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General Education

Please note: This is an LUC programme component, not a Leiden University minor programme.

The General Education component is aimed at educating students to understand the complexity of Global Challenges. All students are therefore required to take four General Education courses which not only introduce the various disciplines that can be used to approach these problems, but that also encourage them to work together to consider solutions. The courses expand the students’ perspective of these challenges as well as introducing them to several fields of study. They discover through interdisciplinary co-operation how they can contribute to global challenges. The fifth course in General Education is aimed at training interdisciplinary skills.

Global Challenges: Peace
This course examines not only the legal, historical, and political aspects of the theme, but also looks at the causes and conclusions of war, as well as discussing the philosophical dimensions. Students will apply this general knowledge in a case study of a single conflict in a region, country, or nation of the world. While learning more about the case, they will train their academic skills, such as searching and evaluating literature and applying academic reasoning and critical thinking, as their well as interdisciplinary skills.

Global Challenges: Sustainability-Earth
In this course students will learn about the primary processes in System Earth, its main global cycles (e.g. water, nutrients, and carbon) and its energy balance. Furthermore, they will study how humans interfere with these global cycles and with the energy balance and how this leads to the environmental problems we are confronted with and how these balance with economic growth.

Global Challenges: Justice
The third Global Challenges course continues to build on the topics raised previously. Justice has more than only legal aspects. When does a person feel that justice has been done? Does this differ from culture to culture? These questions and others are topics of discussion in this course.

Global Challenges: Sustainability-Energy
This course focuses on aspects of energy. What is energy, how is it created and used, and how can we find new sources of energy to sustain our world? This course contains experiments related to energy as well as providing students with the basic skills they need to address this very important topic in any future career.

History of Philosophy
Key to any engagement with the liberal arts and sciences is a reflection on how knowledge has been created, organised, and legitimised throughout history and across the world. To initiate students into the process of thinking about how historical and cultural contexts shape the significance of knowledge in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, History of Philosophy considers how critical ideas have changed over time and through space.