The academic year at LUC consists of two semesters of two blocks each. Courses typically last one block and carry 5 EC. In some cases a course can be shorter (2,5 EC: Academic English I and II, Numeracy I and II) or longer (10EC: the language courses). Students register for 15 EC, or three courses, per block.
A standard course has 2×2 hour seminars per week, with the exception of the Global Challenges courses and the language courses which meet 3×2 hours per week. Class size usually does not exceed 20 students.
The Liberal Arts & Sciences programme offered at LUC The Hague can be divided into two parts.
Part I covers the first year and consists of interdisciplinary general education courses, academic skills courses and allows for four courses to be chosen by students to suit their interest. At the end of Part I students declare their intention to complete one of the majors, which they will complete in part II of the programme.
Part II covers the second and third years of the programme. In this part students take courses to meet the graduation requirements for the various components of the programme. – Major – Global Citizenship – Electives
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 students 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 consists of two tracks that cohere for thematic, theoretical or methodological reasons, amounting to 30 EC; a major contains at least three tracks, but it also has some other requirements (see tab Major), amounting to 80 EC.
Although it is technically possible for students to compose their own tracks (as long as they satisfy the prerequisites for each course at the 200 level and above) with the permission of the Examination Committee, LUC has carefully crafted a collection of recommended (and pre-approved) tracks that it considers to be central to the concerns of each major and which can be effectively linked by designated ‘integrative’ courses. Advice on choosing courses, following tracks, and qualifying for majors & minors can/should be sought from a student’s personal tutor.
Tagging, Tags, Trajectories, and Tracks
In order to maximize student choice and ownership of their individual programmes of study at LUC, the college utilizes a system of ‘tags’ that designate how a particular course can be used and for which parts of the programme it can be counted as credit. Given the overall themes of education at LUC and its interdisciplinary approach, in practice this tagging system means that many courses are cross-listed into more than one major or minor –that is, many courses receive more than one ‘tag’ to help students to see how they might make use of them in various learning trajectories through the programme. In practice, this means that every course could in principle count towards more than one part of our programme — although it can in fact only be used to satisfy the requirements of one such part (i.e.,a decision about the use of a course will need to be made by the student in consultation with their tutor, or by the ExCie prior to graduation).
There are several different kinds of tags. One of the most important is the major-tag, which explains in which major or majors a course can be counted. These tags take the form of abbreviation of the majors:
HI (Human Interaction),
ID (International Development),
GJ (Global Justice),
WP (World Politics).
From 2011, LUC will also use the tag PA (Political Arts) in preparation for the development of a new major in this experimental area.
Other tags relate to specific tracks or minors, such as
DI (Diversity and Integration),
MM (Mathematical Modelling),
RA (Rhetoric and Argumentation),
or to components of the programme, such as
GC (Global Citizenship).
AS (Academic Skills)
Finally, there are tags that identify courses that can be used to satisfy particular requirements of the programme, such as
IN (Integrative course),
M (Methodology course),
Responsible and imaginative students should be able to make creative use of the tagging system to assemble a trajectory tailored to their own interests and ambitions, whilst satisfying the requirements of rigorous academic progression and development in particular areas. Students who seek to follow an unorthodox trajectory (i.e., one that is not already recognised by the structures of the majors, minors and pre-approved tracks) must gain the approval of the Examination Committee after taking advice from their tutor.
In the first year of the programme students are introduced to the themes of the programme in the General Education component of the programme. This consists of four Global Challenges courses and History of Philosophy. All these courses are compulsory and have the tag ‘GE’. Students take one Global Challenges course in each block. History of Philosophy runs for the full first semester. In the same year the foundations for Academic Skills and Methodology are laid in the Academic Skills courses. These are also compulsory for all students. Designing Academic Inquiry runs for the full second semester.
In each block the students select one course themselves, from the 100-levels of the Majors or Global Citizenship courses. One of these four courses must be an Areas of Theory course. Below the compulsory courses are listed. For the courses on offer in the Majors and Minors, please see those sections of the e-prospectus.
Global Challenges 2: Energy
Academic English 1 or Numeracy I
History of Philosophy (continued)
Global Challenges 3: Justice
Academic English II or Numeracy II
Designing Academic Inquiry
Global Challenges 4: Earth
Academic English II or Numeracy II
Designing Academic Inquiry (continued)
LUC Major: An Overview
The LUC majors are all constructed in the same way. Each student determines his or her own major with the guidance of the tutor, but the major should meet the following requirements:
- 14 courses at 5 EC each divided as follows:
3 tracks (100-200-300-level courses) = 9 courses
2 methodology courses (200-level)
1 integrative course (300-level)
2 option courses in related fields (any level)
Capstone in Year 3 (10 EC): Bachelor Thesis
The major courses are tagged in the following way; click on the name of the major for more details.
GJ Global Justice
HI Human Interaction
ID International Development
WP World Politics
M methodology course
Next to the tracks that have been designed with a specific major in mind, there are also tracks that can be used in several or all majors. Use the tab Independent Tracks for more information on these tracks. Please check the tag for each course to see if it has been approved for a specific major.
DI Diversity and Integration
LSD Law, Society, and Development
MM Mathematical Modelling
The LUC minors all consist of six 5 EC courses, divided over two tracks that cohere for thematic, theoretical or methodological reasons. A minor must have at least 30 EC, of which at least 10 should be at the advanced (300) level. There are pre-approved minors available but students can also compose their own minor. In that case they should consult their tutor and request approval from the Examinations Committee.
The pre approved minors are tagged in the following way; click on the name of the minor to read more.
PA Political Arts
RA Rhetoric and Argumentation
LUC is an international institution with students, faculty and staff from all over the world and a programme that is focused on Global Challenges. To increase awareness of the challenges posed by cross-cultural communication, all students take at least 25 EC in Global Citizenship courses. These courses are specifically designed to develop communication and reflection skills and increase the appreciation of cultural and social diversity.
For this component, students can select either language courses or culture courses or a combination thereof. Please note that the Areas of Theory courses can be used to fulfill the requirements of this component; in that case the same course cannot be used to meet the requirement to take one Areas of Theory course in year 1.
LUC The Hague has four Independant Tracks: coherent series of three or more courses that can be combined with any of the majors. These four tracks are described below:
- Diversity and Integration
- Law, Society and Development
- Mathematical Modelling
Please consult your tutor on the composition of your major.
Track: DIVERSITY & INTEGRATION
Diversity and Integration track is organized as a sequence of 3 courses that might be taken as a whole (track) or as single optional courses (either at 100 or 200 level, or both). The track focuses on the different aspects at stake when observing the challenges to integration posed by the coexistence of multiple actors and different cultures in contemporary societies. It aims to do so in theoretical and practical terms.The track evolves from an introductory course (100-level) where the conceptual foundations of the problematics framed in terms of diversity & integration in social and natural science are examined. To do so, the concept of unity is analysed throughout the course. In the following course (200-level) the core question is that of the individual; his/her need of and struggle for recognition and distinction. Finally, in the third course (300-level) the track addresses current tensions and examines case-study examples where both diversity and integration are challenged by given institutional structures or individuals’ daily forms of interaction.
The track relates to our global challenges program in as much as it aims students to get acquainted with cross-disciplinary approaches and conceptual debates regarding integration and the empirical challenges derived from the diverse composition of contemporary societies and 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.
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 the 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, we summarize ten “principles of economics” (by N. Gregory Mankiw): How People Make Decisions
1.People Face Tradeoffs. To get one thing, you have to give up something else. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another.
2. The Cost of Something is What You Give Up to Get It. Decision-makers have to consider both the obvious and implicit costs of their actions.
3. Rational People Think at the Margin. A rational decision-maker takes action if and only if the marginal benefit of the action exceeds the marginal cost.
4. People Respond to Incentives. Behavior changes when costs or benefits change.
How the Economy Works as A Whole
5. Trade Can Make Everyone Better Off. Trade allows each person to specialize in the activities he or she does best. By trading with others, people can buy a greater variety of goods or services.
6. Markets Are Usually a Good Way to Organize Economic Activity. Households and firms that interact in market economies act as if they are guided by an “invisible hand” that leads the market to allocate resources efficiently. The opposite of this is economic activity that is organized by a central planner within the government.
7. Governments Can Sometimes Improve Market Outcomes. When a market fails to allocate resources efficiently, the government can change the outcome through public policy. Examples are regulations against monopolies and pollution.
How People Interact
8. A Country’s Standard of Living Depends on Its Ability to Produce Goods and Services. Countries whose workers produce a large quantity of goods and services per unit of time enjoy a high standard of living. Similarly, as a nation’s productivity grows, so does its average income.
9. Prices Rise When the Government Prints Too Much Money. When a government creates large quantities of the nation’s money, the value of the money falls. As a result, prices increase, requiring more of the same money to buy goods and services.
10. Society Faces a Short-Run Trade off Between Inflation and Unemployment. Reducing inflation often causes a temporary rise in unemployment. This trade off is crucial for understanding the short-run effects of changes in taxes, government spending and monetary policy.
Track: LAW, SOCIETY, & 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’? We also need 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? In other words, what is the scope for strengthening legal systems and promoting the rule of law and human rights in the developing world?
Globalisation means that the study of law is no longer limited to one’s own national legal system. Governments, the legal professions, firms and civil society organisations increasingly face legal questions related to foreign law. An introduction to legal systems around the globe will enable students to understand the basic differences in laws and legal systems worldwide, and their backgrounds. This knowledge enables them to find and interpret foreign sources of law, and understand more about foreign legal practice and legal institutions. Finally students can use this worldwide legal knowledge to engage in debates on law and globalisation. Students will learn more about the influences of continental law, common law, and other legal traditions. Countries that will be discussed include China, Indonesia, Ghana, and Egypt. The conceptual framework for the second component of this track originates in comparative law, and introduces a focus on five elements, i.e., history, ideology, sources, institutions and legal reasoning.
This track also offers an introduction to law and governance of a particular country or region of your interest. Each year a different country will be studied. The course deals with formation and functioning of law, in a governance context. Some areas of law, like constitutional law, family law, land law, or environmental law, will be studied in depth. Which social, economic and political problems is law supposed to regulate, and how do law-makers, lawyers, government officials, courts, and paralegals contribute to solutions? How does the law solve conflicts between human rights and local culture? Which conceptions of justice do we encounter here? Do people have access to justice, or is there a need for legal empowerment? To what extent does the legal system comply with international Rule of Law standards? The final component of the track does not only explain law and legal processes, but it also provides an introduction to socio-legal research, the concepts and methodologies needed to collect reliable data o both law as well as social reality.
Track: MATHEMATICAL MODELLING
After successful completion of the Year 1 core course in mathematics, students can continue with the following advanced options:
Modelling Dynamic Systems (200-level): Students learn how to develop models for empirical systems, and examine their behaviour mathematically and numerically. We 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. Human Evolutionary Dynamics (300-level):Biology has taught us much about our own evolution, and a large part of this knowledge comes from mathematical models. In this course we will examine empirical results in conjunction with these models. The course starts with a short introduction to evolutionary theory, the elutionary history of humanoids, and the comparative psychology of humans. Then different classes of evolutionary models will be examined, namely population genetics, gene-culture co-evolution models, and niche construction models. We will consider their implications for the current state of the human world population, with respect to genetics, culture, and behaviour.
Dynamics and Structure of Ecological Systems(300-level):Ecosystems are complex systems that contain many different species, with different types of interactions. Also, there are material and energy flows through the system that are related to these interactions. Because of this complexity, mathematical models have been applied to study ecosystem dynamics already for a long time. With new technological development, these models become more and more complex. It is important to be aware, though, of their fundamental building blocks, and some basic features of ecosystem dynamics, before going into the more complex models. This course will follow such a build-up, starting with relatively simple models and their main results, and then generalizing to more complex models and dynamics. Some of the subjects that we will consider are food webs, evolution and development of ecosystems, and causes and effects