AUC's academic programme

AUC offers a Bachelor's (Honours) degree programme in the liberal arts and sciences, taught in English, and open to both Dutch and international students.

AUC's approach to liberal arts and sciences

The liberal arts and sciences approach of AUC means:

  • Opportunities to follow courses on a wide variety of subjects
  • Small international classes with personal attention and interaction with lecturers
  • Substantial freedom in designing your own study programme
  • Support and advice from a personal tutor on planning your study programme
  • A focus on far-reaching themes and real-world problems in science and society
  • Learning about the relationships between fields of knowledge, as well as building specialist knowledge in the subjects that interest you most
  • Advancing your personal and social development in addition to your intellectual skills

The AUC liberal arts and sciences programme is therefore rather different from traditional, single subject, university programmes. In addition to depth of knowledge, the AUC programme places particular emphasis on: 

Academic skills

The AUC academic programme offers you many opportunities to work, both independently and with fellow students, on projects that require the integration of knowledge with skills in analysis, discovery, problem-solving and communication. You will engage in active learning and research based on your own questions, so that you can develop your academic and personal skills as you learn the arts of inquiry, innovation and design.

Integrating insights

Many of the most important issues facing society today are too complex or wide-ranging to be dealt with using the knowledge and methodology of a single subject area. The AUC academic programme therefore places a great deal of emphasis on teaching you how to integrate insights from different perspectives, and to work across the traditional boundaries between subjects and fields. This is most strongly reflected in AUC's six themes, of which you choose one as a background to your studies. However, you also need depth of knowledge in order to integrate these insights successfully. In the AUC programme you therefore choose a major as a focus for your studies, and explore your favourite subject areas in more depth.

Intercultural competences

In accordance with the best traditions of a liberal arts college, the AUC programme embodies a broad education, which encourages personal reflection and critical engagement. AUC is not just about taking courses and developing your intellectual skills, it is also about your personal and social development.

No matter which major you choose, you will improve your foreign language skills, and you will develop your abilities to interact with people from different social and cultural backgrounds. You will also have opportunities to study abroad and/or take up an international internship.

AUC's location in the multicultural city of Amsterdam provides the perfect environment for a programme that will emphasise European and world issues rather than more traditional national ones. AUC is an international college, with students of many different nationalities and from a variety of backgrounds, and our programme is built around themes and topics that are essential to understanding the world today and the processes shaping it, such as urbanisation, technological development, democratisation, migration and religion.

Scientific reasoning

At AUC we believe it is essential that students are encouraged and taught to think critically, and to develop strong academic skills. This includes scientific reasoning - not just basic mathematical, statistical and computational skills (although these are important), but also a familiarity with scientific methods in general.

You will be challenged and stretched to ensure you are skilled in rational and logical thinking and reasoning, and familiar with the development of hypotheses, testing them and changing them if results demand it. The Academic Core curriculum provides mathematical methods courses and required logic courses to support the acquisition of these skills. Particular attention will be given to ways in which scientific reasoning and scientific facts are translated into public policy and public debate.

Community engagement

AUC is not an island, but connected closely to the surrounding community in the multicultural city of Amsterdam and also to the world at large. AUC emphasises students' personal and social responsibility both inside and outside the classroom. You will therefore be expected and encouraged to become actively involved in community projects and real-world challenges, including in-company internships, where you will get the chance to test theories you have learned in the classroom.

Tutors and personal guidance

Your tutor will advise you, and help you to ensure that your programme matches your future ambitions and will meet the requirements for graduation. Within these guidelines, you will have the freedom to select the courses you want to follow on the subjects that interest you most.

Continue reading about AUC's academic programme

Composed of various components, continue reading more about AUC's curriculum and academic programme by following the link below or the links in the left-hand menu above. 

Robbert Dijkgraaf delivers his speechs during the opening ceremony of AUC

"Many of our students will later be in a position to make important decisions, whether in business, government, policy or academia. The scientific way of thinking and approaching life could be valuable if not crucial for their success." - Prof. Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf

Published by  Amsterdam University College

28 November 2018