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Honours College (bachelor)

The Honours College (HC) is an extra-curricular programme consisting of 30 ECs that you can follow alongside your bachelor's programme.

What is the Honours College and how can you benefit from it?

The Honours College (HC) is an extra-curricular programme consisting of 30 ECs that you can follow alongside your bachelor's programme. It is characterised by:

  • small-scale highly interactive classes;
  • the opportunity to help design your own study programme;
  • the chance to go beyond the boundaries of your own field of study and develop new skills, for example during Honours Classes (optional honours courses).

 On top of that:

  • the HC stimulates your thirst for knowledge;
  • you will be encouraged to think outside the box.

If you complete the entire 30 EC programme and obtain your Bachelor’s degree within 3 years you will be awarded an honours certificate and have your honours studies mentioned on your diploma supplement.

What can you do within the Honours College?

The Honours College offers the following options:  

  • you can follow one of the seven (faculty) programmes – HC tracks – consisting of extra classes and research; 
  • you can put together an individual track, made up of courses from the HC tracks or other courses/research; 
  • you can do two Bachelor’s programme by way of the Double Bachelor+.

Some HC tracks can be followed by all Leiden Bachelor’s students: 

  • HC World Archaeology: in Leiden - taught in English
  • HC Humanities Lab: in Leiden - taught in Dutch and English
  • HC Tackling Global Challenges: in The Hague - taught in English
  • HC Science & Society: in Leiden - taught in Dutch and English

The HC Beta & Life Science (in Leiden - taught in Dutch) can be followed by students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Biomedical Sciences programme, and by beta-orientated students of Archaeology, Psychology and Medicine. 

The HC Medicine and the HC Law (both taught in Dutch) can be followed by students following those particular disciplines.  

For whom is the HC intended?

If you recognise yourself in the description below you might be a good candidate for the Honours College: 

  • you have a thirst for knowledge and enjoy acquiring new skills and insights; 
  • you want to get the most out of your studies; 
  • you are ready to take on more than just your current study programme; 
  • you have obtained, or expect to obtain, your first year diploma in one academic year with good grades. 

How and when can you participate?

You may be invited to join the HC midway through your first year (after the first semester) if you have achieved good grades. Or you may choose to submit an application yourself. You can then begin your HC track either at the beginning of semester two or in your second year of study. To be officially admitted to the Honours College you must obtain your first year diploma (propedeuse) in one academic year. If you begin the Honours College in your first year this will be evaluated in the summer.

The entire programme, including your Bachelor’s programme, has been designed so you can complete it in three academic years. If you obtain all 180 ECs of your Bachelor and 30 ECs of your honours track in three years you will be eligible for an honours certificate.

If you want to undertake other activities, such as studying abroad, an internship, or a year as a student association board member, additional time can usually be made available.

Want to know more?

Has your interest been piqued? Do you want to know more about what the Honours College can offer you? Our website contains more detailed information about the different tracks available and how to apply.

Honours Track Crossing the Borders in World Archaeology

With the Honours Track (30EC) you will be taking a head start to the future!

In the first year of the track, you will already get an idea of what kind of job opportunities are available in the archaeological field. By attending the Orientation Seminar, you can form an idea of what you want and what suits you. Maybe you want to conduct research or maybe you are more interested in heritage policies. The Track will stimulate you to shape your skills and ambitions. Moreover, you will learn about all the possible options available. By doing two short internships, you will get in touch with the field of research and the work of commercial, non-profit, and government agencies engaged in archaeology and heritage. You will be pushed to be the best that you can be, and you will be challenged to take the lead in your own development. During the Theoretical Seminars, you will have a closer look at current issues in archaeology and learn to have critical and reflective discussions on the matters discussed. In the final year of the Honours Track, you will get the opportunity to choose one or two Honours classes that are being offered by all faculties of Leiden University and Leiden University College. Whether you want to combine archaeology with studies of law or with International studies, it is all up to you. It is even possible to follow an honours-course from another university than Leiden University.

The Honours Track is designed for all students who are motivated and proactive, and who are driven to excel at academic work. Besides the regular courses within the Track, Honours Community also organizes special events, such as social gatherings, academic lectures, and workshops.  

The Honours Track offers you:

  • a good overview of the interdisciplinary work field of Archaeology.
  • the chance to take on extra-curricular courses in addition to your regular educational requirements.
  • a head start in developing certain skills, such as learning how to discuss and how to conduct critical research.
  • the opportunity to build up a professional network and a close relationship with professors and other Honours students.
  • the chance to gain relevant work experience.

Successful completion of the Honours Track will be awarded with an Honours- certificate during a festive ceremony.

Apply for a position in the Honours Track today!




Orientation Seminar (5 EC): 
In the Orientation Seminar of the Archaeology Honours Track, students meet staff members of the faculty and other archaeologists in top positions in archaeology and related disciplines. During the seven guest lectures, archaeologists will share their work experience with you, present their viewpoints on current developments in the field, and tell you what drives them to pursue their careers. The lectures comprise  45-minute introductory lectures that are followed by 45-minute discussions on the topic. For the end assignment, students will work in groups and present a scientific poster on one of the topics that have been discussed during the lectures.


Theoretical Seminar (5 EC): 
In the Theoretical Seminar, Honours Track students will attend a series of guest lectures in which a current archaeological topic will be highlighted. The objective is to have a closer look at the theoretical aspects of the topic, have discussions on the issues that arise, and incorporate this in final assignment. The final assignment will be presented at the end of semester 3.

Research Internship (5 EC): 
During the Research Internship, students gain experience in conducting research within a research group of the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University. The objective is for students to conduct a sub-study of at least 17 working days, independently but under supervision of a research scientist. Students who want to put more focus on their personal academic progress plan, can attend international symposia and academic lectures within or outside the faculty. As an end assignment, students will write a report on the academic activities of the internship.

Societal Internship (5 EC): 
The Societal Honours Internship gives students the opportunity to gain experience in project based working, presenting and managing research on heritage, fundraising, communicating, and much more. The duration of the internship needs to be at least 17 working days.


  • You will have the opportunity to follow courses at Leiden University College in The Hague (5 EC). These include a variety of languages, developing academic skills, theoretical philosophical courses, art, culture, religion, etc. The courses offered have a wide and interdisciplinary focus, which are perfect complements to archaeology.
  • Honours classes (5 EC) consist of eight English seminars that will be given by top academics from various universities. The seminars take place in the first and second semester, and in summer as Summer Class. They are interdisciplinary, research oriented, and internationally oriented. Students from other faculties are also allowed to follow Honours Classes.



For more information about the Honours Track, go to the Honours College website.