Teaching and research

Leiden University enjoys an eminent reputation as a research university. Such a reputation attracts talented researchers who are eager to share the most recent insights in their specialist fields. With these scholars as your teachers, you will be a part of a research-rich environment that will encourage you to develop your own scientific perspective.

The Leiden approach

Studying at Leiden University can be quite different from what foreign students and first years are used to. In this video our international student ambassadors explain the teaching methods at Leiden University and show you around.

Small-scale educational model

At Leiden University we combine theory with practice in each programme. Learning is not only about remembering facts and consolidating information, but about applying the knowledge you have gained. Leiden lecturers will inspire you with their pioneering research and their practical experience. Leiden University offers you an intensive and small-scale educational model and dynamic didactical methods, such as presentations, discussions, papers, group assignments and case studies.

Academic skills

During your studies you will acquire knowledge and develop the intercultural and academic skills vital to your future career or further academic study. You will learn how to carry out a scientific study independently and how to present your research fi ndings, verbally and in writing. Learning how to form your own opinion and developing your critical thinking skills are also integral to the Leiden experience. Student-teacher relations are less formal than you might be used to. For example, it’s okay to disagree with your teacher as long as you can explain your views clearly. In small study groups teachers encourage discussions to stimulate your curiosity and to develop your own opinion. At Leiden University following a course is more than taking notes, you are welcome to participate.

Your experience will be academically rigorous, yet diverse and relevant to the world today. Who knows? Maybe you will follow in the footsteps of one of the many great scholars who preceded you: Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, René Descartes, Albert Einstein, or John Adams.

testimonial Leiden Uni - teaching

‘I consider the most fun part of the programme to be the international student body. A huge diversity of cultures, religions and worldviews is interacting on a daily basis with respect, acceptance and tolerance. Highly motivated tutors are not just there to answer any questions which might come up during a lecture. They are often also able to widen your perspective on the subject matter in a very interactive way. This helps me a lot in fully understanding the topics at hand.’