, 3, and 4 (15 ECTS in total). 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 final GPA, although the ECTS may be used towards fulfilling the 80 ECTS or 30 ECTS requirement for a Major or Minor, respectively. As their first-year elective courses, students may select any of the 100-level courses at the bottom of this page.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory Year 1 courses

Academic Writing 5
History of Philosophy 5
Global Challenges: Peace & Justice 5
History of Science 5
Global Challenges: Sustainability 5
Global Challenges: Prosperity 5
Statistics 5
Global Challenges: Diversity 5
Mathematics (Basic) 5
Mathematics (Intermediate) 5

Elective Year 1 courses

Not available to first-year students (no elective in Block 1)

Calculus 5
Legal Systems Worldwide 5
Natural Hazards 5

Available to first-year students

International Relations and Diplomacy 5
Introduction to Comparative Politics 5
Principles of Public International Law 5
Principles of Economics (Block 1) 5
Art of Reading 5
Sovereignty and Statehood 5
Area studies 5
Common Pool Resource Challenges 5
Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health 5
Introduction to Gender Studies 5
Socio-legal Studies 5
Sociolinguistics 5
Transnational History 5
Energy and Resource Management 5
Institutions of Governance and Development 5
Transnational Politics 5
Social Theory in Everyday Life 5
Essentials of Journalism 5
Peace and Conflict Studies 5
Earth Systems Science 5
Gender and Development 5
Health, Society, and History 5
Introduction to Psychology 5
Principles of Economics (Block 3) 5
Birth of the Modern World 5
Environmental Science 5
Biology 5
Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship 5
Media and Communications Theory 5
Organisation and Management 5
Peace and Conflict Studies (Block 4) 5


Tutorial Guidance 0



Class of 2017
For students who have enrolled in the programme for the first time on 1 September 2014, the following Majors are offered in the second and third year:

Human Diversity (BA)
International Justice (BA)
World Politics (BA)
Earth, Energy, and Sustainability (BSc)
Global Public Health (BSc)
Governance, Economics, and Development (BSc)

All six Majors consists of at least 14 courses of 5 ECTS each, totaling 70 ECTS, and a Capstone project of 10 ECTS. The 14 courses should typically include all three/four core courses (100-level), at least two methodology courses (200-level), and at least four courses at the higher level (300-level).

Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
Students who have enrolled in the programme for the first time before 1 September 2014 (Classes of 2013-2016), will be able to graduate in one of the following Majors:

Global Justice
Global Public Health
Human Interaction
International Development
Policy Science
Political Arts
World Politics

A few notes on these Majors:

  • The links above refer to the pages of the new Majors. Students will find the Global Justice courses on the page of International Justice, the Human Interaction courses on the Human Diversity page, and the Sustainability courses on the Earth, Energy, and Sustainability page.

  • The International Development and Policy Science Majors, together with the Minor in Economics, have merged into the Governance, Economics, and Development Major; students will find the International Development and Policy Science courses on that page.

  • Political Arts does not return among the new Majors, but its courses have been incorporated in the Human Diversity Major; please refer to the outlines on that page to review the Political Arts courses. Note that the methodology courses of the Political Arts Major are Art & Power I and Art & Power II (previously Performance as Citizenship and Performance as Scholarship).

  • The titles of Global Public Health and World Politics Majors remain unchanged; students will find the courses of these Majors on their respective pages.

Finally, for students who have enrolled in the programme for the first time before 1 September 2014 (Classes of 2013-2016), the Major requirements remain the same:

45 ECTS – nine 5 ECTS courses tagged with the Major, at least three at 300-level
10 ECTS – two methodology courses tagged with the Major
5 ECTS – one 300-level integrative course tagged with the Major
10 ECTS – two optional courses
10 ECTS – Capstone project

*Please note that the integrative course can be any 300-level course tagged with your Major. Please see your tutor for more information; s/he will also have the integrative course approval form.



Class of 2017
Minors are an important means by which students add breadth and specialisation to their academic programme. All Minors consist of a coherent 30 ECTS package of courses, including courses at the 300-level. Students may complete a Minor in one of the following three ways:

Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
Students of these cohorts should note the following:

  • students may take any of the Minors listed above, provided they still have the opportunity to take the appropriate courses;

  • the name Gender and Women’s Studies has been replaced by the broader title Gender Studies

  • the Rhetoric & Argumentation Minor has been discontinued in 2014-2015; however, its more popular courses have been included in the Languages Minor, allowing students to still complete their Minor in Rhetoric & Argumentation;

  • the Economics Minor has been discontinued and its courses have been incorporated in the Governance, Economics, and Development Major; students may still complete their Economics Minor by enrolling in the appropriately tagged courses of the aforementioned Major (look for the Ec tag);

  • the former Entrepreneurship Minor has been renamed Business & Entrepreneurship.

Global Citizenship


Class of 2017
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 or participating in a community project. Both paths aim to increase the understanding of and communication with people from other cultures.

Within the Global Citizenship component (10 ECTS) students have two options:

  • a semester-long language course (10 ECTS)

  • a combination of the Urban Studies (5 ECTS) course and the Community Project (5 ECTS)

Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
Students of the cohorts 2013-2016 need to successfully complete 25 ECTS worth of Global Citizenship courses. They may select any of the courses listed below. but should note the course-specific admission requirements. Please note that for these students, the Urban Studies course and a pilot of the Community Project (information forthcoming) will also be available in 2014-2015.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2


Arabic – Beginners 10
Chinese – Beginners 10
Dutch - Beginners 10
French - Beginners 10
Russian – Beginners 10
Spanish – Beginners 10
Area studies 5
Introduction to Gender Studies 5
Sociolinguistics 5
Gender and Development 5
Health, Society, and History 5


Climate Change 5
Gender, Media and Conflict 5
Politics of Identity and Difference 5
Urban Studies 5
Paradoxes of Citizenship 5
Skills Lab I: Argumentative and Rhetorical Strategies 5
Sustainability and Resource Management in the Roman World 5
Human Origins and Environmental Change 5
Arabic – Elementary 10
Chinese – Elementary 10
Community Project: Multicultural Education in The Hague 10
Dutch - Elementary 10
French – Elementary 10
Russian – Elementary 10
Spanish – Elementary 10
Art and Power I: Artistic Propaganda 5


French – Intermediate 10
Spanish – Intermediate 10
Gender in Fragile Environments 5
Case Studies of Diversity and Inclusion 5
Comparative Ethics: Happiness and Human Flourishing 5
Energy, Environment, and Sustainability 5
Identities and Social Change 5
Languages and Cultures in Contact 5
Skills Lab II: Public Speech and How to Argue 5
Soils, Sediments, and Society 5


French - Advanced 10
Spanish - Advanced 10



Capstone 2014-2015

The goal of the LUC Capstone is for students to complete an independent research project within the students major. The Capstone draws from each students unique curriculum and range of scholarly experiences encountered while at LUC. The Capstone (bachelor thesis) is a product of specialized research that serves to prepare students for competitive graduate programs or employment in government or industry. The research and writing is overseen by a supervisor and a reader, one of which must be based at LUC. Students may develop an individual thesis topic or work on a larger project in small groups coordinated by their supervisor. If the latter approach is adapted each student is required to develop and produce a distinct thesis. The thesis is completed during a required Capstone course (10 ECTS) that all students enroll in during their final semester of residence at LUC. Bachelor theses at LUC are theoretically or conceptually motivated and exhibit high levels of creativity, rigorous enquiry, and professional production.

Please use the following link to access the Capstone Program Overview:
Capstone Overview 2015

LUC Capstone Repository

The LUC Capstone Repository assembles bachelor theses written between 2013 and 2015. The goal of the Repository is to show the variety, depth and scope of research being done by students in preparation for graduate programmes or future employment. The Capstone overview can also function as a point of reference for successive LUC students in the process of their own Capstone research.

Please use the following link to access the LUC Capstone Repository:
LUC Capstone Repository



The academic autonomy afforded by a liberal arts and sciences environment, while stimulating, also requires individualised attention and advice to ensure that students’ intellectual and personal development at LUC is well-conceived, well-integrated, and fruitful. To this end, LUC has a unique tutorial support system which pairs each student with a member of the academic staff for regular contact and guidance through the three years of your BA or BSc programme.

For more information, please visit this link: Tutorial Guidance @ LUC.

Exchange @ LUC

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 course instructor.

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.

Human Diversity
International Justice
World Politics
Earth, Energy, and Sustainability
Global Public Health
Governance, Economics, and Development

Business & Entrepreneurship
Gender Studies

In addition to the courses which are part of the different Majors and Minors, 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’).

There are various types of Global Citizenship courses: semester-long language courses (in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, Russian, and Spanish), the Urban Studies course and the Community Project. Click here for an overview of the Global Citizenship courses.

For more information about timetables, contact hours, the LUC attendance policy, and the LUC grading policy, please click here. For more information about course registration and the allocation procedure which happens 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the semester, please visit the section on Academic information on LUC’s website for incoming exchange.




Once available, the timetables of 2014-2015 will be published here.

Semester 1, Block 1
Semester 1, Block 1 – Examinations
Semester 1, Block 2
Semester 1, Block 2 – Examinations
Semester 2, Block 3
Semester 2, Block 3 – Examinations
Semester 2, Block 4
Semester 2, Block 4 – Examinations


Please find below the “Course and Examination Regulations” (Onderwijs- en Examenregeling) of the Bachelor’s Programme Liberal Arts & Sciences: Global Challenges (BA and BSc) of the academic year 2014-2015.

Course and Examination Regulations

Contact hours at LUC

The overview of scheduled contact hours in the first year (propedeuse) of the BA/BSc Liberal Arts & Sciences: Global Challenges programme here.

LUC Attendance Policy

Please find the LUC Attendance Policy here (coming soon).

LUC Grading Policy

Please find the LUC Grading Policy here (coming soon).