Continuing education

In addition to regular degree programmes (bachelor’s and master’s), Leiden University offers university-level courses and lectures targeted at a diverse range of groups. If you would like to take a course or pursue another degree after your bachelor’s or master’s or alongside your work, there is a wide range of options available.

Master's programmes

Leiden University offers a large variety of master’s programmes that follow on from your bachelor’s. You can find a complete overview of all master’s programmes on the master’s website. You will also find more information there about studying part-time and in the evenings.


Obtaining your doctorate is also an option at Leiden University. You can find more information on the website about PhD programmes.

Post-academic education

The University offers various post-academic programmes that allow you to continue developing throughout your professional career.

There are post-academic programmes in the areas of Health Care and Biomedical Sciences, Education and Child Studies, Psychology, Post-Academic Legal Education and Politics, Administration and Law.

Visit the website about post-academic education for more information (only in Dutch).

Contract courses

If you would like to take particular courses in a subject area but don’t want to go through the entire degree programme, various departments offer the option of contractual enrollment. Using this method you are also allowed to take the final exam.

The costs for the contract courses vary depending on the department and the number of courses that are taken. You need to have at least a pre-university (VWO) diploma or equivalent to be admitted.

A la carte courses (non-examination)

If you would you like to take particular courses but not take the final exam - also known as auditing a course - à la carte courses are an option for you. You can register as an non-examination student. After paying the tuition fee for an entire academic year (September–August) you can then take whatever courses you like. With few exceptions, there are no particular admission criteria.

More information about registration as a non-examination student can be found here. For an overview of the courses, visit the e-Prospectus of the university.

HOVO (University of the Third Age)

Leiden University organises a broad range of university-level courses especially for people over 50 years of age. Classes are held during the daytime and are taught by specialists. No particular prior education is required for these courses.

More information in English can be found here. Visit the HOVO website for more information on the programme (only in Dutch).

Language and culture Courses

The Academic Language Centre (ATC), which is part of the Faculty of Humanities, offers various levels of language courses. ATC also offers acculturation courses, intercultural management courses and customised courses.

For more information about courses offered by the ATC, visit the ATC website.

Studium Generale

Studium Generale is the platform at Leiden University where academic topics are presented to a wide audience. In addition to the many experts it brings in from outside, Studium Generale also features Leiden University’s own lecturers and researchers.

Lectures are usually free of charge and open to anyone who is interested. More information and a summary of the programme can be found on the Studium Generale website.

Last Modified: 30-10-2014