As if actually travelling through space and time, from China to Europe, and from antiquity to the present day, this programme will show you how to challenge largely unquestioned patterns of thought, and develop new perspectives on current issues.
The Philosophy programme in Leiden is one of just a few of its kind worldwide, and is unique in the Netherlands. It takes a global and comparative perspective of philosophy, whereas other programmes mostly restrict themselves to philosophy rooted in Greek antiquity. Many even narrow this down further by focusing on the type of analytical philosophy developed during the 20th century.
Leiden University’s approach is different. We meet a need for inclusiveness, by allowing the world’s traditions of thought to mutually inform and enrich one other. In addition to traditional Greek philosophy, the programme features philosophies from India, eastern Asia and the Arab world. You will get to use all the resources that philosophy has to offer!
Emma Abdi Wansbrough
'Both the teachers and students come from a diverse background and bring in a diversity of thought, which really adds value to the programme. What is so special about this bachelor’s is that we are trying to create new ideas by combining concepts from different schools of thought, for example by comparing concepts from Confucianism and Ancient Greek philosophy. Learning about the different ideas, traditions, and ways people from all over the world think had a big impact on me. Such insights help me start cross-cultural dialogue. For example, if you want to work at an NGO, knowing of foreign cultures and ways of thinking will help you enormously.'
Your lecturers and supervisors are internationally recognised scholars from a wide range of philosophical disciplines. The programme stands out through its focus on philosophies from around the world, using comparisons and interaction. You will explore these disciplines:
You will be able to adapt your programme as much as possible to suit your own interests and ambitions. The Philosophy programme includes a full semester of optional studies in your second year. You could follow one of the many minor programmes that Leiden University offers. Doing an exchange semester at a university outside the Netherlands will give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and boost your academic knowledge and personal development. Leiden University has agreements with many leading universities, including those in Oxford, Beijing, Paris, and Hawaii. Moreover, with your newly acquired background in cross-cultural thinking you will also get the chance to test your skills in practice. An internship in a professional organisation is a unique opportunity to acquire hands-on experience and additional skills. Besides, it can also be a source of inspiration for your future career.
Graduates proceed with master’s programmes in Philosophy and other topics, at Leiden University or other universities in the Netherlands or abroad:
Part of the admission and application procedure is participation in the matching module. Matching helps you determine whether the focus and level of the programme are for you. You receive advice in order to solidify your decision to start this programme.
year programme, 180 ECTS
English-taught programme established
largest lecture size
maximum tutorial size