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Constellations provide structure for examining complex and far-reaching questions that require the integration of insights from different fields of knowledge.

AUC encourages students to broaden their horizons and enhance their interdisciplinary knowledge and skills. Until the 2022-2023 academic year, students principally learned about and practiced interdisciplinarity by following theme courses in their major and by taking a Big Questions course in the Academic Core.

No more theme courses from September 2023

From 2023-2024, theme courses have been removed in line with the five-year strategy AUC NEXT. The change seeks to support new avenues for interdisciplinary learning by facilitating mobility between the three majors. Instead of theme courses, students choose a Big Questions course and follow a minimum of two courses in each major other than their own.

Course "constellations" guiding interdisciplinary study

To further support students’ mobility between majors and help them discover synergies between the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences, AUC is developing course constellations. From 2024-2025, six constellations will be developed that relate to VU and UvA research themes and focus on important societal challenges.

What is a constellation?

A constellation consists of 12 to 14 courses spanning AUC’s majors that examine complex societal issues. While students continue to concentrate on courses in their major, the selected courses in a constellation will help them discover new pathways through the curriculum to form multidisciplinary perspectives and explore courses they may previously not have considered. Starting in 2024-2025, the course constellations will include:

  1. Cognition and Imagination: This constellation will focus on topics like the nervous system, senses, consciousness, media and the arts.
  2. Digital Worlds: This constellation will focus on topics like information systems, artificial intelligence, digital transformations, games, privacy and security.
  3. Energy and Climate: This constellation will focus on topics like system earth, climate change, energy transition, and governance and legislation.
  4. Health and Society: This constellation will focus on topics like human health, (international) public health, bioethics and health technology assessment.
  5. Human Development: This constellation will focus on topics like evolution, the anthropocene, social and cultural change, migration and urbanisation.
  6. Order and Complexity: This constellation will focus on topics like stability and resilience, cybernetics, origins of life and universe, material worlds and networks.