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Prefer to plot out your own honours course? Then put together your own individualised Solo programme. You choose!

A challenging programme

If you choose to do Solo, you have a great amount of freedom to design your own challenging programme. Are you seeking to enrich your current degree programme, or do you want to take courses you find interesting that are in a different area of study? This is all possible with the Humanities Lab Solo programme! There are many ways you can do this. The most important thing is that there must be a clear connection between the courses you select.

What do you need to know?

A Solo programme needs to meet a few requirements:

  • A Solo programme consists of at least 30 ECs, which include two required courses worth 5 ECs each. Those courses are: 1) an Honours Class (you can choose any course offered by the Honours Academy), 2) the closing module Humanities Lab.
  • You draw up a study plan for the remaining 20 ECs and submit it to the Humanities Lab board of examiners. The plan includes a motivational statement in which you explain why the courses you chose are important for you (are you following them to deepen an interest or are they connected to a careerpath you are pursuing) , what the connection is between the courses you selected and what skills and knowledge you expect to have acquired by the time you finish your programme.

What are the possibilities?

You can choose from different options to fill out your Solo programme, but there are the boundaries you need to take into account when designing your programme, these can be found in the Detailed rules for Humanities Lab, article 3.2.

  • You can include regular bachelor’s courses at either Leiden University or another university. In order to bring these courses up to Honours standard,  you need to earn an average mark of 8.0 for all regular bachelor’s courses included in your Solo programme (and a obtain a mark of at least 7.0 for each individual course).
  • Some programmes (like linguistics and history) have devised a standard set of honours courses for their students. These sets have already been approved by the exam commission of Humanities Lab. Since these sets consist of regular bachelor's courses, the above mentioned conditions concerning marks also apply.
  • A maximum of 15 ECs of the Solo programme can be used for a research internship. There are supplementary Humanities Lab provisions applicable to the standard internship regulations for Bachelor's students of the Faculty of Humanities.
  • A maximum 10 ECs of the Solo programme can be used for one or more courses from a regular master’s programme. For a master’s course certain conditions may apply, such as certain required prior knowledge. Your motivational statement must make clear why these master’s courses are important for your Solo programme and on what basis you think that you will be able to successfully complete them.
  • You can also take courses with an Honours character: Honours Classes, Leiden University College courses and courses/modules from individual faculty Honours tracks (including Humanities Lab Expedition). For all the aforementioned courses certain conditions may apply (such as the availability of slots or prior knowledge). These are already Honours-standard courses, so the requirement to make them more challenging does not apply.

To help you on your way we have selected a few examples.

For questions and advice

With so many options at hand, you might also have a lot of questions. You are welcome to bring them to the Honours College Coordinators. They know everything there is to know about the various options and can answer your questions or advise you, and they will be happy to help you put together a challenging individualised Solo programme.

You can find more information about enrolment and selection here.


The most frequently asked questions about Humanities Lab, and their answers.


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