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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 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 the Humanities Lab. Application is possible twice a year: December-February (at the end of the first semester of your first year) and June-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 climate change, the Internet, war and peace, colonialism, identity, or biotechnology. 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 the 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 currently 14 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. 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 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 the 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, trust research, heritage and identity.

Key Modules

"All that is solid melts into code”: How big data is changing the world. 5
History of the Humanities: The Case of Leiden University 5
Politics and Religion 5
War and Remembrance 5
Africa and Europe: Entangled Pasts and Presents 5
Culture as Soft Power in Morocco - The Poetics and Politics of Museums and Heritage 5
French and the Arab World. Language, diplomacy, identification 5
Plastic: A cultural history 5
The Case for Reparations: How to Address the Legacies of Slavery and Racial Injustice 5
  1. Advanced Modules
Collecting, curating and presenting: Practice and societal impact 5
French Worldwide: Language, Culture, Identity 5
From Forgery to Fake News: Making History? 5
WikiLogic: How the Internet affects the way we think 5

Humanities Lab Grande Finale – Closing Module (5 EC)

The Grande Finale 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 (including Honours College Music and Practicum Musicae Honours) will participate in the closing module as well.

Capstone project 5

Honours Class

As part of the Honours programme, students take at least one Honours Class. The Honours Classes are organised by all faculties of Leiden University 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.

Other tracks

Besides Humanities Lab faculty track, the Honours College offers other possibilities as well.

1. Tracks from other faculties.

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

2. Individual programme

If you have good reasons for preferring to compile a personal programme rather than following the Humanities faculty track, you can pursue your specific academic passions by applying to do an individual humanities-based programme. Pursuing an individual track can be very demanding and it may be difficult to complete. You must be prepared to make frequent adaptations and invest a lot of time in organising practical matters. Criteria:

1. 2 mandatory courses: Honours Class (5 EC) and Capstone Project (5 EC)

2. remaining 20 EC can be filled with:

  • Regular BA courses (see website for level and grade requirements)
  • MA courses (max 10 EC)
  • Research internship*
  • Honours designated courses

3. coherent programme on Honours level.

Check out the website for further criteria and requirements.

Internship requirements*:

  1. It’s a research internship, practical internships are not allowed. You can start your own research or find a research project to take part in;
  2. from 10 EC (minimum) to 15 EC (maximum)
  3. Follow the Career Service internship plan and guidelines.

Form Individual programme

3. Individual programme: Music tracks

The Honours College offers two Music tracks: Practicum Musicae Honours and Honours College Music. Both tracks are part of the individual track offered by the Faculty of Humanities in cooperation with the Royal Conservatoire and the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts.
Check out the website and prospectus for more information.

4. Double Bachelor Plus

If you are following two Bachelor’s programmes and want to take part in the Honours College, you can join the Double Bachelor Plus programme.
Depending on the number of unique EC’s (credits that only count once; if, for instance, you have an exemption for your discretionary space in BA 1 based on courses from BA 2, these credits count only once), the Board of Admissions will decide within how many years you will have to complete both BA’s and the Honours Class in order to receive the Honours certificate (if you meet all further requirements):

  • 210-239 EC completed within 3 years

  • 240-269 EC completed within 3.5 years

  • 270-299 EC completed within 4 years

  • 300-329 EC completed within 4.5 years

  • ≥330 EC completed within 5 years

Check out the website for further criteria and requirements.

Form Double Bachelor Plus programme

More information

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. The main reason to contact the Honours Academy Board is to file one of the requests below:

  • Postponement of certification: If you are planning on doing extracurricular activities after completing your Bachelor’s and Honours programmes and you want to postpone your graduation;

  • Extension of time limit: If you are not able to meet the requirement to complete your Bachelor’s and/or Honours programme within three years.
    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 in both the Faculty and Individual track. If you wish or need to make a change to (the content of) your programme, you need to send a request to the Humanities Lab Board of Examiners:

Faculty track
If you want to replace one of the modules by an (extra) Honours Class or a regular Bachelor’s course, 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 by another course.

Individual track
The Humanities Lab Board of Examiners needs to approve your individual programme. After designing your individual programme, you fill in and submit the form provided. The Humanities Lab coordinators will contact you and forward your programme to the Board of Examiners after approval.
Every time you wish or need to make a change to your programme, you have to send in a request to the Board of Examiners using the form provided. You don’t need to send in a request if you use one of the courses from your reserve list as a replacement.

Form Individual programme

Form Individual programme – change of course