A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Minors Of Leiden University

Have you come across the many minor programmes of Leiden University yet?


Photo by Renato Abati on

First of all – what is a minor?

A minor is a compact study programme of 30 credit points, that introduces you to the main themes of your chosen field.

You can think of it as a mini-bachelor or an elective on steroids.

If you still want to take some other electives with a minor, you can also opt for a semi-minor of 15 credits – usually lasting for only one block.

Who can take a minor?

Given that you completed the first-year courses of your bachelor’s, you are free to choose a minor, as most of them don’t have any admission requirements. Just make sure to sign up on time (through Usis) since there are limited spots available. Also, have you heard of the LDE-alliance? No? It’s a cooperation between Leiden, Delft and the Erasmus University to facilitate academic exchange. This means that if you are a student from an LDE-University, your application to another LDE-Uni will be prioritized. Also, there are joint minor programmes where you get to study at two LDE-Universities at once!

TU Delft

TU Delft by Laura Cirigliano

What minors are there?

Leiden University offers over 50 different minors, so I can’t introduce all of them. But here is a (very) small selection of English taught minors:

-Advanced Life Science and Technology: Advanced LST is the love child of Leiden University and TU Delft. It focuses on the smallest unit of life – the living cell – and puts biotechnology, specialized chemistry and molecular biology in a societal and technological context.

-Brain and Cognition: Are you following a related bachelor programme and want to know more about what goes on in everyone’s though-machine? Then this minor will teach you all about neuro-linguistics, anatomy and cognitive psychology!

-Culture and Society in Morocco: This minor lets you dive deep into Moroccan culture and you get to learn some Moroccan Arabic or French!

-Global Affairs: Held at the faculty in the Hague, this minor is the perfect introduction to international relations and security matters. I absolutely loved it – there will be an in-depth review soon!

-Intelligence Studies: No, this is not about smart people. Or, maybe it is – after all, it takes a pretty smart cookie to develop encryption systems and successfully spy on a foreign nation. Sounds interesting? Then this might be the right minor for you!

Den Haag

Photograph by Laura Cirigliano

-Music Studies: Don’t worry, you don’t need to play an instrument to follow this minor. Music Studies combines cognitive psychology, technology, art and philosophy to answer all the questions you didn’t know you had about music.

-Responsible Innovation: The ultimate LDE-University mashup. Over one semester, you will visit all LDE-Universities and learn how to implement responsible innovation. Best of all: You get to work in a small focus-group and collaborate with a real-life stakeholder in order to implement actual innovation!


Why you should take a minor:

Minors are a great way to get out of your small bachelor-subject-bubble and experience a new academic field. It can also serve as a pre-master course, or heighten your chances to get into the master programme of your choice. In case the minor is at a different faculty (or even city!) it can be a nice change of scenery. Last, but most certainly not least, you get to meet a lot of new, interesting people from different academic backgrounds!


Have you taken any minors or have a question? Let us know in the comments!

2 comments on “Minors Of Leiden University

  1. Nicole Ogden
    March 18, 2020

    Hi, great article! I wanted to ask about the Global Affairs minor in the Hague. You said that you would soon post an in-depth review, but is there any chance that you can briefly explain what the experience was like for you? I’m interested in taking the minor next semester.

    • Laura Cirigliano
      March 18, 2020

      Hi Nicole! Great that you are interested in Global Affairs! In a nutshell: The minor was a great introduction to international relations and security issues, had good lecturers (and super interesting guest lecturers) and was overall very well organized. Unfortunately there were no weblectures, but that is pretty much the only thing I can criticize. Wholeheartedly recommend it!

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