Looking back, one of the most valuable features of the AUC programme are the academic writing courses. Due to the knowledge I acquired during AUC’s writing courses, I have been asked to give feedback on essays and to review papers of my fellow master students, showing me that I indeed gained something during my education which others did not.Sofija Vučković (Class of 2020)
Components of the Academic Core
The Academic Core consists of courses that provide a foundation for students’ success in their majors and in their professional lives after graduation. Some of these courses are required. These include methodology courses, Big Questions courses, academic writing courses, community projects & internships, logic and the Global Identity Experience. Other foundational courses, like AUC’s languages, can be taken by students as electives.
Courses required for all students
- Academic Writing Skills
- Logic, Information, Argumentation
- The Global Identity Experience
- Advanced Research Writing
- One 'Big Questions' course
- Community Project or Internship (CPI)
A special feature of the Academic Core is the Big Questions courses. These courses approach big questions in science and society by examining theories and methods from the combined perspectives of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. By taking a Big Questions course, students transcend their major and develop interdisciplinary skills, such as the ability to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams, and recognise and integrate different disciplinary perspectives. You can choose from:
- Big Questions in Time
- Big Questions in Language, Power and (dis)Empowerment
- Big Questions in Bioethics
- Big Questions in the Anthropocene
- Big Questions on The Environment: Science, Society, and Culture
- Big Questions in the Senses
- Big Questions in Artificial Intelligence and Data
- Big Questions in Consciousness
Logic, Information Flow and Argumentation
Scientific reasoning is an essential skill when debating ‘big questions' and is the focus of this course. During Logic, Information Flow and Argumentation, students analyse patterns of reasoning and the validity of reasoning and information flow in a variety of contexts. This course develops analytical skills that will be of use to all AUC students, regardless of their major.
Academic Writing Skills and Advanced Research Writing
Students are expected to enter AUC with a high level of written and spoken English. More specific training is incorporated in the Academic Core to help all students write texts at an academic level, give presentations and participate in academic debates during Academic Writing Skills. After the first semester, students follow a more advanced course (Advanced Research Writing) to help prepare them for their Capstone (Bachelor's thesis). All AUC students, including native English speakers, will take both Academic Writing Skills and Advanced Research Writing.
In today's globalised world, language skills are essential. AUC offers students the opportunity to choose various languages as elective courses. The language courses emphasise learning language by gaining insight into the cultural practices, beliefs and behaviours of language speakers. Students enhance their ability to speak, write, read and listen to a particular language and their intercultural skills. The languages offered include:
- Dutch (Levels A1-B1.2)
- French (Levels A1-B1.2)
- German (Levels A1-B1.2)
- Contextualizing Spanish: Language and Society (Levels 1-4)
- Contextualizing Arabic: Language and Society (Levels 1-2)
- Contextualizing Chinese: Language and Society (Levels 1-2)
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 students' eyes to issues in an international, multicultural context and to equip them 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 in section 2.6 of the Academic Standards and Procedures.