Internship plan

The internship plan describes your internship assignment and all other aspects relating to the internship.

Get started!

  1. First of all formulate a draft internship plan. Discuss your individual internship assignment beforehand with the internship organisation and your internship lecturer. Make sure your internship plan describes the internship assignment you will be performing clearly.
  2. Before your internship can start, your internship plan has to be signed by you, the internship lecturer, the internship supervisor and –finally- the faculty internship coordinator.
  3. It will then be sent by the Student Career Service to the Board of Examiners, who officially approves the internship. Then and only then can you start your internship.

Internship assignment

Every internship includes an internship assignment on academic level, for example a research component or an independently conducted project. The internship assignment is formulated in consultation with the internship institution and the internship lecturer. The internship institution should offer you the opportunity to spend some time completing your internship assignment and internship report.

Learning objectives

Every student has his/her own reasons for wanting to follow an internship, such as orientation towards the labour market or learning to apply the knowledge and/or skills acquired during his/her studies. The learning objectives listed below are very general.

Learning objectives

  1. Increased knowledge and understanding of your own field

  2. Applying and extending the skills acquired in your study programme in a specific professional context

  3. Developing and improving competences that are relevant to your future career and preferably related to your study programme

  4. Collecting and analysing data and/or sources that can be used to reach a conclusion based on scientific, social and/or ethical aspects

  5. Applying and extending the communication skills required to communicate knowledge and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences

  6. The ability to collaborate with others by clearly defining the contribution of your own field in solving a specific problem (scientific or other)

  7. Orientation or familiarisation in future professional field

  8. Becoming familiar with working within a professional environment

  9. Forming professional contacts that may contribute to a smoother transition from study to labour market


Your internship plan should include a justified selection from these learning objectives. Select aspects that you find important and that you wish to focus on in your internship. The idea is that you use this list of abstract learning objectives to create some personal, concrete and clearly formulated learning objectives to include in your internship plan.

An internship as part of your programme

It is important that your internship fits into the bigger picture of your programme. Make sure that this is clear from your internship plan.

There are three possibilities: 

  • As a component of the main curriculum. The internship must be approved by the Board of Examiners.

  • As a component of the discretionary space in the bachelor or an optional course in the Master. If this is an individual elective component (and not an internship that is embedded in a university minor), the Board of Examiners will want to see not only the internship proposal but also a proposal for how you will fill the rest of your electives. The Course and Examination Regulation (OER) demands that your electives match the rest of the curriculum in terms of contents and level. In the case of internships it is not always obvious how to construct them as a coherent 30 EC package worth of electives, which is why Boards of Examiners are often prepared to be more flexible with the requirements.

  • As an extra-curricular component. This too requires the approval of the Board of Examiners.

Internship within Leiden University

It is possible to do an internship at Leiden University. In all cases this will be a research internship and not for instance teaching. With your research you participate to a larger research from one of your lecturers, so your own ‘product’ can be examined. The lecturer/researcher is your internship supervisor from the organisation, another lecturer will act as supervisor from university and examine you.

An internship is not part of your thesis!

An internship is not an internal or external thesis research study. An internship is a separate component of the programme with fixed guidelines and specific learning objectives. You can in some cases use the results of your internship research as one of the sources for your Bachelor’s final essay or Master’s thesis. The internship is assessed separately from the final essay or thesis according to specific internship guidelines. The study credits you earn with an internship cannot be reused (partially or fully) as part of your final essay or thesis.

Interim Evaluation

If your internship takes place in the Netherlands, the internship lecturer of your study programme will come and visit you once at your internship institution (in the second half of your internship). This visit should include a progress interview between yourself, your internship supervisor and your internship lecturer. If your internship takes place abroad, this is of course not possible. In that case your internship supervisor and internship lecturer will discuss your progress with you at least once by telephone, Skype or e-mail. If any problems arise, you should in the first instance try to solve them with your internship supervisor at your internship location and your internship lecturer. You can also always contact the faculty internship coordinator.

Request for approval

Before your internship can start, it first has to be approved by the Board of Examiners of your study programme. For more information see “Ask for approval for your internship”.

Last Modified: 06-10-2016