The Academic Core of the AUC programme is designed to ensure that you develop strong academic skills in a number of essential areas, and to prepare you for your choice of theme and major. You will take Academic Core courses across all three years of your programme, ensuring an ongoing development of your skills.
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A special feature of the Academic Core are the Big Questions courses. You can choose from Big Data, Big Books, Big Books World Literature, Big Questions in Future Society, Big Questions in Science and Big History. These courses approach big questions in science and society from a variety of different and challenging perspectives, and the aim is to stimulate debate from day one of your programme. You are encouraged to reflect on your own position with respect to these big questions and how you can engage with them on a personal level. They also help to inspire and prepare you for your choice of theme and major.
Logic, Information Flow and Argumentation
Scientific reasoning is an essential skill when debating ‘big questions' and it is the focus of this course. During Logic, Information Flow and Argumentation, you analyse and discuss patterns of reasoning, and the validity of reasoning and information flow in a variety of contexts. This course develops analytical skills which will be of use to all AUC students, regardless of their major, which is why it is a mandatory course for all first-year students.
Academic Writing Skills and Advanced Research Writing
You are expected to enter AUC with a high level of written and spoken English, but more specific training is incorporated in the Academic Core in order to help all students write texts at an academic level, give presentations and participate in academic debates. After the first semester, you will also follow a more advanced course that will help prepare you for your Capstone (Bachelor's thesis). All AUC students, including native English speakers, will take both courses.
In today's globalised world, language skills are essential. It is for this reason that you are expected to reach a certain level of competence in a foreign language (other than English and your native language) during your studies at AUC. The current options include courses in Dutch, French, German Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin) and Arabic.
Mathematics and methodologies
You are also expected to enter AUC with a high level of maths, but depending on the more advanced courses that you wish to include in your study programme, you will need to take up to two maths courses as part of your Academic Core for Social Sciences and Sciences majors. The specific courses vary by major and cover subjects such as research methods and statistics, calculus and linear algebra. For Humanities majors, this requirement is slightly different and instead includes two courses related to literary and cultural theory, as well as visual methodologies.
The Global Identity Experience
AUC is an international institution, located in a cosmopolitan city, and seeks to prepare its graduates for a globalised world. This course is designed to open your eyes to issues in an international, multicultural context and to equip you with intercultural (communication) skills. Part of the course involves a group research project in the city of Amsterdam.
More information on the Academic Core
You can find more information on the Academic Core, including an overview of all the specific requirements per major, in section 2.6 of the Academic Standards and Procedures.