Bachelor Liberal Arts and Sciences

Program and courses University College Tilburg: Liberal Arts and Sciences

University College Tilburg offers a Liberal Arts and Sciences program which combines different scientific disciplines: law, economics, philosophy, sociology, psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The intensive program allows you to develop into a critical thinker, a concerned citizen and academically educated professional. This interdisciplinary approach enables you to gain an in-depth understanding of complex global issues in contemporary society and to look for creative solutions.

Video: short overview of the program (03:10)

Structure of the program

The first year offers a core curriculum that introduces you to a variety of subjects within different scientific disciplines. While exploring these different disciplines, you discover what kind of academic path you wish to pursue. Based on this experience, you will choose a major in the second year and specialize in one of five disciplines:

  • Social Sciences: Human Behavior
  • Law in an International Context
  • Arts and Humanities: Past-Present-Future
  • Business and Economics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience: Brain and Cognition

This provides a solid foundation for the third year, in which you are free to explore your interests in a minor program, giving you a unique profile. In addition, you will take online classes. Most of our students use the first semester of the third year to study abroad at one of our renowned partner universities. You finish your program with a Bachelor’s thesis. The degree awarded (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) depends on the major you choose. 

Support program

During your studies you will take part in the Program for Academic Study Success (PASS). This program is designed to support you during your studies and to keep up with your progress. Students are divided in small groups and receive guidance from a mentor. Towards the end of your studies the accent of the mentorship shifts from study progress to job market orientation.

Year 1 Content

In the first year of the Bachelor’s program you and your fellow (international) students mainly take introductory courses introducing you to the different scientific disciplines that University College Tilburg offers.

You will take the following core curriculum courses:

  • European History: Politics and Culture
  • Thinking about Science
  • Individuals and Collectives: Introduction to Business & Management and Social Sciences
  • Researchers and their fields
  • Mind and Brain: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Imagining Justice: Introduction to Law & Humanities

You must also take one of five elective subjects:

  • Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
  • Consumerism
  • Legal Fictions
  • Religion and Economics
  • Trust in Your Brain
  • Discovering Diversity

Additionally, you take several academic skills courses, such as Rhetoric in Theory and Practice I and II and Introduction to Research Methods.
You will also take part in a mentorship program (PASS UCTilburg).

Year 2 Content

Based on the experience of exploring different disciplines, you choose a major and specialize in one of five disciplines:

  • Social Sciences: Human Behavior
  • Law in an International Context
  • Arts and Humanities: Past-Present-Future
  • Business and Economics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience: Brain and Cognition

Your major involves in-depth study within one academic discipline.

Your Minor

In addition to your major, you will take a minor. This is a set of courses, either in a different field than your major, giving you the opportunity to broaden your expertise. Or in the same field as your major, to deepen your knowledge in that specific area.

Transatlantic Perspectives (in collaboration with Roosevelt University Chicago, USA)

The course Transatlantic Perspectives is taught in collaboration with Roosevelt University Chicago. Within this unique collaboration, students from Tilburg and Chicago take online courses together. This teaches students other perspectives on certain subjects. This year's theme is: ‘Wrongful convictions: a transatlantic perspective on criminal justice and human rights’.

Further down this page you read more about the different majors and the corresponding courses.

Year 3 Content

In the third year you take your last in-depth courses as part of your major. You also have the opportunity to shape your own program by choosing both a minor and a Professional Practice course.  

The minor: choose your own elective courses 

Liberal Arts and Sciences students can choose between several minors. Your minor can be in a field different to that of your major, giving you the opportunity to broaden your expertise. However, you can also choose to pursue your minor in the same field as your major to further deepen your knowledge in that specific area. You can pursue your minor courses at Tilburg University, at another research university in the Netherlands, or abroad during an exchange semester.

Professional Practice

An important component of the third year is the Professional Practice. The Professional Practice courses help you to orient yourself on the job market. You can choose between the following Professional Practice courses: Current European Issues , the Social Innovation Project or an Internship. 

Thesis

You complete your program with a Bachelor’s thesis. You independently conduct scientific research in the field of your major, in which you employ the knowledge, insight and skills you gained in the Bachelor’s program.

Study abroad: going on exchange

We encourage all students to gain international experience. A popular and very exiting option is to go abroad on exchange. As an exchange student, you study at one of the many international partner universities of Tilburg University, typically for one semester.

The Study Abroad & Exchange Office of Tilburg University will be available to help you research the opportunities within your study program and a dedicated Study Abroad & Exchange Coordinator will be advising you before, during and after your exchange.

Most students will be eligible for a grant or scholarship to financially support them during their exchange experience. Additional grants for students with special needs or a difficult financial situation are also available.

More on studying abroad

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions


Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.


Majors within Liberal Arts and Sciences

At the end of the first year you will choose a major. In the second and third year you take courses that are part of your chosen specialization. However, within the major the curriculum is not entirely set: in addition to the core curriculum, you have the opportunity to take elective courses with which you can specialize.

Social Sciences: Human Behavior

The major Social Sciences: Human Behavior focuses on the understanding of current human behavior, in smaller and in larger groups, in a globalized society. It fundamentally challenges your ideas on human identity and behavior and draws on perspectives from sociology, social psychology, culture and communication studies, human resource management, and organization studies.

Courses

Year 2:

  • Social Psychology of Group Dynamics
  • Evil
  • Statistics 1 and 2
  • Diversity and Community
  • Learning Project: Values & Civil Society
  • People and Organizations
  • Introduction to Cultural Psychology

Year 3:

  • Visual Culture and the Body
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Minor
  • Bachelorthesis

Electives

Elective courses in the first semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
  • Consumerism
  • Legal Fictions
  • Religion and Economics
  • Transatlantic Perspectives: Representing History and Trauma
  • Trust in Your Brain
  • Discovering Diversity
  • Wrongful Convictions

Elective courses in the second semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Acadamy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the first semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Acadamy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the second semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Professional Practice: Social Innovation Practice
  • Professional Practice: Current European Issues
  • Professional Practice: Journalism
  • Professional Practice: Internship

The mentorship programs PASS II and III  continue during year 2 and 3.

Go to the course descriptions

Law in an International Context

Within this major you will focus on law as a social and cultural phenomenon, within a global context. You learn about the integration of cognitive, cultural, historical and contextual elements within the law, and the response of different legal systems to specific social and global problems and issues.

Learning takes place via interactive lectures and seminars, with plenty of scope for stimulating debate. Ample opportunity is also given to learn and use legal methodology.

Courses

Year 2:

  • Comparative Political Institutions
  • European Public Law & Public International Law
  • Law in Society
  • Fundamentals of Private Law
  • Fundamentals of Public Law
  • Criminal Law in Context
  • European Labor Law and Social Policy
  • The Civil and Common Law Traditions

Year 3:

  • Liability and the Internet
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Minor
  • Bachelorthesis

Electives

Elective courses in the first semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
  • Consumerism
  • Legal Fictions
  • Religion and Economics
  • Transatlantic Perspectives: Representing History and Trauma
  • Trust in Your Brain
  • Discovering Diversity
  • Wrongful Convictions

Elective courses in the second semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Acadamy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the first semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Acadamy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the second semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Professional Practice: Social Innovation Practice
  • Professional Practice: Current European Issues
  • Professional Practice: Journalism
  • Professional Practice: Internship

The mentorship programs PASS II and III  continue during year 2 and 3.

Go to the course descriptions

Arts and Humanities: Past-Present-Future

Question: what do the leaders of YouTube, Alibaba, Facebook, Flickr, PayPal, CNN and Goldman Sachs have in common? 
Answer: they all graduated in the Arts and Humanities.

The Major Arts and Humanities: Past – Present – Future focuses on the various strategies that we deploy to interpret and give meaning to the world around and within us. These strategies underlie and condition everything we think, say and do, including our use of technology and social media. As such, Arts and Humanities are essential to successfully navigating the world and finding your place in it.

The program introduces you to core concepts, theories and methods of disciplines such as culture studies, digital humanities, history, hermeneutics, philosophy, ethics, literature studies, art history, and ritual studies.

In small and interactive seminars, we discuss questions like these:

Is politics all about economics? What can ancient Greek and Roman literature teach us about 'incels', the American political 'alt-right' group, combat trauma and gender roles? Why do we think installing fraudulent software in cars is wrong? Is there a difference between doing history and telling stories? What do modern art and modern traveling have in common with religion? And why is Islamic fundamentalism so romantic?

In addition to giving you a solid multi-disciplinary foundation, the program hones your skills in critical analysis, innovative research and effective written and oral communication. Arts and Humanities graduates easily find their way into (research) Master's programs in international relations, cultural studies, cultural entrepreneurship, journalism, education, history, health humanities and many others.

Courses

Year 2:

  • Homer's Army: The Legacy of an Unacknowledged Legislator
  • Historical Methodology
  • Evil
  • Globalization, Economy and Mentality
  • Middle Ages: at the Theological-political Crossroads
  • Medical Humanities
  • Digital Humanities
  • Feminist Theories

Year 3:

  • Perspectives on Europe
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Minor
  • Bachelorthesis

Electives

Elective courses in the first semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
  • Consumerism
  • Legal Fictions
  • Religion and Economics
  • Transatlantic Perspectives: Representing History and Trauma
  • Trust in Your Brain
  • Discovering Diversity
  • Wrongful Convictions

Elective courses in the second semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Acadamy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the first semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Acadamy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the second semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Professional Practice: Social Innovation Practice
  • Professional Practice: Current European Issues
  • Professional Practice: Journalism
  • Professional Practice: Internship

The mentorship programs PASS II and III continue during year 2 and 3.

Go to the course descriptions

Business and Economics

The Business and Economics major offers specialized knowledge in the fields of business administration and economics. You immerse yourself in marketing, accounting, finance, and management, as well as the economics of markets and countries.

This major connects economic and business insights. After all, governments create opportunities for business(es), and organizations contribute to addressing social issues – business is intertwined with economics. Links are also made with the general and societal context, bringing in views from history, law, psychology, and sociology.

All the basics are covered: Economics studies the behavior of individuals and researches how incentives promote behavioral change. Business administration studies goal-oriented organizations and researches governance, financing, reporting and sales practices.

You learn about the pros and cons of different approaches. How do cultural and societal changes affect our thinking about organizations? How are the disciplines related? How to perform pioneering research yourself, based on a sound analysis of data?

Interaction in small classes and cooperation in small teams are a common work form in this major. We offer a rich variety of work forms to enable you to acquire the knowledge and skills. For instance, in addition to debates and instruction we use experiments and simulation approaches. The knowledge of lecturers is supplemented with the experience of business (wo)men who ask for your analysis of the challenges they face. You have the opportunity to complement the major with an internship.

Courses

Year 2:

  • Quantitative Methods for Business & Economics
  • Micro-economics: Agents and Markets
  • Statistics 1 and 2
  • Accounting: The Language of Business
  • Marketing and Small Business Development
  • The Making of Modern Macro Economics
  • Strategy and Organization in Context
  • Institutional Economics: Connecting Business and Society

Year 3:

  • Corporate Finance and Financial History
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Minor
  • Bachelorthesis

Electives

Elective courses in the first semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
  • Consumerism
  • Legal Fictions
  • Religion and Economics
  • Transatlantic Perspectives: Representing History and Trauma
  • Trust in Your Brain
  • Discovering Diversity
  • Wrongful Convictions

Elective courses in the second semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Academy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the first semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Academy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the second semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Professional Practice: Social Innovation Practice
  • Professional Practice: Current European Issues
  • Professional Practice: Journalism
  • Professional Practice: Internship

The mentorship programs PASS II and III continue during year 2 and 3.

Go to the course descriptions

Cognitive Neuroscience: Brain and Cognition

The major Cognitive Neuroscience: Brain and Cognition is your opportunity to discover the fascinating world of the human brain. We live in an era in which knowledge about the brain is expanding at a tremendously high pace, and in which research about the human brain attracts a lot of interest from the general public.

Cognitive Neuroscience is a relatively young field in science which has emerged from fields such as psychology, neuroscience, computer science, biology, and philosophy. In a multidisciplinary effort, it aims to understand how the human brain supports processes such as perception, action, attention, affect, decision making, language, reasoning, and social behavior. It also studies how these processes develop throughout a lifespan, and what happens when the brain dysfunctions.

The curriculum of the major Cognitive Neuroscience: Brain and Cognition consists of a wide range of topics such as the fundamentals of the human brain and of behavior, experimental psychology, clinical neuropsychology, cognitive science, and computer modeling and programming. These topics are taught by lecturers who are well-versed in these fields and in the accompanying research methods.

Courses

Year 2:

  • Introduction to AI 1
  • Statistics 1 and 2
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Brain and Behavior for LAS
  • Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • Brain Dysfunction
  • Brain and Morality
  • The Emotional Brain

Year 3:

  • The Social Brain
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Minor
  • Bachelorthesis

Electives

Elective courses in the first semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
  • Consumerism
  • Legal Fictions
  • Religion and Economics
  • Transatlantic Perspectives: Representing History and Trauma
  • Trust in Your Brain
  • Discovering Diversity
  • Wrongful Convictions

Elective courses in the second semester of year 2 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Academy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the first semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Positive Psychology: Happiness
  • Business Law and Ethics (Saylor Academy)
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
  • Management Information Systems

Elective courses in the second semester of year 3 (choose 1):

  • Professional Practice: Social Innovation Practice
  • Professional Practice: Current European Issues
  • Professional Practice: Journalism
  • Professional Practice: Internship

The mentorship programs PASS II and III continue during year 2 and 3.

Go to the course descriptions


Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.


Why in Tilburg?

  • You become part of a stimulating, open, diverse and supportive community that includes students from 40+ different countries and diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
  • The program offers small-scale and intensive education.
  • You will learn how to approach societal challenges from a multitude of perspectives. Several courses in the program are team-taught, with two academics from different fields demonstrating how you can address a question from various angles. 
  • We will teach you the skills needed to make your ideas happen: launch and develop your own project or business idea and put it into practice in our Social Innovation Project .
  • Within the program there is a strong focus on student well-being. In the Resilience Project you will critically reflect on the terms 'success', 'failure' and 'excellence'. You will also be introduced to tools that can help you become more resilient in dealing with failures and setbacks.

Interested in the Bachelor's program in Liberal Arts and Sciences?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application