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Creating a curriculum

The curriculum of all Leiden University study programmes is reviewed and set every academic year.

The central question in this context is: what is the core educational question of the study programme in question? And is this question fully covered in the curriculum?

Each faculty is responsible for sending its programme directors and study coordinators a timely curriculum schedule, thus allowing them to map the answer to these questions.

Ratified by the Board of the Faculty

The Board of the Faculty assesses the curricula in terms of requirements, checks in broad lines staff capacity and definitively ratifies the curricula. If necessary, the Board of the Faculty also examines unresolved conflicts between study programme and institute.

Contact hours

The number of contact hours differs per study programme.

Since 2013, for all Bachelors’ programmes, the minimum number of contact hours has been set at twelve in the first year (in accordance with performance agreements with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science). The study programmes are free to decide on a maximum number of contact hours.

Quality assurance guide

The first step is to map the global educational demand in the form of educational programmes. These educational programmes should meet the accompanying requirements (programme requirements), and in the case of bachelor’s and master’s programmes also cover the learning outcomes of the study programme(s) so as to guarantee quality of education. See in this context the Quality Assurance Guide.

Defining educational demand

In November all programme directors and study coordinators receive a programme schedule that they use to formulate the new educational programme and the lecturers’ workload. The programme schedule contains information from the 2014-2015 academic year and is used as a basis for the new year’s educational programme. This schedule is also used by directors of education to determine the lecturers’ workload and assign lecturers to study programmes. The completed schedules are therefore forwarded to the directors of education.

Together with the study coordinator, the departmental board is responsible for completing the programme schedule and staff deployment for all programmes and components that fall under the department’s responsibility:

  • Bachelor’s programme, including any specialisations
  • Master’s programme, including any specialisations
  • Pre-master’s track (if applicable)
  • Minor programme

The Faculty Honours Programme coordinator is responsible for formulating the educational programme of the Honours Programme.

Staff deployment for courses offered by the Leiden University College The Hague and Pre-University is determined and submitted to the institutes by the relevant coordinators.

Aspects to consider when formulating educational programmes and staff deployment

Most efficient use of teaching staff 

Shared teaching makes it possible to use teaching time as effectively as possible, while leaving lecturers with time to supervise students, conduct research, or develop new teaching and research initiatives.

Teaching: shared and at the right level 
Effective use of teaching should not come at the expense of the required level. This means that bachelor’s programmes may not structurally make use of master’s teaching staff.

When sharing teaching between ‘regular’ master’s and research master’s programmes, there should be an evident clear difference in teaching the two target groups, for example by clearly indicating which materials are covered in more depth for research master’s students.

Study results
In creating an educational programme you should take into account the feasibility of the study programme, as well as the proposed study performance measures. When formulating your educational programme you can make use of the opportunity to explicitly articulate the learning pathways between the courses, for instance by moving courses that may form stumbling blocks to a different time.

Bachelors’ final project seminar
To prevent delay in completing the bachelor’s final project, it has been agreed that all study programmes will include a writing seminar in their curriculum. This gives students additional structure in the writing process, facilitates upholding the agreed planning, and allows students to support each other. See also: Notes on how to structure bachelor’s thesis seminars. It is also advisable to include a thesis seminar in master’s programmes.

Staff from outside the Faculty
Any staff from outside the Faculty haves to be hired by the Institute. Demand for external staff should be made explicit in the educational programme so that the Institute can assess whether it is prepared to deploy its own staff or to hire from outside.

Exchange students
Exchange students are required to indicate by 1 April on the basis of the programmes listed in the online prospectus which courses they wish to follow. It is therefore important to take this target group into account when organising the educational programme (see column K in the programme scheme). In assessing whether a course is open to exchange students, consider factors such as capacity and entry level.

Minor programme coordinators are sent a request at the same time as the departmental boards, asking them to notify the Faculty of any changes in the Minor programme.
The composition of a Minor/specialisation is subject to special requirements. For more information on offering Minors/specialisations, see the mMinor section.

See also how to complete a programme scheme

Faculty requirements for Minors

The Faculty has established a procedure for minor programmes. For more information, please consult the Minor procedure and selection criteria (in Dutch).

Minors are subject to a number of Faculty-wide requirements.

  • A minor should encompass 30 ECTS, in principle divided over 15 ECTS per semester, although it is also possible in consultation to use a block format (1 semester of 30 ECTS).
  • A minor should have a logical and coherent structure, with an increasing level of difficulty.
  • A minor should include at least one 300 level course.
  • The first 15 ECTS of the minor (the courses in the first semester) can be followed as an independent track by students from study programmes from other faculties with room for 30 ECTS worth of electives (for example Law students).
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