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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.



First-year programme (60 EC)
Major (80 EC)
Minor or Electives (30 EC)
Global Citizenship (10 EC)

Please note:

  • 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 30 EC elective component.

Students of the Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 should consult the e-Prospectus of 2015-2016 for their programme information and graduation requirements.

Important Acronyms

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

SBE: Social & Business Entrepreneurship
GS: Gender Studies
J: Journalism
L: Languages
Psy: Psychology

GC: Global Citizenship

Year 1


Block 1: a) Global Challenges: Peace & Justice, b) Academic Writing, c) History of Philosophy, d) History of Science
Block 2: a) Global Challenges: Sustainability, b) Academic Writing, c) History of Philosophy, d) Elective
Block 3: a) Global Challenges: Prosperity, b) Statistics, c) Elective
Block 4: a) Global Challenges: Diversity, b) Mathematical Reasoning or Mathematical Modeling, c) Elective

The first-year programme also allows students to enroll in three 5 EC elective courses in blocks 2, 3, and 4 (15 EC 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 graduating GPA (but will count towards the cumulative GPA), although the EC may be used towards fulfilling the 80 EC or 30 E requirement for a Major or Minor, respectively. As their first-year elective courses, students may select any of the 100-level courses below.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory Year 1 courses

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

Elective Year 1 courses

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

Business Model Generation 5
Calculus 5
Foundations of Common Pool Resource Management 5

Available to first-year students

Introduction to Comparative Politics 5
Introduction to International Relations and Diplomacy 5
Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies 5
Institutions of Governance and Development 5
Principles of Economics 5
Principles of Public International Law 5
Sovereignty & Statehood 5
Essentials of Journalism 5
Health Systems & Management 5
Introduction to Gender Studies: Discourses, Practices and Mediations 5
Sociolinguistics 5
Earth System Science 5
What is Culture? 5
Socio-Legal Studies 5
Environmental Science 5
Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health 5
Introduction to Transnational Politics 5
Chemistry 5
Heritage & Governance 5
Introduction to Psychology 5
Media and Communication Theory 5
Social Determinants of Health 5
World of Entrepreneurs 5
Birth of the Modern World 5
Energy and Resource Management 5
Introduction to Social & Political Philosophy 5
Biology 5
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems 5
Health, Society and History 5
Physics 5



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

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

Every Major consists of 80 EC worth of courses:

  • at least three 5 EC 100-level courses, one in each core track as specified per major

  • two or three 5 EC methodology courses at 200-level, as specified per major

  • at least 20 EC at 300-level in at least two tracks, as specified per major

  • a 10 EC 400-level capstone

  • an additional 20 or 25 EC in at least two tracks, as specified per major

Depending on their major, students can participate in a Research Clinic. For the list of available Research Clinics click here Please note that research Clinics count towards elective space.

Students of the Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 should consult the e-Prospectus of 2015-2016 for information on their Majors.



LUC offers its own pre-structured Minors, all consisting of a coherent 30 EC package of courses, including 10 EC in 300-level courses. Students may complete a Minor in one of the following four ways:

Instead of doing a Minor, it is also possible to take 30 EC of electives. This option requires a set of elective courses (30 EC) 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 30 EC. 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. In addition, LUC will offer a small selection of pure electives; please find an overview here. 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.

Students of the Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 should consult the e-Prospectus of 2015-2016 for information on Minors or electives.

Global Citizenship


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.

Within the Global Citizenship component (10 EC) students have four options:

Students of the Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 should consult the e-Prospectus of 2015-2016 for information on the Global Citizenship component.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2


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


Community Project 10
Paradoxes of Citizenship 5
Urban Studies 5
French - Elementary 10
Russian - Elementary 10
Spanish - Elementary 10


French - Intermediate 10
Global Classroom (SPOC) 10
Spanish - Intermediate 10


French - Advanced 10
Spanish - Advanced 10



Capstone 2016-2017

Once available, the Capstone 2016-2017 programme overview will be published here.

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.

  • 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.

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

Gender Studies
Social and Business Entrepreneurship

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



Timetables 2016-2017

Once available, the timetables of 2016-2017 will be published here.

Semester 1, Block 1 (updated 31 August 2016)
Semester 1, Block 1 – Examinations (published 15 September 2016) Semester 1, Block 2 (updated 31 August 2016)
Semester 1, Block 2 – Examinations (published 14 November 2016) Semester 2, Block 3 (updated 18 January 2017) Semester 2, Block 3 – Examinations (updated 13 March 2017) Semester 2, Block 4 (updated 13 March 2017) Semester 2, Block 4 – Examinations (updated 21 April 2017)

Student Handbook & OER 2016-2017

Once available, the Student Handbook of 2016-2017 will be published here.

The Liberal Arts & Sciences: Global Challenges (BA/BSc) Course & Examinations Regulations of 2016-2017 (OER) have been published here

Contact Hours Year 1