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A minor alongside your bachelor’s programme: ‘a win-win situation!'!'

A minor (a coherent course package) on top of your bachelor’s programme gives you the chance to specialise or broaden your knowledge. And this can be very useful. Think more chances to get into a certain master’s programme, a different perspective on your current programme or a different interest you want to learn about. Zaida, Thomas, Aafko and Isla talk about why they chose their particular minors.

‘My minor is actually a win-win situation. I can now write journalistic articles about art history and I can apply the writing knowledge I acquired from Journalism and New Media. My writing style used to be slightly boring, but now my thesis supervisor is very enthusiastic and even thinks my writing is too smooth at times. I’d like to work at a museum later on and in thatkind of environment it’s important to be able to convey art to large crowds. If you do that scientifically, not many people will understand. From a career perspective, this minor has already been a useful choice.’

‘I only found out I was entitled to a travel allowance later. My minor is a joint programme offered by Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. As an international student you don’t get a student travel card, so you have to pay for your commuting yourself. In the minor, we focus on sustainable innovation, for instance with respect to the environment. The combination of different types of knowledge, and the different atmospheres at three universities work well. I realised I’m actually quite interested in technical things. Responsible Innovation doesn’t necessarily suit my bachelor’s programme, but it broadens my knowledge and interests: I’d be happy to work either in the humanities or as an engineer.’

‘I actually wanted to study music theory and piano at the conservatorium, but these days it’s not necessarily a wise choice due to the continuous budget cuts in the cultural sector. Practicum Musicae combines academic programmes with studying music at conservatorium level. This special minor is spread out over the entire bachelor’s programme: three years. It’s great that the university and conservatorium take into account that you’re actually doing two programmes. You can enroll at both universities and conservatoria but you’ll get issues with overlapping timetables. In Leiden, this is organised pretty well. My programme will take longer; if you really want to do well in maths, spend a lot of time working with your instrument, and actually have a life as well, three years is quite stressful. I’m not  superwoman!’

Aafko Boonstra is following the Bachelor’s in Mathematics and is also taking the Practicum Musicae minor.

‘For my elective credits I took a minor at the Netherlands Institute in Morocco (NIMAR), in Rabat. It was a double-edged sword, because it was both a minor and an actual study programme abroad. During the minor I conducted my own anthropology research on online dating in Morocco. Not only was this a good addition to my Bachelor’s in International Studies (where I hardly learnt any research methods), it was a useful preparation for my thesis: my research in Morocco has even given me the basis for my thesis.’

Whether you choose a minor from a career perspective, to broaden your mind, or because you can go abroad or combine a multitude of interests, if you choose well, you’ll enjoy your study period much more. Even if you don’t immediately benefit from your courses in the future, it will have enriched your time as a student and will look good on your CV.

If you want to know more about the minors the university offers, you’ll find an overview of all the minors for the coming academic year in the e-prospectus.

A Minor Market will be taking place on Tuesday 24 April in the Arsenaal, organised by the Faculty of Humanities. Humanities and  many other faculties will present their minors there.

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