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Liberal Arts and Sciences

"All entities move and nothing remains still." - Heraclitus

University College Groningen is a Faculty of the University of Groningen, one of the world’s top 100 universities. Our mission is to challenge you, and to give you the space and support to thrive. Our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme is designed to empower you to forge your own path, develop your own identity, and find your position in a constantly changing world.

Our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme offers students the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects whilst developing specialist knowledge in their major discipline (Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences). Throughout the degree students will work in interdisciplinary teams on a series of projects that take them outside of the. This will enable students to learn how to apply a creative approach in finding solutions for complex global challenges.

Facts & Figures
Degree
BA/BSc in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
50393
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
University College Groningen
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?

The academic profile of the programme is unique as it is inspired by the three leading societal profiles of the University of Groningen: Energy, Healthy Ageing and Sustainable Society. In this context the programme has a strong emphasis on societal impact. The methodological approach to complex societal challenges is characterised by the perspectives of creating horizon through imagination and creating scholarship and leadership through invention and academic innovation.

Programme

The emphasis is on orientation and ideas, seeing and identifying problems and imagining solutions, and students learn to provide informed suggestions on how to contribute to the challenges of modern society. Continuous elements are the Skills & Projects line and the research and methodology courses, both of which help you to reflect on and integrate what you learn in the disciplinary subjects.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Academic Writing (5 EC)
Exploring Challenges of Modern Society (5 EC)
Elective modules from Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities (30 EC, optional)
Logic and Argumentation and Basic Statistics (5 EC)
Research and Methodology (5 EC)
Skills & Group Projects (10 EC)

In the second year of the programme you will focus on one of the majors (35 credits), you will participate in an interdisciplinary project (10 credits), and a Research and Methodology programme (15 credits).

Within each major, Major Specialisations allow students to combine different academic disciplines or perspectives into a tailor-made programme that fits their interests and prospective Master choice. Please note that alternative specialisations within majors are possible and can be created by the students to fit their needs.

In your third and final year, you will gain some international experience, which could include study abroad (30 credits) or a University of Groningen minor. On top of this you will complete your major specialisation (15 credits), Bachelor thesis (10 credits) and a capstone project (5 credits).

Study load

40 hours of class and self-study per week on average

Curriculum

The first year consists of 30 required credits in Exploring Challenges, Research & Methodology, Skills & Projects and Academic Writing. The other 30 credits are up to the student: courses can be chosen from a wide variety of topics and disciplines, ranging from physics to psychology and everything in between. After the first year, students are able to choose their major orientation and specialise in a particular academic field. The academic core runs through all three years of the programme.

Programme options
Health and Life Sciences (specialization)

The scope of this specialisation ranges from cell biology to human physiology, immunology, microbiology, neurobiology and important areas in human biology and their relevance for health and disease.

Non-medical/biological perspectives on these topics are important to UCG, which encourages multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving, and these perspectives are part of the specialisation whenever appropriate. Students study the topics in this specialisation through small group lectures, working groups, journal clubs, laboratory practicals and self-study.

More information about this option

Smart Technologies (specialization)

The Smart Technologies specialisation aims for students to understand how novel technologies work, and at the same time are able to grasp the implication at an individual, social and economic level

Smart technologies are changing our life and our societies on a deeper level than ever before. Smart home assistants, vehicles, factories, banks, buildings and many more are highly interconnected, communicate with their environment and with us, and operate using various levels of artificial intelligence. To shape the future, we need creative and interdisciplinary minds with knowledge of science, technology and computer science to develop, implement smart technological solutions in our modern society.

More information about this option

Mind, Machines and Morality (specialization)

Students receive training at the intersection of machine learning, psychology, and philosophy, in order to fully engage with the challenging and rapidly growing field of artificial intelligence.

Online assistants, targeted advertisements, self-driving cars and smart robots are just a few examples of automated systems that rely heavily on artificial intelligence. At UCG, we believe that, to fully understand how such systems engage with people and influence our society, we must go beyond the traditional core algorithmic focus.

More information about this option

Mind and Behaviour (specialization)

Students in this specialisation dive into the heart of all human activity: the psychology of how we think, feel, and behave.

The complexity of mind and behaviour requires that students travel back and forth through the micro-scale dimensions of the individual and the macro-scale dimensions of culture. In doing so, students address questions such as: How and why do we filter incoming information to understand the world around us? How do our identities, personalities, and abilities emerge across our lifespan? What role do societal norms play in the increasing prevalence of depression and anxiety?

More information about this option

Societies and Cultures in Transition (specialization)

Societies and Cultures in Transition is geared towards understanding current societal and cultural changes.

Change often leads to uncertainty, tension, and conflict. Yet, fundamental changes may be necessary to adapt our societies to the world of today and the challenges of tomorrow. Typical questions related to this specialisation are: Can societal changes be explained from the intentions of individuals? What is the role of culture in diverse societies? What are the societal consequences of economic and technological developments? How can we design effective policies to guide societal and cultural changes?

More information about this option

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (specialization)

This specialisation studies the structure, and the philosophical and economic principles of today's (global) society.

The study addresses various societal problems such as the polarisation of society, sustainable economic development, democracy and immigration. These problems have important economic dimensions, and present ethical dilemmas. They also require effective political solutions. The specialisation focuses on the nation state, the market and individual behaviour, and discusses how entities interact. Combing philosophy, politics and economics gives students a multidisciplinary framework to analyse and address global challenges in a sustainable and evidence-based way.

More information about this option

International Relations & International law (specialization)

This specialisation studies the role of the state and international organisations within the international community.

It addresses global societal problems such as armed conflicts, human rights violations, terrorism, migration and climate change. This specialisation studies how states interact with each other, how they balance their national interests and global needs and it studies what the role of international law is. It aims to find means by which international political leaders can come to effective policymaking on the international level.

More information about this option

International Business & Entrepreneurship (specialization)

The focus of this specialisation is on international business and entrepreneurship.

It aims to understand the global business strategy and analyses how international business and multinationals strategically operate in the global market. It discusses the implications of their strategies and addresses ethical dilemmas. Special attention is also given to the principles of entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurship in society.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

We encourage our students to study their minor (30 EC) abroad in the 1st semester of year 3.

Entry Requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • CM
  • EM
  • NG
  • NT
  • academic propedeuse
  • HBO-p

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

Proficiency in English and Mathematics

grade average

GPA of at least 70%

language test

Since English is the official language at University College Groningen, applicants are required to demonstrate proof of their English language proficiency. The following exemptions apply:

  • Native English speakers who have completed their entire secondary education in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (English secondary education);
  • Applicants with an IB diploma, with English as the medium of instruction;
  • Applicants with an EB diploma, with English as final exam subject from a European School or one of the Accredited European Schools;
  • Applicants with a Dutch VWO diploma and a 7 or higher in English;
  • Applicants with a German Abitur Diploma and a 10 or higher for the English Kurs;
  • Applicants with at least 3 GCE A2-level certificates from an accredited British examination board;
  • Applicants who have already completed and entire Bachelor's programme in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (English secondary education);

If you do not meet the requirements listed above, one of the following tests will provide proof of English proficiency: IELTS (Academic), TOEFL (IBT, CBT or PBT), Cambridge English or the English Language Test offered by the University of Groningen Language Centre.

math test

Next to being proficient in English, another minimum requirement for studying at UCG is proficiency in Mathematics. We measure proficiency in Mathematics by having passed maths as a final year or graduating course in your secondary education. For students from the Netherlands, this means that you have to have passed Mathematics A, B or C as a graduating course. If you do not meet that requirement we would advise you to choose an alternative course / test to complement your application:

  • Dutch VWO Wiskunde A, B or C certificate (Dutch pre-university Mathematics A or B), obtained at CCVX;
  • Dutch VWO Wiskunde A, B or C certificate (Dutch pre-university Mathematics A or B), obtained at Boswell-Beta;
  • AP Calculus AB or BC with a College Board examination;
  • AS-level or A-level certificate in Mathematics (via one of the British A-level examination boards);
  • IB certificate Mathematical Studies Standard Level, Mathematics Standard Level or Higher Level;
  • Mathematik GK/gA or Mathematik LK/eA
written request

Your personal statement is a key part of the application process, as it shows your potential for development at UCG by demonstrating your prior academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and other relevant experience. The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the UCG Board of Admission a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student at UCG. The personal statement helps to determine whether you will be granted an offer to study Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCG. Therefore, we recommend you to follow the instructions carefully. Please show us your potential as a UCG student by making sure that your personal statement addresses the following questions:

What sparks your interest in the interdisciplinary approach of UCG's Liberal Arts and Sciences programme and what do you believe is the added value of studying multiple disciplines together? Give concrete examples and/or use your own personal experiences. Which UCG major(s) or major specialisation(s) are you interested in, and why? What makes studying in an international and intercultural student community attractive to you and what would you like to gain from this? Give concrete examples and/or use your own personal experiences. How do you see Liberal Arts and Sciences skills, for instance project-management skills, contributing to your future career success? Give concrete examples. (If relevant) explain any shortcomings in the preferred admission requirements. If you have a deficiency in some particular area, explain how this is compensated by other qualifications.

The word limit of the personal statement is 500 words. Should you wish to make a video, the maximum duration is 5 minutes.

Choice of degree programme check

Prospective students can request a meeting to discuss their choice of degree programme.

Registration procedure

1 - Apply via Studielink and OAS (Online Application System) You need to submit your personal information, details of your prior education, and your personal statement.

Read more about the Admission Process via www.rug.nl/ucg/application

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Since English is the official language at University College Groningen, applicants are required to demonstrate proof of their English language proficiency. The following exemptions apply:

  • Native English speakers who have completed their entire secondary education in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (English secondary education);
  • Applicants with an IB diploma, with English as the medium of instruction;
  • Applicants with an EB diploma, with English as final exam subject from a European School or one of the Accredited European Schools;
  • Applicants with a Dutch VWO diploma and a 7 or higher in English;
  • Applicants with a German Abitur Diploma and a 10 or higher for the English Kurs;
  • Applicants with at least 3 GCE A2-level certificates from an accredited British examination board;
  • Applicants who have already completed and entire Bachelor's programme in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (English secondary education);

If you do not meet the requirements listed above, one of the following tests will provide proof of English proficiency: IELTS (Academic), TOEFL (IBT, CBT or PBT), Cambridge English or the English Language Test offered by the University of Groningen Language Centre.

math test

In addition to being proficient in English, another minimum requirement for studying at UCG is proficiency in Mathematics. We measure proficiency in Mathematics by having passed maths as a graduating course in your secondary education. For students form the Netherlands, this means that you have to have passed Mathematics A, B or C as a graduating course. If you do not meet that requirement we would advice you to choose an alternative course / test to complement your application:

Course VWO Mathematics A (e.g. probability, statistics, calculus) or Mathematics B (e.g. differentiation, integration, trigonometry, geometry) offered in Dutch and English at the Boswell-Beta institute in Utrecht (the Netherlands) throughout the year and during the summer months; Dutch VWO Wiskunde A or Wiskunde B certificate (Dutch pre-university Mathematics A or B), obtained at: CCVX (http://www.ccvx.nl/); AP Calculus AB or BC with a College Board examination; AS-level or A-level certificate in Mathematics (via one of the British A-level examination boards); IB certificate Mathematics Standard Level or Higher Level.

previous education

UK - 3 A Levels at Grade B; Germany - Abitur at Grade 2.0 or higher; USA - 4 Advanced Placement Tests at Grade 3.0 or higher or SAT combined score 1300; International Baccalaureate Diploma - 32 points or higher. All applicants are also required to demonstrate proficiency in English and mathematics (see English and Maths sections for details)

written request

Your personal statement is a key part of the application process, as it shows your potential for development at UCG by demonstrating your prior academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and other relevant experience. The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the UCG Board of Admission a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student at UCG. The personal statement helps to determine whether you will be granted an offer to study Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCG. Therefore, we recommend you to follow the instructions carefully. Please show us your potential as a UCG student by making sure that your personal statement addresses the following questions:

  • What sparks your interest in the interdisciplinary approach of UCG's Liberal Arts and Sciences programme and what do you believe is the added value of studying multiple disciplines together? Give concrete examples and/or use your own personal experiences.
  • Which UCG major(s) or major specialisation(s) are you interested in, and why?
  • What makes studying in an international and intercultural student community attractive to you and what would you like to gain from this? Give concrete examples and/or use your own personal experiences.
  • How do you see Liberal Arts and Sciences skills, for instance project-management skills, contributing to your future career success? Give concrete examples.

(If relevant) explain any shortcomings in the preferred admission requirements. If you have a deficiency in some particular area, explain how this is compensated by other qualifications.

The word limit of the personal statement is 500 words. Should you wish to make a video, the maximum duration is 5 minutes.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
IELTS listening6
IELTS reading6
IELTS writing6
IELTS speaking6
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

Registration procedure

1 - Apply via Studielink and OAS (Online Application System) You need to submit your personal information, details of your prior education, and your personal statement

Check www.rug.nl/ucg for further details

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition Fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 4130full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12350full-time

The Dutch government is halving the tuition fees for first-year students in higher education. Those who meet all the conditions will pay €2,045 in 2019/2020 instead of €4,085. More information can be found here https://www.government.nl/topics/secondary-vocational-education-mbo-and-higher-education/plan-to-halve-higher-education-tuition-fees

https://www.rug.nl/education/tuition-fees-halved

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

In Projects, UCG students collaborate with experts to tackle real-world issues. In this environment, UCG students learn to work with each other, and draw from the knowledge of multiple academic fields.

This is unlike the training offered in other degree programme. Our graduates are provided an excellent foundation from which to pursue further education or enter the workforce.

Graduates’ choice of specialisation determines which masters programmes to which they can apply. Our students are guided in these decisions by assigned academic staff.

At UCG, students can fulfil most subject requirements for further study. However, some vocational programmes, such as law or clinical psychology, are likely to have additional requirements.

Furthermore, strong marketplace interest in Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates makes our students highly sought-after by employers around the globe.

Job examples

  • Policy Advisor
  • Scientific Researcher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Journalist
  • Economist
  • Psychologist
Research
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Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Liberal Arts and Sciences, please contact:

Student profile

Our world is changing in such a way that new situations, uncertainties, and problems emerge constantly. At UCG, we want to prepare you with the skills that allow you to adapt to an ever-changing professional market. We want you to be able to deal with a complex and changing world in ethical and effective ways. This requires an interdisciplinary, creative, and - above all - adaptive attitude and skill-set. Our students are curious, ambitious and interested in a variety of different subjects.

(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 60 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCG is a demanding programme. Students are expected to be highly motivated. Additionally, one of the main characteristics of the programme is the emphasis on the learning community. It is of importance that students as a class stay together over the years. Students are expected to collect all 60 credits for the first year of the programme within the first year.

Study support

Students meet their personal tutors frequently, to discuss the progress in academic work and to receive feedback on the assignments that have been made. Furthermore, students receive advice about their study programme from their tutors and other teaching staff. All members of the teaching staff are available to give students advice on their programme and career paths. A study counsellor is available to students for any practical or personal advice related to their studies.

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