Your first year as a Philosophy student

As a student of Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives, you will have a full working week of 40 hours. Of these you will spend, on average, around 20 hours in lectures and tutorial groups. In the remaining 20 hours you will be studying independently: reading and writing assignments.

For an overview of the compulsory first year programme, see this summary of the courses in the first two semesters. As soon as detailed information on the courses is available, you will find the link to the e-prospectus here.

Year 1, first semester

Course Credits
Comparative Philosophy I: Introduction 5
World Philosophies: China 5
World Philosophies: Greece and Rome 5
World Philosophies: Modern Europe 5
Logic 5
Philosophy of Culture 5
Total 30

Year 1, second semester

Course Credits
Comparative Phil. II: Classical Readings 5
World Philosophies: India 5
World Philosophies: Middle East 5
Epistemology 5
Ethics 5
Academic Skills I 5
Total 30

Credits / EC

The academic year comprises two semesters. During and at the end of each semester you will have exams. This can be an oral, a written exam, a final paper or assignment. For each subject you pass you will be awarded a number of credits. One credit equates 28 hours of study. One full-time year of studies is 60 EC.

Binding Study Advice (BSA)

You are expected to complete three quarters of the study credits of the first year in the course of the first year. That means 45 out of the total of 60 study credits. Failure to meet this condition will lead to exclusion from the programme. See the Leiden University study system for more information.

Digital facilities

For students at Leiden University, many of the activities related to their study can be organised online. uSis is the University’s online administration system, students have to register via uSis for tutorials, papers and exams. uSis also shows your personal information, grades and timetable. You will also have access to Blackboard, Leiden University’s digital learning environment. Lecturers and tutors use this web-based tool to support the lectures and tutorials.

Testimonial Philosophy your first year

How would you describe the programme?
“The quintessential feature of this very exciting, new programme is its focus on the universality and particularity of human thinking. It shows that philosophy is at once a universal phenomenon transcending geographic boundaries, but can also cater to particular social milieus and religious persuasions.”

Bruno Verbeek your first year

What skills do you develop over the course of your degree programme?
Reasoning and argumentation are so tremendously important in philosophy, so for every course students are expected to be able to present good independent argumentation quite early on, usually in the form of a written text. That ultimately produces students who are good at writing up an argument that is both clear and concise. Our students are also trained in abstract thinking: they’re good at recognising certain arguments, as well as any flaws it may have. They also learn to look at the world critically. Take the course on logic, for example. There students are really trained to recognise fallacies in actual situations, which is an extremely useful skill in practice.