The academic programme at LUC consists of the following elements, amounting to the 180 EC required for graduation within 3 years:
GENERAL EDUCATION = 25 EC
5 EC Global Challenges: Peace
5 EC Global Challenges: Earth
5 EC Global Challenges: Justice
5 EC Global Challenges: Energy
History of Philosophy
ACADEMIC SKILLS = 20 EC
MAJOR = 80 EC
45 EC – three tracks (100>200>300-level)
10 EC – two methodology courses
5 EC – one integrative course
10 EC – two optional courses in related fields
10 EC – Capstone project
GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP = 25 EC
Language and/or culture courses
MINOR / ELECTIVES = 30 EC
There is the possibility of a semester-abroad exchange, comprising 30 EC, which can contribute towards Major, Global Citizenship, Minor, or Elective components.
Year 1: General Education courses; Academic Skills courses; electives
Block 1: a) GC: Peace, b) Academic Writing, c) History of Philosophy, d) Elective (5 EC)
Block 2: a) GC: Earth, b) Academic Writing, c) History of Philosophy, d) Elective (5 EC)
Block 3: a) GC: Justice, b) Numeracy, c) Designing Academic Inquiry, d) Elective (5 EC)
Block 4: a) GC: Energy, b) Numeracy, c) Designing Academic Inquiry, d) Elective (5 EC)
Year 2 & 3: Electives; Language course(s); Exchange; Capstone
Block 1: a) Elective (5 EC) , b) Elective (5 EC), c) Elective (5 EC)
Block 2: a) Elective (5 EC) , b) Elective (5 EC), c) Elective (5 EC)
Block 3: a) Elective (5 EC) , b) Elective (5 EC), c) Elective (5 EC)
Block 4: a) Elective (5 EC) , b) Elective (5 EC), c) Elective (5 EC)
Each language course spans one semester (blocks 1+2 or 3+4), for 10 EC
Exchange is optional, either Year 2 Semester 2 or Year 3 Semester 1
Capstone is a 10 EC research project in year 3 Semester 2, in lieu of 10 EC of courses
Mapping: Majors, Minors, and Tracks
There are many and various ways for interested and responsible students to map their path through their degree programme at LUC. The college offers a flexible and versatile curriculum framed by pressing questions of peace, justice and sustainability; these questions are nuanced and developed through a matrix of individual courses that can be sequenced together into coherent, progressive tracks, which can then in turn be combined to form minors and majors that will determine the exit trajectory of LUC graduates. In general, our majors and minors are thematically rather than disciplinarily oriented, but because of the nature of academic progression student should expect to see (and seek) clear development in theoretical and methodological sophistication as they move from 100 to 200 to 300 level and beyond.
In outline: a track consists of three sequenced courses (one each at the 100, 200, 300 levels) and amounts to 15 EC; a minor usually consists of two tracks that cohere for thematic, theoretical or methodological reasons, amounting to 30 EC; a major usually contains at least three tracks, but it also has other requirements, amounting to 80 EC.
Advice on choosing courses, following tracks, and qualifying for majors and minors can and should be sought from a student’s personal tutor. At the end of their first year of study (i.e., on completion of P1), students should declare their intention to qualify for a particular major.
Regular major: 80 EC (as set out in the right column)
Combined major: 80 EC of a regular major + methodology courses from an additional major (thus graduating with extra credits)
Double major: 160 EC (thus graduating with extra credits)
Although this choice need not be set in stone, it does help to focus and organise student choices and experiences over the course of the second part (P2) of their programme.
Major: GLOBAL JUSTICE
Law and order are no longer exclusively a matter of domestic jurisdiction. Global threats and transnational patterns of crime and violence have led to an increasing internationalisation of responses to conflict and the emergence of new norms and institutions at the universal, regional, and domestic level to settle disputes, combat impunity, and provide conditions for sustainable peace and security. The nexus between justice, order and peace poses legal and policy challenges for governments, international institutions, non-state actors and civil society that go beyond national borders and single disciplines.
This major provides a complex and nuanced framework to study these challenges, ranging from integrated and multi-disciplinary techniques to overcome conflict and dispute, through to the consideration of how to live the Good Life in a global world of competing conceptions of justice and ethical principles. The major is designed for students who wish to study justice and global order from multiple perspectives, including those of international law, political science, and practical philosophy.
The major can include courses in the legal foundations of justice as well as its normative underpinnings in politics and international relations, building upon the compulsory 100-level Global Challenges courses on Peace and Justice. Students should expect to be introduced to the legal foundations of global justice (e.g., international norms, global and regional judicial systems), normative concepts (e.g., fairness, legality, legitimacy and their critiques), and their application in specific fields (dispute settlement, human rights). They will also explore the nexus between peace, justice and security. This major also introduces students to the foundations of statehood, democracy and the root causes of conflict, the role of global actors and institutions (e.g., United Nations, regional organisations) and conflict management techniques (e.g., peace diplomacy, mediation, peace-keeping).
Major: HUMAN INTERACTION
The globalising world defies understanding through the isolated study of politics, law, economics, and hard and soft sciences. The international arena in which considerations of politics, economy, environment—but also culture, religion, and society—intermingle in increasingly cross-cutting ways poses serious challenges for traditional ways of understanding human interaction. Acknowledging that institutional and legal structures are only part of the picture of a globalising world, this major focuses on the cultural, historical, philosophical, psychological, and religious dimensions of human interaction on the global stage. This is a multi- and inter-disciplinary major which draws on the humanities and social sciences to explore a series of contemporary challenges for global citizenship. Hence, the emphasis of this major is on the various ways in which local, national and international boundaries are maintained and traversed by social, cultural, and religious practices.
Unique and exciting its breadth as well as its potential for depth of insight, this major empowers students with the vocabulary, principles, and methods of history as a discipline, by providing them with foundational and specialized knowledge and skills in transnational history. Students can be trained in the core sub-fields of philosophy in a global context, sensitive to the dynamics of historical and international developments in the domain of human thought. This major also offers an innovative approach to the study of religion, starting with a comparison of various bases for belief, followed by an investigation of cultural and religious expression, building up to a synthesis of religious influences on social, political, and legal forms in domestic, national, and international contexts. Furthermore, students interested in this major have access to a wide range of courses in anthropology, culture, literature, sociology, and psychology, adding variety and depth to students’ investigations of how human beings interact.
Major: INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
One prominent global challenge in an increasingly interdependent world is the pace at which and the conditions under which local, national, regional, and global development take place. As prescribed and ascribed geopolitical divisions of north-south and east-west continue to teeter in different degrees of violence and flux, a responsible and critical approach to international development is urgently due. This inter-disciplinary major draws from anthropology, economics, environmental studies, ethics, geography, gender studies, governance, law, management studies, politics, and sociology, all towards a holistic appreciation of the difficulties plaguing development studies, so as to equip students with the necessary conceptual and pragmatic tools to enter the development debate. Learning to navigate multiple levels of analysis and dimensions of inquiry, students will be challenged to question not only so-called universal norms of development, but also any personal penchant for liberal, democratic ideals.
Conducive for robust and reflective global citizenship, such interrogations can take shape in a number of different ways. Many students are specifically interested in human development, and they are encouraged to start with ethical reflection on the ends and means of local, national, regional, and global development. Other students might be more interested in institutional development, focusing on development-specific macro- and micro-economic policies and governance issues surrounding resource management. Finally, one of the most original ways in which students can engaged questions of development is through the nexus of law, society and need: students sensitive to the interface between state and society will consider how and whether it should be the function of law and legal institutions to regulate people’s security, economic advancement, social justice and environmental protection.
Major: POLITICAL ARTS
Complementing the more conventional political sciences, LUC hosts the innovative and creative academic discipline of political arts to question and analyse how human beings interact with, compose, and express political ideas and actions through the various, diverse media of technology and the arts. This major explores the ways in which dance, drama, film, literature, music, performance, photography, poetry, rhetoric, and the practical and creative arts interleave with political life, either as vehicles for criticism, elaboration, theorisation, intervention, or activism. Quizzing definitions and boundaries of the political, students of this major will inspect the communicative, reflexive, and transformative aspects of individual and collective political agency; taking performance and artistic practice seriously as modes of scholarship, students of this major will dismantle the disciplinary edifices of the traditional university and discover new insights into what it means to be a political animal as a human being.
In collaboration with the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) and the Royal Conservatory (KC) in The Hague, as well as the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts in Leiden, this LUC major offers students a diversity of investigatory trajectories: for those who enter LUC with high proficiency in performance can continue to hone their practical talents at the KABK or KC, while joining those who concentrate on the philosophical aspects of political and visual aesthetics, phenomenology, semiotics, and communication, thus bringing practice into constant and dynamic dialogue with theory. Knowledge, especially of ourselves as political beings, requires the confluence of participation and reception – from the musical to the theatrical, from the literary to the journalistic, students will also reflect on the ontological, ethical, and political status of art, artefact, and artistry.
Driven by rapidly growing demands for food, water, materials and fuels, humans have changed the earth more deeply and extensively in the last decades than in any other period of time. All over the world, natural resources, environmental quality, and biodiversity are being outstripped by the ever-expanding ‘ecological footprint’ of human activities. Meanwhile, human population density continues to increase. Reversing the degradation of ecosystems, while meeting increasing demands, requires intense and concerted action of science and society. Sustainable solutions are required in many areas, such as global warming, depleting energy supplies, water and food, and the sustainable management and use of (material as well as ecological) natural resources.
The development of strategies for sustainable growth calls for an integration of scientific insights, methods and solutions from various disciplinary fields. Therefore, this major includes methodological and theoretical frameworks from across the natural sciences, from the sub-disciplines physics, chemistry, biology and their derivatives such as environmental sciences, as well as from the social sciences. The ultimate aim is for students to synthesize in-depth information from relevant field, lab, and academic sources which represent various points of view and different approaches. Hence, unlike conventional programmes in environmental or earth sciences on the one hand, or in public administration and governance on the other, this multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary major provides a unique combination of various specialisations to help build knowledge for a better world. Students taking this major will be able to graduate with a BSc or BA, depending on their choice of focus.
Field Methods in Environmental Sustainability
Quantitative Research Methods
Tools of the Trade: Sustainability Research
Major: WORLD POLITICS
Living in an interdependent world, we are increasingly interconnected by means of mobility and communication. Technology is changing the rules of world politics and provokes the need for globally conscious responses to issues such as sovereignty and intervention, imperialism and colonialism, poverty and development, trade and inequality, national security and human security, nationalism and identity, culture and terrorism, health and environmental deterioration, migration and immigration. This major equips students to understand these global challenges from the multifarious standpoints of nation-states and their citizens, as well as of non-governmental and international organisations, and provides an in-depth view of domestic, comparative, and international politics, addressing and how these multiple political realms (which are conventionally studied in relative isolation from each other) have become intertwined in the present era of global interdependence.
Students can expect to be trained to find a distinctive understanding of the world in which we live as well as the problems confronted by it. Students can pursue cutting-edge developments in the theories and methodologies of international politics and international relations, thus exploring critical security and regionality in globality in a comprehensive way. Concrete case studies lend themselves to a comparative approach to international politics, with analyses on the level of voter behaviour, constitution-building, institutional structures, party politics, and so forth. This major enables students to focus as tightly or as broadly as their interests dictate: at the most intimate level, students might explore questions of political psychology; at the other extreme, they might be fascinated by grand theories of the international system as a whole or in the formal modeling of game theory.
Economics combines the virtues of politics and science. It is, truly, a social science. Its subject matter is society – how people choose to lead their lives and how they interact with one another – but it approaches its subject with the dispassion of a science. By bringing the methods of science to questions of politics, economics tries to make progress on the global challenges that all societies face. To introduce students to the economist’s view of the world and build on the principles of economics, LUC offers a range of courses in macro- and micro-economics, econometrics, finance, trade, and economic policy, with case studies from diverse contexts.
For many, entrepreneurship is foremost associated with business venturing. However entrepreneurship is much more than that. The identification and pursuit of opportunities are highly relevant in today’s constantly changing world. Existing companies and non-profit organisations need to adapt continuously to changing markets and circumstances by identifying new needs and developing new products and services or even changing their entire strategic focus. This calls for professionals who have the resourcefulness and energy to realise when and what to alter to remain competitive. Increasingly, this need for change and flexibility also affects the individual and his/her character and stance towards the world.
The primary aim of this minor is to inspire students to obtain an entrepreneurial mindset with a highly positive attitude to new opportunities and change. Students who seek opportunities as entrepreneurs or managers in the international business community or non-profit sector will benefit from following this minor. After all, future leaders need to have in-depth insight in entrepreneurial and management principles.
This minor trains students interested in journalism for opportunities in mass media fields that demand strong writing and speaking skills alongside a clear appreciation of the ethics involved in reporting. In addition to practical skills and fieldwork in print and broadcast journalism, students taking this minor will also engage with the unique perspective of studying journalism as a literary experience – international journalism on war, conflict, and totalitarianism not only resonates with the interdisciplinary themes of peace, justice, and sustainability, but, by doing so, also prepares students to understand and grasp the power of words.
Minor: POLICY SCIENCE
More systematic and sophisticated approaches to understand policy have become increasingly influential in governmental and non-governmental institutions and organisations. Students of this minor will examine the challenges of policy-making and policy design for a clear appreciation of the organisational and political origins of many global challenges, and thus will be well-placed to develop possible solutions. The development of policy strategies requires an integration of social scientific insights, methods, and perspectives from a wide range of disciplines, and the evaluation of policy outcomes necessitates a firm grasp of quantitative data analysis. Thus, this minor includes coursework in quantitative methodology and analytical frameworks from across the social, biological, and computational sciences.
Quality policy solutions designed to address the practical problems of a globally interconnected world are best built on a precise and publicly verifiable understanding of the workings of complex forces governing social, political, economic, and ecological systems. Students of this minor therefore explore questions of how these systems work and interact to generate the global challenges we face, in order to develop and evaluate policy solutions capable of addressing these challenges in a sustainable, fair manner in promotion of human welfare.
This highly multidisciplinary minor encourages students to develop scientific reasoning skills to critically evaluate, engage with, and participate in high-level technical policy debates and, more importantly, sets the foundation for life-long intellectual engagement with the sophisticated policy issues.
Minor: RHETORIC & ARGUMENTATION
Scientific and scholarly discourse, political debate, court hearings, literature, commercials: they all rely on Argumentation and Rhetoric. Why are some politicians’ speeches more convincing than others’? What makes lawyers effective in court? In academic work it is equally important to be able to distinguish between sound and fallacious reasoning, to be acquainted with principles of rhetoric and to apply such knowledge to good practical effect, in order to present standpoints in a coherent and convincing manner. Rhetoric and argumentation are essential in learning to formulate standpoints and effectively present it to audiences, rebuttal of contrary stances included. This minor introduces students not just to classical origins but also to state of the art approaches of rhetoric and argumentation. Next to a theoretical basis, students practice a lot with historical and modern examples and also apply their skills in their own papers, presentations, and debates. This minor starts with two introductory courses in which the basic principles of argumentation and rhetoric are explained, trained, and practiced. Students then continue with two more specialised courses for each field, in order to advance to a set of 300-level course centred around case studies and debating.
Track: DIVERSITY & INTEGRATION
This track focuses on the different aspects at stake when encountering those challenges to integration posed by the co-existence of multiple actors and different cultures in contemporary societies. It does so in theoretical and practical terms by evolving from an introductory course where the conceptual foundations of the problematics framed in terms of diversity & integration in social and natural science are examined, with an analytical focus on the concept of unity; in the next course, the core question becomes that of the individual, specifically his/her need of and struggle for recognition and distinction; the third and final course addresses current tensions and examines case studies in which both diversity and integration are challenged by institutional structures or individuals’ daily forms of interaction.
This track relates to the global challenges theme of LUC in as much as it aims to get students acquainted with cross-disciplinary approaches and conceptual debates with regards to integration and the empirical challenges derived from the diverse composition of contemporary societies, as well as multiple actors involved at the global and local level. Any approach to peace, sustainability, justice, and our earth system requires the capacity to critically address the foundations of proposed forms of integration for the functioning of any system, and the constant challenge posed to it by the diversity of voices coexisting within it.
Track: LAW, SOCIETY, AND DEVELOPMENT
Serious efforts to meet global challenges will sooner or later encounter the limits of law in developing countries. At the interface between state and society, it should be the function of law and legal institutions to regulate people’s security, economic advancement, social justice and environmental protection, to mention just a few goals of development. This raises several important socio-legal questions. To what extent are such legal systems able to implement standards set by international law, to provide access and remedies to justice-seekers, and to support good governance and the development of society at large? To understand the capacities of these systems to make laws, implement them, and adjudicate conflicts, we will have to know what they look like, whether they consist of legal transplants from the West, or perhaps are based on other conceptions of law like customary law, divine Islamic law, or other traditions? How does state law relate to ‘non-state law’? Students of this track will also come to understand how legal systems operate in a heterogeneous and rapidly changing society. Economic, political, and social problems have their impact on the effectiveness of legal and governance institutions. In as far as legal systems are ineffective, corrupt or otherwise dysfunctional, is there anything to be done about that? Ultimately, this track encourages to student to assess the scope for strengthening legal systems and promoting the rule of law and human rights in the developing world.
Track: MATHEMATICAL MODELLING
This track trains students to develop models for dynamic empirical systems, and examine their behaviour mathematically and numerically. Students will consider discrete time (recurrence relations) as well as continuous time (differential equations) systems, deterministic systems as well as effects of randomness, and effects of external input on system dynamics. Besides mathematical analysis, students will learn to perform numerical analyses of model dynamics by means of the R programming language. With respect to specific applications, the emphasis will be on global challenges, such as natural population dynamics, human interactions (game theory), toxicology, and population genetics. Each course in this track will start with relatively simple models and their main results, then generalise to more complex models and dynamics. Other subjects considered are food webs, evolution and development of ecosystems, and causes and effects of biodiversity in ecosystems.
This track can be a useful and illuminating addition to all inquiries into global challenges, not least because human activities, decisions, and behaviour can account for most of these challenges. This track introduces students to the foundations, principles, and sub-fields in psychology – after a general overview, students interested in education can proceed with developmental psychology, those who wish to explore social psychology can continue to explore organizational and economic behaviour, and the track ends with an in-depth study of political communication and psychology.