HC Expertise in Practice: Advising on Dilemmas in Society

Problems in the world we live in come and go, and are a source of debate in society, business or politics as well as a topic for researchers who aim to better understand mechanisms in so many different areas. Effectively tackling these problems is a hard task for any party involved.


The connection between problems and issues in society and the scientific knowledge produced in order to better understand these issues, to address them and to find innovative solutions is not at all straightforward. Expertise often is underused or simply neglected. How can we understand why this happens, and how can a better match be established?

One of the foundations of universities is to develop knowledge and make this knowledge available to society. Knowledge development is about research in multiple areas, from social safety to environmental sustainability, and from food and public health to innovations in the services industry. In the Bachelor programme, and later the Master programme, students acquire up to date knowledge in their own field of study. But how to use this knowledge later in life, in a professional career? How to find new knowledge, how to use this when confronting issues in society and in the professional organization of employment? How to develop such an individual portfolio of expertise?

The general goal of this honours programme organized by Faculty Campus The Hague is to make you aware of the interaction between knowledge and society, the way in which problems and issues in business, in politics and policy making, and among citizens can be addressed with scientific knowledge. This programme takes you right into the relationship between science and society, between theory and practice, and looks at the ways in which the connection between the two may be strengthened. After completing this programme, you will have a strong orientation on the dynamics in society and the way in which scientific knowledge may be used, and combined, to address old and new issues and themes that call for better understanding and more efficient solutions, now and in the future.


This honours programme offers a three year, 30 EC package. A combination of didactical principles is used to reach the aims of the programme: lectures, workshops, case study sessions, simulations, field trips, invited speakers and assignments. All activities serve to connect theory and practice.

First year

The first year (5 EC) aims at orientation on the topic: students make themselves familiar with the theoretical and practical aspects of formulating expert advice, the big questions in the field of study, and they carry out a case study and get a first taste of the instruments in the Living Lab. In this orientation module, students start developing a 360° perspective on issues in society and on ways to look at them.

Second year

The second year (15 ECTS) aims for a further combination of orientation and specialization. Students develop an individual study plan with their coach, tailored to their personal interests and needs. In the second year 3 course are offered:

  1. The course Lectures & Journalism (3EC) runs for the duration of the academic year 2014 – 2015. The course has two connected parts: a series of lectures from different disciplines and organizations and a writing clinic. The general aim of this course is to stimulate you to expand your knowledge in a wide range of subjects, follow your curiosity and develop a constructive and critical attitude as well as enhance your writing skills.

  2. The course "Attacking global issues on an European level" (7EC)

  3. To further hone interdisciplinary thinking, students select an elective course (5EC) from the Leiden University College curriculum or follow an Honours Class (5EC) of their choice. The Talent Coach will help the students in this decision making process.

Third year

The third year is a more practical year. Students are engaged in the "simulation and scenario lab" (5EC), offered by faculty of the Institute of Public Administration in cooperation with other institutes. In addition, students either follow a one-to-one internship with a top-professional or top-researcher, or partake in a group assignment in collaboration with a professional organization such as a government departmental unit, a consultancy company, or an NGO.

For whom?

This honours track is open to all students who meet the Honours College requirements. In addition to excellent performance in the own BA we expect a strong motivation to make the most of yourself. You should have a broad interest and should feel comfortable doing this track in English. You can register for this track with a registration form.

This track is especially interesting to those students who would like to explore the relation between theory and practice, to acquire the tools to connect these and who like to work in an innovative and multidisciplinary setting.

More information about the structure of the programme, the learning aims and application and selection.

Contact Coördinator: Annette Righolt

The Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague

The Board of Examiners of the minors Global Affairs, Entrepreneuship for society and the Honours College track “Expertise in practice” is under Article 7.12 of the Law on Higher Education (WHW), responsible for examinations and monitors the level of exams and courses. Key tasks and responsibilities include: promulgating rules and regulations on exams; granting exemptions; taking measures with regard to order, fraud, plagiarism, etc., and decisions on appeals of students. The Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague is also charged with granting individual retakes and assessing requests concerning individual adjustments to programs and the implementation of possible electives/ elective programs.

The scope of the boards authority and the department's applicable rules and procedures are laid out in several distinct but related documents, namely the regulations minor global affairs, regulations minor entrepreneurship for societyregulations honours college track expertise in practice and the rules for teaching and examinations drawn up by the Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague.

Composition of the Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague:

·         Prof dr. R. de Wijk
·         Ir. S.P. Louwaars
·         J.E.T. Schmidt MSc

Requests to the Board of Examiners

The Board of Examiners in its capacity also processes individual requests from students regarding their studies (about subjects mentioned above or other questions regarding the regulations and/or the regulations for teaching and examinations). 

For individual questions to the Board of Examiners the following rules and procedures are applicable. All questions and any supporting evidence are only considered if sent through the web form (not by e-mail).

In the case of individual questions the exam committee will in principle make a decision within 15 working days after the request and / or accompanying documents are received by the commission. The deadline of 15 working days thus begins as soon as all required documents to the examination board are received. In some periods (around mandatory holidays, Christmas period, the end of the academic year and summer break) the examination board preserves the right to exceed this limit. Where possible students will receive a message in this case.

Questions and comments can be send to fec-dh@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.

Last Modified: 28-06-2016