Course Descriptions and Syllabi

The courses regularly taught in the Bachelor’s programme are described in this section, though other courses may be offered on an occasional basis. All course codes ending in P are worth 7.5 ECTS units, course codes ending in G are worth 6 ECTS. The list below is valid for all students starting as of Fall 2013.

The courses are listed by subject area, which is also indicated by the first three letters of the course code. Courses are offered at three levels. Courses at the 100 level are introductory and can be taken by all students. They are often taken in the first year. Courses at the 200 and 300 levels are more advanced and often cannot be taken without first having passed an introductory course in the subject. Some of these upper-level courses may even require successful completion of a 200-level course. Any such prerequisites are indicated at the end of the course description. Exemptions from prerequisites may be granted by the course instructor and must be notified in writing to the Head of Academic Administration.

Art Business Communications Economics History
Honours Essay Humanities Internship Languages Law
Mathematics Philosophy Politics Psychology Sciences

Courses at partner institutions

The Vesalius curriculum includes courses that are offered by partner institutions, such as the Free University of Brussels (VUB), Boston University and the Royal Music Conservatory. While these courses are, in principle, also open to study abroad students, it needs to be taken into account that they do not always follow the same academic calendar as that of Vesalius College. This may require a certain degree of flexibility on the part of student with respect to their travel arrangements. The study abroad department will deal with such requests on a case-by-case basis. Information on the available courses will be distributed before the pre-registration period each semester. Students taking courses at partner institutions must follow their rules concerning schedules, examinations, and other academic matters.

Art (ART)

ART 101G – Art in Belgium

Based around three case studies of art in Belgium (or the equivalent cultural area before Belgium’s independence in 1830), the course intends to function as an eye-opener towards art and culture in Belgium from the 15th to the 20th century, by using a number of analytical tools in art appreciation, art historiography, the collecting and display of art, including some business and legal aspects. The course should provide an historical and intellectual framework for the other courses given at Vesalius College and life in Brussels during the Summer Course, so that students can contextualise the rich and diversified aspects of Belgian culture, as well as its quirky ones.

ART102G – Introduction to Design

When function and technologic answers are equally international, when only the price makes the difference in production, the design by its cultural approach makes the market decision. Designing a drinkable water bottle is a cultural knowledge. The act of drinking, how objects are used is cultural.
My design courses explore the potential of the individual diversity to enhance once own capacity to develop a personal cultural power and teach how to communicate by discovering or creating a universal language through the objects. 5 weeks and 3 steps to experiment and produce a new design concept that creates a future market without any knowledge in design or production. ©Damien Bihr

ART 301G – Art in Europe

A course focusing on European history and culture, which includes field trips to different European cities (Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp for Belgium; Amsterdam for the Netherlands; Paris and Versailles for France). The course studies the political, cultural and economic aspects of each city, by reviewing how these evolved over the centuries and how they related to the broader national and European contexts. Special emphasis is placed on political history, as well as on history of art and architecture. (An additional tuition of 795€ for this course has to be paid to participate. In addition to the tuition this fee will also cover the cost for the field trips.). Given each semester.

Business (BUS)

BUS 101P – Introduction to Business

Introduces students to the internal organisation of firms and to the legal, economic, political and social environment in which they operate. Aims to show how accounting, finance, marketing, operations, human resources and innovation, all fields that the student will later study, contribute to realising the objectives of the firm. Students also learn how to find and analyse information about businesses. 

BUS 141P – Accounting

This course combines financial and managerial accounting concepts in a single course and includes a study of the accounting cycles of service organizations and merchandisers. Emphasis is on the analysis and recording process of business transactions and the preparation of financial statements. The course covers also topics in valuation and reporting of assets, liabilities and equity. The second half of the course discusses managerial accounting concepts. Emphasis is placed on analysis of cost behaviour, budgeting concepts, standard cost systems and variance analysis, and the use of accounting information to make decisions.

BUS142G – Financial Accounting

The course introduces students to the subject of accounting with a particular focus on financial accounting. The course examines the three major financial statements that form the core of financial accounting: the statement of cash flows, the income statement (or profit and loss account), and the statement of financial position (or balance sheet). Students will learn about the ways in which financial statements and information can be used to improve the quality of decision making. They will also learn the basic principles of double-entry bookkeeping.  Major topics are: cash flow, financial ratios and analysis, inventory, current and non-current liabilities and equity structures. The course also looks at accounting treatment of groups of companies and the audit process.

BUS 211G – Human Resources Management

Examines the sub-system of staff planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, position control, audit and evaluation and that constitute the human resource function of all organisations. Emphasis is placed on the role of these activities as they relate to the organisation and the organisational managers and leaders. Topics include recruitment and selection, personnel planning, testing employees, training, performance management, compensation, managing labour relations, organisation behaviour, organisational culture, ethics and fair treatment.Given annually in fall semester.
Prerequisite: BUS101P

BUS 212G – Corporate Governance

The course examines the theory and practice of corporate governance. We define a corporate governance system as the set of constraints on minority shareholder expropriation set by (1) internal corporate control mechanisms (such as the board), (2) external capital market monitoring and pricing, and (3) laws and regulations. Students learn how the design of the corporate governance system determines the ability of individual firms to compete.  Discusses how and why governance systems differ across countries.   
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS 213G – Management of Innovation and Technical Change

Provides tools and ways of thinking that is related to managing and sustaining innovation as a means of creating value. Themes to be addressed include features and characteristics of technological innovation, strategy/structure/environment and innovation, effects of new technology on employees and managers, implications for occupational health and safety, the learning organisation and the culture of change, performance management and intellectual property.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS 214G – Management of Art and Culture

The pressing need for a high standard knowledge of art management forms the foundations of this course, which captures the essentials of management for culture and arts organizations both in profit and not for profit contexts. Students get acquainted with modern day strategic management issues posed to arts organizations and learn to view such issues both from a general as well as an operational perspective. Financial and marketing management provide for an in depth approach, whereby  a strong theoretical framework offers firm links to present day practices and cases.

BUS 215G – Organisational Leadership

Explores the challenges to effective leadership and management that the contemporary manager faces in a rapidly changing environment. Focus is on leadership styles and motivational techniques conducive to high performance in various organisational settings with a very diverse workforce. Topics include issues in the design of organisations, the corporate /organisational culture, the design and enrichment of jobs, and communication within organisations. Given annually in the fall semester
Prerequisite: BUS 101P


BUS216G – Strategic Management

This course focuses on strategy formulation, implementation and performance, and deals with the identification and analysis of external opportunities and constraints faced by a company. The course also centres on the development of internal capabilities in response to those factors. Through theory and cases studies, the main functions of the corporation are investigated: products/services, research and development; manufacturing, logistics, marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS217 – Business in China

This 200-level course covers economic and political aspects of doing business in China. China’s open door policy in 1978 resulted in substantial economy grown with rising foreign direct investments (FDI). China’s ‘red capitalism’ is unique with its private entrepreneurship and financial liberalization on the one hand and a Communist Party that reigns with great power. One sign of party power is the practice to co-opt private entrepreneurs into party structures. As a result, to become a successful entrepreneur party membership is certainly helpful. One question this course addresses is whether this unique business environment leads to business practices different from those in the EU. The course will cover both the underlying theories and a number of real-world examples to discuss economic and political reality in China.

BUS219G – Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

The course focuses on managing disputes and emphasizes the significance of praxis. Explores constructive alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes and procedures to legalistic, adversarial methods of dispute resolution in the public and nonprofit sectors. Knowledge and skills developed are those needed to analyze complex conflict and dispute situations, shape appropriate processes to involve the right parties, constructively negotiate settlements, select mediators and facilitators, and design dispute resolution programs. Emphasizes conflict management and resolution leadership.

BUS221G – Corporate Finance

This course focuses on establishing the operating and technical foundation for financial decision-making in firms.  Many of the fundamental concepts and tools that will be introduced apply equally well one’s own personal financial management.  Students will learn about: the structure of the firm and financial markets, the notion of time impact on money, the trade-off between risk and return, the approach to balance investments with capital funding, the impact of firm’s financial policy on leverage and shareholders’ return, the management of the funds needed for operations, the advantage of utilising Islamic financial tools, and the implications of corporate finance in a global context.
Prerequisites: BUS 101P, STA 101P

BUS 223G – Financial Mathematics

Financial Mathematics is an essential tool that enhances a manager’s ability to make effective economic decisions. This course provides solid, practical, up-to-date coverage of the mathematical techniques students must master to succeed in business today. It puts a great emphasis on the analysis of business problems. The course objective is to give students a good understanding about the mathematical concepts and techniques and teach them how to use these to solve related business problems in an effective way. The issues will be explained against the background of the fast changing global market.  Students with study a variety of exercises and examples that are realistic; this will help them with personal financial matters and investments as well as in their professional careers.
Prerequisite: MTH 140

BUS 231G – Marketing

Analyses the role of marketing in creating customer satisfaction. Discusses the importance of market segmentation, targeting and positioning, starting from understanding customer needs and translating these into superior perceived value, quality and service for the target market. Illustrates how to compose an effective marketing programme and stresses the application of concepts through the use of case studies.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E

BUS 233G – Social Marketing

Social marketing is the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social marketing can be applied to promote merit goods, or to make a society avoid demerit goods and thus to promote society’s well-being as a whole. Given annually in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS 234G – Sociology and Psychology of Marketing

Marketing is defined as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. This course investigates all the marketing functions from a social and psychological aspect in order to better understand the customer’s behaviour.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS 241G – Managerial Accounting

Introduces  students  to  the  vital  role  that  management  accounting  plays  in organisations for decision-making, planning and controlling operations. Explains how  management  accounting  systems  support  the  operational  and  strategic needs  of  an  enterprise.  Topics  include  budgeting,  costing  methods,  capital investments and performance measurement.
Prerequisite: BUS 141P

BUS 252G – E-commerce

This course deals with the characteristics of e-Commerce in various target markets, how products and services are bought and sold via the Internet and other electronic systems. It starts with building a basic understanding of the infrastructure that is the internet, and the World Wide Web as the aggregation of content made available via the internet. We will discuss the various features that make e-Commerce (and mobile e-Commerce or m-Commerce) stand out from traditional commerce, as well as the related security, privacy, and other legal, ethical, and social issues. Students will learn some basics about what it takes to develop an mobile web application or ‘app’.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Business (BUS101), Economics (ECN101), Marketing (BUS231)

BUS 261G – Sustainable Development

This course will examine some of the theoretical and practical issues surrounding corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainable development. Topics to be covered include trends in corporate responsibility, the political economy of sustainable development and the growing significance of communications, especially corporate reporting, to the field. Students will also learn best practice in CR programmes and strategic communications for CR.

BUS 301G – International Business

Introduces  advanced  students  to  the  major  fields  of  international  business: organisation, production, finance, marketing and human resources management. Examines  both  the  international  environment  and  the  nature  of  international business  arrangements  with  a  special  focus  on  the  role  of  multinational enterprises. The course covers European, US and Asian firms as well as both manufacturing and service industries. Both theories and case studies are studied.
Prerequisites: ECN 101P, BUS 101

BUS311G – Operations Management

Surveys the practice and important issues involved in production and operations management: value-driven operations management, quality function deployment, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), materials planning and scheduling (MPS, MRP II, JIT, TOC), inventory management, quality management, group technology and cellular manufacturing and flexible manufacturing systems. Includes video presentations and guest lectures.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS 312G – Mergers, Acquisitions and Related Transactions

Covers the main types of mergers and acquisitions (including leveraged buy-outs; management buy-outs; friendly and hostile mergers and acquisitions), and of related transactions (including divestments; de-mergers; privatisations; alliances, partnerships and joint-ventures). These transactions are studied from all the main points of view. The topics covered include: motives; search for potential acquisitions, acquirers and partners; the role of advisers; bid tactics; legal and regulatory issues; valuation; financing; accounting and tax issues; organisational and human aspects; integration; successes and failures. Taught primarily through case studies. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P

BUS 314G – Project Management

This course provides a systematic and thorough introduction to all aspects of project management. Projects are an increasingly important aspect of modern business. Therefore the course underline the importance of understanding the relation between projects and the strategic goals of the organization. The course also discusses the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage projects from start to finish. It emphasizes that project management is a professional discipline with its own tools, body of knowledge, and skills. Concepts are reinforced by case studies covering a wide variety of project types and industries.
Prerequisites: HUM 201P and Introduction to Business (BUS101P)

BUS 321G – Financial Markets and Investments

This course provides a thorough analysis of the different financial markets from a global perspective: the bond market, stock market, and foreign exchange (FOREX) market. Areas covered are valuation and time value of money, interest rates and related markets, derivatives and capital budgeting. A FOREX game will be organised and students will learn how to interpret market indicators. Through presentations, students will also learn about the global financial crisis and the effects on the eurozone.

BUS 325G – International Finance

Examines the financing of a multinational enterprise and surveys international investing. Areas covered include currency, interest rate and negotiable securities markets. Also discusses hedging and interest rate arbitrage, foreign exchange, futures and options as well as international money, capital markets and international financing. 
Prerequisites: ECN 101P, BUS 101P

Syllabus (draft)

BUS 351G – Business Information Systems

Uses systems theory to describe information systems.  Starting from basic concepts (such as logic gates and the representation of data in binary form), computers (including central processing units, internal and external memory, input/output buses), communications protocols, computer networks, operating systems, middleware, applications software and file formats are explained.  Usage of information systems in organisations will be discussed.  On a practical level, students will learn to use spreadsheets and relational database servers.
Prerequisites: BUS 101P


BUS 391G – Capstone: Entrepreneurship

Business capstone course designed to develop understanding of the entrepreneurial process and small business management and to explore the strategies that improve new venture performance. The core task is for the student to produce an actual business plan for the student’s own venture that includes information such as: the technical concepts of the product or service, a marketing plan, an outline for the first three years and a financing plan (equity/leverage). Also develops skills in written business communication and oral presentations that allow students to integrate entrepreneurship concepts and interact with business experts.
Prerequisite: BUS101P and third-year standing in the Business major

BUS 392G – International Marketing

This capstone course focuses on international marketing, and how to enter and operate effectively in foreign markets. It introduces suitable ways to select international markets and discusses alternative strategies to enter those markets through comparing, contrasting and benchmarking of those foreign markets’ socio-cultural, political, economic, and legal characteristics. This capstone course will provide marketing knowledge that strike a balance between localization and globalization in product, promotion, pricing, and distribution, to meet the needs and expectations of the chosen foreign market.
Prerequisites: BUS101P and third-year standing in the Business major
Syllabus (draft)

BUS393G – Business Capstone

This course is an in-depth study of business principles as they relate to the local and global marketplace. Emphasis is on understanding the influence of internationalization on the world’s economy, the competitive pressures on the intensifying global markets, and the development of in-depth research project tailored to the client. Topics include the political, economic, legal, regulatory, and sociocultural trends affecting international business, the dynamic environments in which global business strategies are formulated, and the challenge of implementing business programs leading to competitive advantage.
This course is designed as a final course in your Bachelors programming. A unique aspect of the Vesalius College Capstone experience is the application of classroom study to a real-world scenario. This is a rigorous team-based project to prepare students to make the transition from an academic environment to the working world.
This is a project-based course. It is not a lecture-based course, it is an interactive course, a student-led course, and you should have a working knowledge of Marketing. There are multiple presentations in this course. Attendance is required and mandatory. If you are not prepared to commit to the functioning of the course, I would advise you see your advisor immediately.

Communications (CMM)

CMM 101P – Introduction to Communication Studies

Allows future practitioners to study the nature and usage of language, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication. Students will be asked to present a number of oral presentations throughout the semester – from individual to large group. This introductory course studies the nature, components and purposes of human communication and familiarizes students with the basic theoretical and practical models of various communication fields; including intercultural and organisational communication. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the uses, functions and the social impact of mass communication as well as its history and rise in modern society. Students will become familiar with the content and strategy of different types of mass media, including press, radio, television, the music industry, cinema and Internet.

CMM 102P – Mass Communications

Starts with an overview of the uses functions and the social impact of mass communication as well as its history and rise in modern society. Students will
become familiar with the content and strategy of different types of mass media, including  press,  radio,  television,  the  music  industry,  cinema,  as  well  as  the advertising, and the public relations industries.

CMM 201G – Intercultural Communication

Deals initially with the phenomenon of culture in a broad sense and then moves to different ways of studying culture. Highlights major theoretical issues via a series of short case studies illustrating the difficulty of studying culture, intercultural contact and identity (in all their complexity) in an academic manner. Presents several existing theoretical models to show the theoretical, methodological and practical issues involved in this typically interdisciplinary field and how the issues have been dealt with so far.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101 P or POL 101 P

CMM 203G – Journalism Studies and Practice

Aims to give students a clear understanding of the news media function in society and to increase students’ awareness of the ethics and social role of journalism. It discusses issues of news values and selectivity, news gatekeeping and framing, and news agenda setting. It examines the changes in the media field as the world continues to become a digitally driven one. It is also designed to teach students the basic writing and information gathering skills.  Lectures and practical work are combined in class sessions, and there are several writing and reporting assignments under deadline.

CMM 241G – Organisational Communication

Familiarises students with the dynamics of interpersonal communication within groups. Introduces the theory and practice (mainly though case studies) used by organisations to plan, develop, implement and evaluate a variety of communication strategies. The course allows students to propose and defend a comprehensive communication plan for a newly created company.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM 242G – Corporate Communications & Public Relations

Explores multiple perspectives of public relations and corporate communications. Particular attention is drawn to the science and the art of effective communication with the public, the media, shareholders and employees. Next to textbook examples, students will receive first hand information from practitioners who will share their professional experience. In the course of this class students will evaluate PR campaigns, write press articles and lead a discussion.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM 251G – Political Communication

Looks at the use made of the media by political actors who range from presidents to terrorists and analyses the ways in which communication strategies may be used to shape public opinion. Focuses on the roles of political reporting, advertising and public relations in politics and provides a detailed consideration of the political and philosophical implications of the changing mass communication landscape as fuelled by the impact of the new communication technologies.  
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM 252G – EU Interest Representation: Governance and Lobbying

Lobbying is an integral part of the EU decision making process. Set in the context of wider problems of EU legitimacy, this course will describe the participatory model of EU policy making based around agents of participation.  Indeed, actors representing State and non governmental interests engage with European Commission decision makers and members of the European Council and of the European Parliament on a daily basis. Lobbying is therefore perceived as a legitimate tool of pluralist bargaining in which interest representatives are perceived as a source of data and practical expertise, informing and improving policy development.
This course will explore the EU’s revamped institutional set up as well as the formal decision making processes, from legal sources, through the consultation stage and parliamentary debate to final adoption.  It will examine the Commission’s thrust for better regulation and a reduced legislative programme, and the current consideration of how to render consultation means more effective.  Major trends in the culture of EU interest representation such as the need for “transparency” and the use of coalition and alliance building will also be addressed.

Finally, from a practical perspective, the course will deal directly with lobbying techniques ranging from the legal drafting of amendments to the use of social media and civil society supported activities and events.

The diversity of actors, be they corporations, business interests or non governmental organisations, and their differentiated approaches to influence and advocacy, will be addressed directly with lobbyist external guest speakers.   The means and effects of influence will be described at its respective stages by speakers from the European institutions as part of visits to the European Commission and the European Parliament respectively.

CMM 253G – Global Advocacy

The course on “Global Advocacy” aims at introducing students to the complex and fascinating interplay between globalization and advocacy. By taking into account the major changes occurred around the world because of globalization, students of this course are introduced to the analysis of (both successful and unsuccessful) efforts from civil society to influence international organizations (e.g. the United Nation, the World Bank), supranational regulators (e.g. European Union) and national governments. Employing key case studies, students will explore elements of advocacy campaigns (including the determination of campaign objectives, target audiences and responses, media channels) and will be enabled to understand and assess the impact those campaigns have on global policy-making. By the end of the semester students will: (1) gain a proper understanding of global trends; (2) understand how civil society advocacy evolved over the last century; (3) develop a conceptual framework to understand how current political regimes are shaped and transformed by civil society advocacy; (4) gain a deep understanding of advocacy tools, strategies of influence, arenas and targets of advocacy; (5) benefit from having met and interact with key guest speakers from active advocacy campaigns.

CMM 261G – Film: History, Theories, Narration and Scriptwriting

Develops and refines writing skills in the audio-visual field. The course expands students’ cinematic vocabulary by allowing them to become familiar with fundamental film structure and narrative forms in mainstream productions.  It also allows them to gain an understanding of basic film theories and develop an appreciation for a number of seminal film movements (including Italian neo-realism, the French nouvelle vague, British social cinema and Dogma). Analyses the constitutive elements of narration as applied to films and explains basic visual techniques. By the end of the course students will have mastered the techniques necessary to provide a professionally written screenplay, which they will pitch to a professional.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM262G – Topics in European Film History

This course reveals Europe at its edgiest. It is impossible to understand European culture without experiencing its cinema. Groundbreaking and thought-provoking films from Europe pioneered genre-filmmaking (fantasy, comedy, the epic, horror, thriller, cult, documentary and animation), and defined aesthetic concepts such as ‘realism’, and ‘surrealism’ that have become key inspirations for cultural production around the world.

This course contains thirteen in-class sessions. Each session departs from a recent development (a genre, a style, a politics, …), and uses a contemporary or (post)modernist film to trace its origins and tentacles into the past, thereby uncovering the intrinsic inter-connections between all of Europe’s filmmaking traditions.

Each session will also showcase a key filmmaker (such as Godard, Hitchcock, Polanski, Haneke, or the Dardennes) and interrogate their artistic obsessions by linking them to the social and cultural contexts of their times, in order to offer a broad overview of European film art, with the intent to unlock the core of the ‘European Imagination’.

Finally, the course emphasizes the ‘experience’ of European film art through a selection of screenings in Brussels (including the Royal Cinematek) and guest chats with key industry agents (directors, producers, distributors). In doing so, this course offers students first-hand access to the European film industry.

CMM 263G – Convergence Media and Transmedia Writing

Aims to introduce students to how narratives and brands are increasingly conceptualized and produced across multiple media platforms as well as assess the major cultural, social and political changes that have occurred as a result of increased media convergence. It will analyze how this shift is impacting and transforming audience participation, interaction and consumption of mediatised content. The course also provides students with the opportunity to create a major transmedia storytelling project over the course of the entire semester. This in turn will allow them to become familiar with the tools needed to master the art and craft of writing for both traditional and new media outlets (from literary texts and radio dramatizations to photo-stories and web episodes) while at the same time ensuring that they create a fully interactive space with the intended audience. Students will thus have the opportunity to build up a significant portfolio of audiovisual scriptwriting samples.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101 P or POL 101 P

CMM 301G – Communication Theories

Provides a broad historical overview of the main communication theories and their historical development and links them to current debates about traditional, new media and the Internet. Students review key authors and publications in the development of communication theory and learn to situate them in their historical and socio-economic context. Students discuss books and articles in class and learn to relate them to past and current issues and theories.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P and POL 271G

CMM 322G – International Communication

Introduces the historical context and examines different approaches to international communication from the modernisation and cultural imperialism theories to cultural studies and critical political economy perspectives. The course also examines the theories and problems related to the international function of the news media, the entertainment industry and the telecommunications sector. Students also gain a clear understanding of the creation of the global media marketplace and how international communication evolves in the Internet age. Furthermore, the course discusses the international governance structures related to media, news, telecommunications and the Internet.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM 341G – Marketing Communication and Advertising

Surveys theoretical models of marketing communication with particular emphasis on a coherent and integrated approach to communication. Students are involved in the design and implementation of a strategic communication plan for different publics. The increasingly global nature of marketing and advertising are considered allowing students to gain a sense of how important cultural factors are and why they need to be taken into consideration when promoting a service, a product or a media production on an international scale. Guest speakers and visits to marketing departments are included.  
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM351G – European Communication Policies

Provides students with a comprehensive understanding of communication policies in Europe. The course studies consistency and change in the telecommunications and media sectors from the post-war period until now. It examines the extent to which there are distinct European media strategies and philosophical approaches in different countries or regions in spite of widespread globalization, convergence, concentration and commercialization in the communication sectors. Moreover, the course provides students with knowledge of how and why communication policies develop at the level of the European Union. The roles of the European Commission, Council and Parliament, as well as the nature of policy issues involved will be studied. A lecture series with policy professionals is organized to gain unique and in-depth insight into the way in which communication-related organizations influence European Union policy-making.
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM 371G – Rhetoric

Introduces the history and study of persuasion and rhetorical theories from classical Greece to the present. Uses these theories to analyse persuasive messages of all types (public speeches, dialogues, television debates, theological arguments, articles, etc.). Analyses and assesses the implications of these persuasive messages for society, be they expressed in a democratic or totalitarian context. Through a series of debates, role-plays and mock trials, students will have the opportunity to incrementally fine-tune their persuasive and argumentation skills. 
Prerequisite: CMM 101P, BUS 101P or POL 101P

CMM 391G – Capstone: Public Diplomacy

The course, requires students to integrate knowledge and exercise the skills acquired throughout their work in their major, and provides them with an opportunity to work on an extended research project while advising a ‘client’. The client sets the main task for the students, in order for them to apply their acquired skills to a complex and ‘real- life’ problem related to Communication Science. As such, the Capstone is designed to contribute to preparing students for the job market and support their transition from academia to the professional world. Furthermore, by calling for sophisticated understanding of theoretical issues as well as an appreciation of ways to construct empirical research solutions, it also prepares students for independent research at graduate level.
Prerequisite: POL 271G

Economics (ECN)

ECN 101P – Economics

Illustrates the way in which economists view the world by the development of some basic tools of micro- and macroeconomic analysis and by their application in understanding the behaviour of households, firms and government. Problems include: trade and specialisation; the operation of markets; industrial structure and economic welfare; the determination of aggregate output and the price level; and fiscal and monetary policy; and foreign exchange rates.

ECN 201G – Macroeconomics

This intermediate-level course examines the determination of income, employment, the price level, interest rates and exchange rates in the economy. Piece-by-piece, we construct a model that describes how each of these variables is determined in the long- and short-run. We investigate issues of long-run growth, business cycles, international trade, and monetary and fiscal policy. We pay special attention to current developments, with an international and European perspective throughout.
Prerequisite: ECN 101P

ECN 202G – The European Economy

Examines in detail the current structure of the European economy – the what, who, how and why of production, distribution and consumption. Discusses, for example, differences among countries in economic organisation, in financial institutions and labour relations, as well as the role and influence of the European Union as against that of nation states. Assesses recent economic performance across Europe and attends throughout to the ways in which the European economy is similar to or different from economies in other parts of the world. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: ECN 101P

ECN203G – Macroeconomic Policy

This course studies the macroeconomy from a policy perspective. In particular, we investigate the effects of fiscal and monetary policy in the short run, the medium run and the long run. The course starts with the derivation of the IS/LMmodel, which studies the behaviour of the goods and financial markets in the short run. For the medium run, we introduce the labour market, in order to derive the AS/AD-model and to study the relationship between unemployment and inflation. After a survey of the current economic crisis, we investigate the role of expectations in the economy. Finally, we look at economic policy in an open economy.

ECN 231G – History of Economic Thought

Mainstream economic textbooks tend to represent the field as a collection of universal laws and insights. However, economics emerged through a long historical process in which authors, in a dialogue with the works of their predecessors, tried to provide answers for pressing problems of society. The course investigates this historical process, and devotes attention to the historical context as well as the analytical contents of the theories. The study of the history of economic thought contributes to a critical understanding of economics and reinforces the insights in contemporary economics through an understanding of the underlying historical process of development. On the one hand the course provides broad overviews, but on the other hand special attention is devoted to the economic thought of several important economists: Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Jevons, Walras, Menger, Böhm-Bawerk, Marshall, and Keynes. At the end of the course some attention will be devoted to the development of micro and macroeconomics after World War II.
Prerequisite: ECN 101P

ECN 241G – The International Banking System

This course provides an overview of the international banking system, including such topics as: the role of the banks in the financial system; regulatory and policy aspects; services offered by banks; analysis of bank performance; macroeconomic perspectives in banking; and comparison of the banking structures and environments in Europe, the U.S.A., Latin America, Japan, and developing nations.
Prerequisite: ECN 101P

ECN 302G – International Trade

This course analyses the interdependence that arises from international trade in goods and services. We cover the following topics: the gains from trade, the pattern of trade, the impact of protection, international factor movements, and trade policy. We pay special attention to the European Union and its relationship to other regional trading blocs.
Prerequisite: ECN 101P

ECN 311G – Microeconomics

Provides a rigorous intermediate-level treatment of microeconomic theory with applications to business and public policy. Topics include the mathematical foundations of economic theory; the theory of individual economic behaviour; the theory of the firm and economic organisation; perfect competition, general equilibrium, and economics of information; corporate behaviour and strategy under imperfect competition; capital theory; labour markets; welfare economics and public choice.
Prerequisites: ECN 101P, MTH 201G

ECN312G – Ethics for Economics and Business

This course investigates ethical theory and its application to economics and business. We discuss utilitarianism (consequentialism), Kantian ethics, social contract theory, intuitionism, virtue ethics and feminist ethics. Topics discussed in business ethics include corporate social responsibility, stakeholder management, environmental ethics and human rights. The course also discusses topics in welfare economics, such as Pareto optimality, consumer and producer surplus and the capabilities approach. Students have to provide presentations and produce a research paper about a relevant topic of their own choosing.

ECN 321G – International Political Economy

Studies the interactions among political, economic, and social institutions and processes and how they affect international relations. Describes approaches to international political economy: mercantilist, neoliberal, radical, and contemporary. Analyzes structures of trade, finance, security, and knowledge. Compares change, transition, and development in different regions. Analyzes global problems, including energy, migration, and environment.
Prerequisite: ECN101E or POL101P

History (HIS)

HIS 101G – Global History since 1945

This course introduces students to the key developments, processes and major events in global history from 1945 to the present. The course not only focuses on conflict and cooperation among the major Western powers, but also places the development of modern International Relations into the global context of socio-economic and political developments in Eurasia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In addition, the course examines the evolving influence of science and technology on International Affairs since 1945. The course serves as a foundation for further region-based and thematic in-depth history courses at the 200 and 300 levels.

HIS 201G – Evolution of the International System, 1815-1914

Designed to introduce students of International Affairs to the practice of diplomacy and the evolution of the International System from the Congress of Vienna to the eve of World War I. Though historical in approach, lectures focus on how the diplomatic system functioned, how policy was formulated and what role certain concepts and theories (balance of power, Concert of Europe, collective security, war as an instrument of policy, etc.) played during this period. Pays special attention to helping students build up an international relations vocabulary. Assumes a basic knowledge of European history in the 19th century.
Prerequisite: HIS 101P


HIS 271G – History: Methods and Problems

Explores the theory, practice and application of history by investigating various classical issues of historiography and extending the student’s techniques of historical analysis and research. Includes an inquiry into the nature of the discipline, basic historical theory, the notion of historical truth, the nature of evidence, the auxiliary sciences, comprehensive research techniques, writing and organisation, classical and modern research trends and the so-called “new” histories.
Prerequisite: HIS 101P

HIS 301G – Evolution of the International System, 1914-1989

Introduces students to the major events and patterns of 20th century history from the outbreak of the First World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the division of Europe so as to understand the defining trends and tensions in the international system today. Focuses on key questions such as:  Why did the international system break down so catastrophically in 1914 and could this happen again?   Is ideology or nationalism the principal legacy of the 20th century?  What do the experiments in international governance exemplified in the League of Nations and the early years of the United Nations tell us about the possibilities for a system of global governance in the 21st century?  What caused the Cold War and which security concepts used in handling the US-Soviet relationship during the Cold War could still be useful today in dealing with regional disputes and relationships between the West and the emerging new global powers?  The course will help students to better understand the art and practice of diplomacy, the changing nature of military conflict, and the role of ideas and ideologies in promoting either conflict or peace.
Prerequisites: HIS 101P


HIS 311G – History of Genocide

This course introduces students to the historical study of genocides and mass atrocities from antiquity to contemporary times. Students will study the meaning, occurrence, causes and consequences of genocides throughout history and will gain a nuanced understanding of underlying common causes and the specificities of each case study. Even though the course covers case studies in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia throughout history, particular emphasis is placed on the European dimension of the history of genocide.
Prerequisite: HIS 101P

HIS 321G – History of Transatlantic Relations

This course assesses the history of Transatlantic relations between the United States and core European powers. Students will acquire in-depth knowledge on major political, social and cultural developments from the French Revolution to the end of the Cold War. The final part of the course will allow students to gain a nuanced understanding of recurring periods of cooperation and rivalry among the major powers on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the last 200 years.
Prerequisites: HIS 101P

Honours Essay (HON)

HON 393G – Honours Essay

The Honours Essay is a research paper of 10,000-12,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding bibliography) that may be undertaken by qualified students, with the assistance of an essay adviser, in semester 5 or 6 of the Bachelor’s degree programme. The Honours Essay counts as a 300-level course and is worth 6 ECTS credits. An Honours Essay in the field of the major counts towards the Major Electives of the majors.

In order to qualify for the Honours Essay, a student must at the start of the semester during which it is to be written, have earned at least 120 ECTS credits, have successfully completed HUM 201G, and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.

During the semester preceding that in which the Honours Essay is written, a student who is likely to qualify should ask a faculty member to serve as an adviser for the Honours Essay and submit to the adviser a research proposal of approximately 300 words. If the adviser approves the proposal, then the student may register for the Honours Essay, conditional on meeting the requirements specified above.

During the semester, the student should meet regularly with the essay adviser to discuss the progress of the research. The essay must be submitted in triplicate by the end of the last week of teaching and will be assessed by the adviser and by an additional reader appointed by the head of the relevant curriculum committee.

Students interested in doing an Honours Essay should ask the administration for a document laying out in greater detail the procedures for applying and submitting the essay and the criteria for its assessment.  They are advised to obtain this document early in the semester preceding the one in which the honours essay is to be done.

Humanities (HUM)

HUM 101P – Composition for Academic Communication

In this course, students will improve their language skills, moving from the colloquial and conversational, to the professional and academic level. Students will transfer language strategies such as listening, reading, note-taking, speaking in class, asserting themselves in small groups, and writing, from their native languages into English. Additionally, students will learn the conventions of academic writing, from the initial considerations of purpose and audience, through thesis, summary and a variety of writing strategies (anecdotes and examples, narration, description, comparison and contrast) through to the finished product: the undergraduate thesis-based, synthesis essay. Expectations concerning academic honesty and the avoidance of plagiarism will also be reinforced. In keeping with the Liberal Arts philosophy of the College, the readings for the course will be drawn from sociology, philosophy, history, politics, science, economics, language, and literature.

HUM101G – Introduction to Academic Writing and Critical Thinking

This course introduces students to the main conventions and requirements of academic writing and to basic elements of research processes. Students learn how to formulate a research question, how to analyze and critique methodologically previous studies and compose a literature review. Students will learn and practice their critical thinking skills by engaging with research language and practice their academic writing and critical analysis skills. Students will learn how to select, question and analyze studies and how to use academic research in their own writing. In addition, critical thinking exercises will hone students’ ability to distinguish valid from invalid arguments and will teach students key analytical skills. The course will also engage with core debates important for understanding contemporary process in the fields of international affairs, law, business and communications.

HUM103G – Global Ethics

This course will introduce students to the major theoretical and applied debates as well as major moral puzzles and challenges in the field of global ethics. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives and thematic issues in the fields of international politics, business, communications and law, the course will challenge students to reflect on major ethical theories and traditions as well as core problems such as corporate governance, global distributive justice, the ethics of making and sustaining peace, media ethics and legal dimensions of ethics. By combining the works of both classic and contemporary philosophers with contemporary applied global issues, students will be able to critically reflect on fundamental normative questions from an interdisciplinary perspective and reflect on the rights, responsibilities and challenges of ‘good global citizenship’.

HUM 201P – Writing and Critical Inquiry

In this course, students will learn to critically analyze the diction, structure, audience and methods of argumentation in a wide variety of texts and then judge the success or failure of these texts. Other topics include the history of the book, the discernment between fact and opinion and for the motivations of authors, and recognition and avoidance of logical fallacies. The student is expected to apply these persuasive devices and methods to his/her own writing and to evaluate critically his/her work and the work of other students in the class. Two new writing strategies will be introduced: the extended definition and reasoning from cause and effect. Additionally, the students will be asked to engage in graded, oral debates.

Internship (INT)

INT 381G – Internship

Working in a sponsoring firm or organisation, students undertake a 150-hour, semester- long project on a theme or topic related to their major. Requires students to work on- site at least 10hours per week, keep a daily activity log and write a project report.
Prerequisites: Students in second semester of second year or first semester of third year, good academic standing and approval by the Internship Committee

Law (LAW)

LAW 101P – International Law

The course explains the basic rules of (1) international law: legal sources, treaties, rights and duties of states, international organisations, status of the individual, the global commons, diplomatic and consular law; (2) European law: the two basic treaties governing the European Union, the EU institutions, the internal market, agricultural and regional policy, external relations, judicial cooperation and the rights of citizens and third country nationals.

LAW 111P – Business Law

Introduces the legal context in which business is conducted in civil and common law jurisdictions. After examining the sources and components of law, considers in-depth the law of contracts, the law of torts, finance of international trade, intellectual property rights, agency and distributorship, conflicts of law and competent courts, international commercial arbitration, bankruptcy and receivership and the law of corporations.

LAW 102P – Introduction to Legal Principles and Theories

The course covers the basic legal concepts, issues and themes that are common to the world’s major legal systems. Students will become familiar with the legal principles  and  theories  that  they  will  encounter  throughout  the  entire  Law programme  at  Vesalius.  Topics  include  legal  history,  nature  and  components of law, relationship between morality and law, natural law and legal positivism,hierarchy of legal sources, role of legislators and courts, the process of legal analysis  (including  judicial  opinions,  facts,  legal  issues,  applicable  law  and the  judgment),  contracts  law,  torts  law,  criminal  law,  public/private  law, jurisprudence,  substantive  and  procedural  issues,  and  conflicts  of  law.

LAW 201G – Humanitarian Law

The course explains the major principles concerning the Law of The Hague (legal means and methods of warfare)  and the Law of Geneva concerning protection of sick, wounded, prisoners of war, and civilians. In addition, the course explains the complex network of treaties, and the role of the UN Security Council in upholding and enforcing respect for international humanitarian law. The course explains also a range of treaties which complement the four Geneva conventions, for example regarding the prohibition of certain weapons, or the protection of cultural property during war.

LAW 203G – Criminal Law

This course highlights the differences between civil law and criminal law through the historical development of criminal law. Basic concepts are addressed such as the acts classified as crimes, the distinction between more serious offenses (felonies)  and  less  serious  offences  (misdemeanors),  punishments  (including incarceration and fines), the difference between the prosecuting office and the tribunal/court, the investigation process, the role of law enforcement agencies. Penal
codes of several countries will be used to illustrate the general theory of criminal law.

LAW 211G – Advanced Business Law

Building on the concepts learned in Business Law, this course further examines the sources and components of law as well as the question of conflicts of law, competency of courts and various legal regimes governing international business transactions and operations. Students will further explore the laws of finance, sales, employment, corporations and other business associations, mergers and acquisitions,  debtor-creditor  relations,  secured  transactions,  bankruptcy  and receivership.
Prerequisite: LAW 111P

LAW 212G – International Commercial Arbitration

This course covers the basics of the law and practice governing international commercial arbitration, mediation and alternate dispute resolution. It provides students  with  both  the  theoretical  and  practical  aspects  of  commercial arbitration, including topics such as the enforcement of arbitration agreements, review of the major international arbitral institutions and their rules of procedure.
In studying the relationship between international arbitration and national court systems, students will review court decisions on arbitration, perform research on arbitration at the global level and draft arbitration agreements. 

LAW 213G – Intellectual Property Law

This course provides an introduction to the four primary types of intellectual property protection: patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret. Students will gain a basic understanding of the various grounds for and limitations of such protections  by  exploring  the  policies  and  legal  principles  which  support international  and  European  protection  of  intellectual  property  rights,  designs, protection of trade secrets as well as the sources of those rights. Special topics will  include  acquisition  of  rights,  registration,  infringement,  remedies  and international aspects of these laws. The course also examines the function of international  intellectual  property  organizations  and  recent  developments in the EU.

LAW 221G – European Organisations

The European Union has become the most influential organisation in Europe, with a membership of 27 European states.  However, 21 independent European intergovernmental organisations or European cooperation frameworks exist which are active in fields not, or not completely, covered by the activities of the European Union. These 21 European Organisations are divided in four sectors: economy & finance, political and security, science, and river commissions. The course will explain the law and policy of the 21 European organisations: their origins, membership, activities and cooperation among them or with the European Union. The students will acquire a complete overview of the all existing European intergovernmental organisations. Another objective is to prepare students of the International Affairs major to the job market in the world of European organisations and the related sectors (procurement for contractors, sub-contractors).

LAW 222G – European Union Constitutional Law

The course focuses on the rights of EU citizens (inter alia the Charter of Fundamental Rights) and the institutions (European Parliament, Council, European Council, Commission, European Court of Justice and other organs) as well as the decisionmaking and controlling procedures of the President of the European Union.

LAW 231G – Comparative Constitutional Law

This  course  gives  a  legal  overview  and  basic  knowledge  of  the  constitutions of the major countries in the world. It will address the origins of constitutionalism (American and French Revolutions), the state institutions and their powers, the constitutional  rights  of  citizens,  the  changing  nature  of  the  constitutions, inter alia constitutional review, unitary versus federal states.

LAW 271G – Methods: Legal Analysis, Research and Writing

This course is designed to develop the student’s ability to identify legal issues and communicate such findings effectively, particularly in the written form. In developing the ability for legal analysis and problem solving skills, students will focus  particularly  on  the  interplay  between  international  and  European  law, through historical, political and economic dimensions.  Students will be encouraged to apply legal knowledge gained in previous courses in a number of ways. Finally, students will be provided with the opportunity for enhanced use of appropriate legal research methods and tools within the framework of class assignments.
Prerequisite: LAW 102P or one other upper-level course in law

LAW 301G – Current Challenges in International Law

Familiarises students with the fundamental concepts and principles of modern international law. Introduces the historical and theoretical development of international law as well as its basic methodology in order better to understand present day developments.
Prerequisites: one other upper-level course in international relations, history or politics

LAW 302G – Environmental Law

The contents of this course include the general principles of environmental law, the legal and institutional framework comprising subjects such as the actors (states,  international organizations, NGOs, etc.), environmental treaties, resolutions of the UN  General  Assembly  and  other  international  bodies,  EU  regulations  and directives, and the general problems of compliance, implementation, enforcement and dispute settlement. 

LAW 303G – Human Rights

This  course  focuses  on  the  principles  regarding  the  status  of  individuals under  international  law,  the  ‘International  Bill  of  Human  Rights’,  regional human  rights  instruments,  human  rights  related  to  expulsion  and  extradition, stateless persons, refugees and asylum, and the treatment standards regarding foreigners. The course incorporates major case law.

LAW 311G – Competition Law

In this course, students will examine the role of competition law and policy, at both the EU and national levels and within the global economy. The different regimes of competition law will be closely analyzed, including the interaction between trade and competition and the process of internationalization of competition law and policy.  Students will explore various issues related to competition law, including abuse of dominant position, anti-competitive agreements, the interface between Intellectual
Property Rights and competition law and other current issues related to business strategy.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P or  LAW 111P

LAW 312G – International Banking Law and Financial Regulation

This  course  introduces  students  to  the  legal  and  regulatory  environment  of international  banking  and  finance.  In  exploring  the  fundamental  legal  issues, emphasis will be placed on the international and European context in order to reflectthe globalization of the financial markets. Students will become familiar with the regulation of capital markets as well as the traditional financial market sectors of insurance  and  commercial  &  investment  banking.  This  course  will  enable students  to  benefit  from  the  “big  picture”  of  banking  and  finance while considering related legal challenges.
Prerequisite: BUS 101P, ECN 101P or LAW 111P

LAW 321G – EU Law of Freedom, Security and Justice

The  course  addresses  issues  which  have  become  part  of  EU  cooperationin  matters  of  asylum,  rules  concerning  the  external  borders,  immigration policies  and  policies  concerning  third  countries’  citizens,  combating  illicit drugs,  fraud,  judicial  cooperation  in  civil  and  criminal  matters,  custom cooperation, the fight against terrorism, drugs and organized crime.

LAW 322G – Law of the EU Internal Market

This advanced course provides a systematic analysis of the internal market, namely the free movement of goods (including custom duties and taxation, quantitative restrictions and similar measures, free movement of capital, free movement of services (including the freedom of establishment), and the freedom of movement of people (including the Schengen Area). Related topics will also include the monetary union and state subsidies.

LAW 391G – International and EU Law Capstone

The course is devoted to landmark judgments and legal opinions of the judicial bodies of both the European Union and the International Court of Justice and its predecessor, ICSID arbitration, mixed claims commissions and the ILOAT tribunal. With respect to the European Union, students will examine holdings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the General Court, and the European Civil Service  Tribunal.  The  course  culminates  in  a  high-level  research  paper  or project of the student’s choice, where students will be required to analyze the structure and legal reasoning of judgments and legal opinions related to their topic.
Prerequisite:  LAW  271G  and  third  year  standing  in  the  Law  major,  or  with permission of the instructor



LAR 101G – Elementary Arabic

This is a course of Modern Standard Arabic, the language that comes closest to a Lingua Franca in the Arab World. It enables students to read modern texts and follow the news (decipher headlines and look up words that are unknown) and most important provides them with the tools to constantly improve and broaden their knowledge by engaging in conversation with locals who speak Arabic and ask for words and expressions that are new to them. Since the Arab culture is often described as an “oral culture” students of Arabic benefit greatly from this approach.

They will also get an insight into the diversity of the Arabic language and the main differences between the biggest groups of dialects. At the end of the course participants will be able to have a simple conversation with native speakers, as well as getting a grip of the local variety they speak. In order to achieve that we use not only a classical teaching book, but also recorded texts (mostly with transcripts), songs and films from different countries where Arabic is spoken and one or the other social media entry.

This course is a door-opener helping you to make your first steps into the Arab-speaking part of the world and will get you as far as your enthusiasm carries you, once you got the hang of it. With potential for further courses to follow.

Chinese (LCH)

LCH 102G – Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture

This course, designed for students with no prior knowledge of Chinese, is primarily a first course in the language, but also exposes students to various aspects of Chinese culture. The emphasis will be on understanding, speaking and reading. The course will be conducted, as far as possible, in Chinese from the beginning. After these courses students should be able to read Chinese with correct pronunciation and tone, write basic strokes in the  correct order, understand Chinese texts and dialogues concerning the most  useful and practical situations learned. Among the cultural topics will be: the origins and development of the Chinese language, a brief introduction to Chinese history, religions and the two major philosophical schools Confucians and Taoists.

Dutch (LDU)

LDU 101G – Elementary Dutch

This course focuses on listening and understanding, vocabulary and basic practical grammar. After these courses students should be able to manage living in a Dutch-speaking environment, to participate in everyday conversations, to read and understand basic Dutch texts and to compose simple written work. Students will also learn more about Dutch/ Belgian culture while working on different projects. Designed for students with no prior knowledge of Dutch.

French (LFR)

LFR 101G, LFR 102G – Elementary French I & II

This sequence focuses listening and understanding, vocabulary and basic practical grammar. After these courses students should be able to manage living in a French-speaking environment, to participate in everyday conversations, to read and understand basic French texts and to compose simple written work. Students will also learn more about French/ Belgian culture while working on different projects. LFR101E is designed for students with no prior knowledge of French, and LFR102E is for students with the equivalent one semester of college French as assessed by a placement test.
Syllabus LFR101G
Syllabus LFR102G

LFR 201G, LFR 202G – Intermediate French I & II

This sequence focuses on the acquisition of major elements of French grammar, as well as a more advanced level of comprehension, accurate and active communication skills and a broader coverage of vocabulary. Compositions, essays, oral presentations and reading newspaper articles are a part of these courses. French culture will be highlighted through a theatre project. Both courses given each semester
Prerequisite for LFR201G: LFR102G or placement test.
Prerequisite for LFR202G: LFR201G or placement test.
Syllabus LFR201G
Syllabus LFR202G

LFR2xxG – Intermediate French I and II

French courses at the intermediate level consist of eight different modules: Grammar I and II, Reading and Writing I and II, Conversation I and II and Culture and Civilisation I and II.
Students are placed into four modules after the placement test and the approval of the Vesalius College French Instructors, taking into account the individual progression and language learning objectives.
Each module is worth 1,5 ECTS credit. Modules I are taught at CEFR B1 ( Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level, and modules II are taught at CEFR B2-level, with the Culture and Civilisation modules both being taught as academic courses in French.
Each of the modules focusses on a different aspect of French language acquisition at two levels which allows for an individual learning path.
Prerequisite: LFR101G and LFR102G (Elementary French I and II) or CEFR A2-level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)

LFR 301G, LFR 302G – Advanced French I & II

At the outset of each course students are prepared and tested on the conjugation of all tenses of basic verbs, since this is essential knowledge for the advanced programme. The two courses are comparable in their methods of instruction (advanced vocabulary and grammar practice, class discussions, essay writing, oral presentations and a theatre project) but each has its own programme in advanced grammar and its own theme as shown in the course titles. The theatre project, including the study of an author, a play, and a visit to the theatre, is different each semester. The two courses complement each other in the development of vocabulary, comprehension, writing and oral skills, and may be taken in any order.
Prerequisite for LFR 301G: LFR 202G or placement test
Prerequisite for LFR 302G: LFR 202G or placement test
Syllabus LFR301G

Mathematics (MTH)

MTH 201G – Methods: Mathematics for Business and Economics

Teaches the mathematical skills required for problem solving and decision making in the business world through use of mathematical models and specialised techniques. Topics include: functions as mathematical models, equation-solving techniques, differential and integral calculus, exponential growth and time-value of money and partial derivatives and their applications in economic functions.

Philosophy (PHL)

PHL 101G – History of Western Philosophy

Provides a general overview of the main philosophical topics discussed from the presocratics to the postmodernists.  The course develops historically the most important subfields of philosophy: philosophy of nature, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, ethics, epistemology (theory of knowledge), aesthetics and philosophy of history.  We successively discuss presocratic philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy, the early and late Middle Ages, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger and postmodernism.  Students are required to read primary sources, to write short papers, and to participate in debates on philosophical questions.

PHL 201G – History and Philosophy of Science

In this course, the history and philosophy of science is studied, starting from the origins of science in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece to present day science and technology. Key issues from the philosophy of science (such as Popper’s  falsifiability,  Kuhn’s paradigm shifts, Gödel’s incompleteness and Poincaré’s conventionalism) will be illustrated by historical case studies (such as the Copernican revolution, the shift from classical physics to quantum mechanics or the evolution theory). While the focus of this class will be on natural sciences, we will also consider the problem of the scientific method in humane and social sciences.

Politics (POL)

POL 101P – Politics

This is a basic introductory course, introducing students to core concepts, processes and events in global politics. It gives an insight in the so-called ‘global’ dimension of world politics, which encompasses the worldwide, the regional, the national and the sub-national levels. In this course, students will study concepts and issues related to state and sovereignty, the nation and globalization; power and war; diplomacy and sanctions, identity and terrorism. The study of these issues will help outline the interdependence and interconnectedness of state and non-state actors in world politics.

POL111G – Introduction to Comparative Politics and Regional Studies

This course introduces students to comparative politics and the study of political systems in different world regions. It bridges the gap between domestic and international politics by incorporating elements of the both disciplines. While some elements of the course focuses on domestic politics, including the concepts of the state, governance, democracy, civil society, other sessions of the course will apply these concepts comparatively to different regions (e.g. Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, Africa).

POL 121G – European Peace and Security Studies

This foundational course provides an introduction to the main theoretical approaches and concepts required for understanding contemporary issues of peace and conflict. The main schools of thought of International Relations Theory as well as main-stream and critical perspectives of security and strategy studies will be introduced and will be applied to core security issues, such as crisis management (military and civilian), conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, disarmament as well as the promotion of environmental security,  human security and human rights. Particular emphasis will be placed on the evolution of and approaches by the European Union and NATO, but examples from the United Nations and related security organisations will also be drawn on.

POL 212G – International Relations

This course introduces and applies the major paradigms, key authors and core theories in the discipline of International Relations. The course allows students to study and apply major IR theories with the help historical and contemporary political empirical case studies in order to illustrate, as well as test, central assumptions and arguments of these approaches. The course provides a knowledge base for the further study of International Relations theories as well as for understanding core processes, actors and power relations in international politics.

POL213G – European energy security strategies in global perspective

Energy is at the heart of economic development. It fuels transportation systems, powers factories, lights government and office buildings, schools and hospitals, heats homes and keeps foods cold. The European Union’s prosperity and security thus hinges on a stable and abundant supply of energy. Since the oil crisis of the 1970s most EU member states have not had to experience any long-lasting supply disruption, yet the world stage and the global energy landscape have both changed dramatically. The course will debate those factors that currently drive energy policy decisions in Europe, including the actions of nations such as the United States, Russia, China, India, and Japan, climate change negotiations, and the quest for energy independence.

POL 215G – An Introduction to the modern Middle East

This is an introductory course to Modern Middle Eastern Studies. The course introduces students to some of the major historical, political and cultural events that affected the Middle Eastern since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
It is an interdisciplinary course that examines key historical and political milestones that have shaped, defined and redefined the Modern Middle East since the beginning of the 20th century: modernity, colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity, identity and religion, state formation, democratization, wars and geography as well as the impact of external influences on the region. The course will also touch upon recent events in the region, in particular the Arab uprising and the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Given the complex history of the region, current events cannot be dissected from the Middle East’s history. This introductory course will provide students with basic building blocks that will enable them to better understand and analyze today’s events and conflicts in the greater context of the region’s historical, political and cultural developments over the past 100 years.
The course will include guest-lectures from experienced practitioners and policy-makers as well as film viewings.

POL216G – US Foreign Policy to the Middle East

In the past decade, the United States has been more involved in the Middle East than ever in its history. This course will examine the evolution and pursuit of U.S. interests in the Middle East in the context of conflicting regional nationalisms, sub-regional poles of power, competition with the Soviet Union, the Islamist revival, and the post-9/11 era.  Throughout the semester, the course will trace the historical backdrop of foreign intervention in the region from the 19th century to the present day.  Starting with the “Near East Question” of the 19th century, the course will move through the European mandate system after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and trace the rise of U.S. policy in the region after WWII.  This course will draw upon readings, lecture, class discussion, and crisis simulation to foster an understanding of the history of U.S. policy in the region and help students develop an analytic framework for understanding current policy debates.

POL 221G – The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

This EPSS course provides an overview and in-depth analysis of the historical evolution, institutional settings, procedures and core policies of the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in both theory and practice. Whilst the first part of the course analyzes the evolution of the CFSP and its major policy areas in the wider historical and theoretical context of the European Union as an International Actor since the end of the Cold War, the second part of the course provides a critical assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the EU as a Foreign and Security actor in the field. Particular emphasis is placed on the EU’s Military and Civilian Operations, conducted since 2003. In addition, the course will take a closer look at the wide range of security actors and international organisations the EU has collaborated with in the context of the CFSP.

POL 222G – Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in Europe

This EPSS course provides an in-depth analysis of the roots and causes of contemporary conflicts in Europe’s periphery (Bosnia, Kosovo, Georgia / South Ossetia, Chechnya) and in those regions where either the European Union or NATO have become active security actors (ranging from the Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia to Afghanistan and Aceh). At the end of the course, students will have gained a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the complex underpinnings of contemporary conflicts as well as of the demands placed on external international actors that try to contribute to mitigating such a diverse range of conflicts and crises.

POL 223G – Ethnic Conflict, Reconciliation and Reconstruction

This interdisciplinary course is aimed at students interested in the study of peace and  conflict  resolution,  international  relations,  political  science, sociology, and history. It combines a historical overview of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the wars of 1990 with a theoretical discussion on peace and conflict resolution. The course consists of a series of lectures and presentations where we will look at the main events and causes that led to the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s as well as the impact the conflict has had on the security, economic, demographic, and religious situation in the region. No background in Yugoslav history or politics is assumed.  The  role  of  nationalist  ideology  and  organization  in  the  breakdown  and building of state structures is a key element of this course, as is conflict, often violent, surrounding the implementation of state building projects. A final element of major significance is the impact of international intervention or world geopolitics, particularly the interests of Great Powers and their attempts to shape state building projects of local actors. The course will assist the students to identify and analyze the causes  of  the  conflict,  and  more  importantly,  to  learn  how  to  anticipate such conflicts in the future.

POL 224G – International Approaches to State-Building, Reform and Good Governance

The interdisciplinary course is aimed to engage students with the debates on the origins, development and deterioration of states. Approaches to promoting good governance and state-building as a part of the post-Soviet transition, African studies, development  studies,  security  studies,  post-conflict  reconstruction,  have  been the subject of numerous academic and policy debates. Students will learn about these different approaches as well as how they are interlinked with democracy assistance and security sector reform initiatives. Students will review the indicators for state capacity and good governance, will assess issues critical for development of  states  in  transition  and  will  discuss  models  of  state-society  relationship. While the primary focus of the course will be on the role of the international actors in state-building efforts, the course will also focus on issues linked to the
concept of nation, national movements and civil society. The course consists of lectures,  seminar  discussions  and  will  include  guest  speakers  as  well  as interactive exercises.

POL 225G, Global Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and (De-)Radicalisation

The Evolution of Global Jihadism and Radicalization examines the contours of the jihadist movements, with the aim of enhancing students’ understanding of ideological, strategic, and operational characteristics that define it. We will explore the ideological and strategic debates within the movement as well as national, regional, and international events that contributed to these debates. We will focus on aspects of counterinsurgency, national and international policy to combat radicalism and jihadism and continued areas of concern within the international system for such occurrences. This course introduces students to policy debates, theoretical literature available in the emerging field of jihadist studies as well as statements and literature produced by jihadists themselves.

This course places heavy emphasis on the professional writing, briefing, conduct, and other skills needed for careers in the terrorism and the security field.

POL 231G – European Union Politics (Introduction to the European Union)

This course focuses on the European Union integration, institutions and decisionmaking as well as the EU’s major policies and theoretical approaches to studying the European integration. The course is divided into 4 major parts. Part one provides a historical overview and analyses evolving treaty framework in the European Union. Part two details the organization and functioning of the European Union institution including the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Council as well as the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. Part three deals with policy process and making of legislation in the European Union and focuses on selected policy areas. The final part of the course focuses on the major theoretical approaches to studying the European integration including neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism, neo-institutionalism and constructivism(s).
Prerequisite:  one politics course

POL 232G – Political Institutions of European Countries

Studies European states, their major institutional features and their political system from a comparative perspective. Considers the nature of “the state” and the logic of comparative methodology and discusses different frameworks for carrying out comparative political study. While taking the major European liberal democracies (the U.K., France and Germany) as a starting point, it purports to review and compare political systems from Western and Central-Eastern Europe. For EU member states, it also intends to analyse the effects of European integration on political systems.

POL 233G – The EU’s Approach to Democratisation and Human Rights

This course offers a critical review of the literature on EU democracy and human rights policies. It aims to provide a systematic analysis of core features and outcomes of these policies and more broadly of the character and effects of external attempts to promote democracy and human rights. The course integrates both the supply-side and demand-side of EU policies. On the supply-side, it examines the objectives, instruments and strategies of the EU in relation to promoting democracy and human rights in a variety of countries. On the demand-side, it explores the character of problems that recipient countries face as well as the targets or subjects for change of EU policies. Finally, the course evaluates the outcomes of EU policies in light of selected cases and critically revisits the premise and limits of external efforts to promote democracy and human rights.

POL234G – Economics and Politics of the European Union

In the alphabet soup of regional groupings the European Union is unique because it has a system of sovereignty-sharing between nation-states. The course will examine precisely what that means and how it expresses itself in terms of institutional arrangements. The EU is also unique in having built up a single market in which business activity in another member state is intended to be (and in some cases has become) as straightforward as activity in another region of the same state. The course will examine both of these aspects.

POL 241G – The Government and Politics of Global Powers

This course introduces students to the politics, key features and global influence of major established states and emerging powers. Students analyze the role of western  “established” powers, such as the United States, Britain, France and Germany as well the growing influence of “emerging” powers such as the BRICS (Brazil, China, India and South Africa) and beyond. The course also sheds light on processes and dynamics of major political global transformations and the changing nature of “power”.
Prerequisite:  one politics course

POL 242G – Diplomacy and International Negotiations

This course provides students with in-depth knowledge and essential skills for understanding the evolution, mechanisms and impact of diplomacy and international negotiations. The course is divided into two parts. The first part provides an introduction into diplomacy and the theory of international negotiations. The second part deals with the practice of diplomacy and negotiations. The course provides an analysis of diplomatic approaches to global issues and current world problems, such as peace and security, climate change and international trade. It examines cases of successful diplomacy and/or failed diplomacy. It also avails a forum in which teams of students speak on behalf of an assigned country on a variety of selected issues to expand their understanding of diplomacy, global geopolitics and international relations.

POL 243G – International Organisations and Global Governance

This course provides an analysis of the historical evolution, policies and impact of core International Organisations in the field of Global Governance. Students examine and evaluate the policy-making processes, successes and failures of major International Organizations in addressing core global challenges, such as global peace and security, global economic governance, development and the global fight against hunger, climate change and environmental governance, the global rule of law, human rights and democratisation.

POL 271G – Intermediate Research Methods

This course exposes students to the main quantitative and qualitative research methods required for International Affairs and analysis in the Social Sciences. Students will learn to the main methodological approaches from the field of political science, communication studies and policy-oriented security studies. The course also provides essential skills required for analysing and tackling major research issues.

POL 301G – Contemporary Political Debates

Debates key policy and normative dilemmas in contemporary liberal democracies. Introduces topics using recent academic literature and policy documents and then examines classical and modern political texts in order to build conceptually coherent arguments to support conflicting positions on political and normative dilemmas.

POL 302G – History of Political Thought

Provides an overview of the history of modern political thought based on a historically contextualised in-depth examination of classic texts by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville and Marx. Analyses the significance of their works to modern scientific and ideological debate.

POL 321G – NATO and Transatlantic Approaches to Security

This EPSS course explores the history, track-record and major political and policy challenges related top both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and wider US-Europe transatlantic relations more generally. Students will examine the waxing and waning of US-EU relations in the field of security and will assess the evolution, institutions, policy-making processes and impact of NATO’s core security policies. The final part of the course invites students to explore emerging and future challenges NATO and US-EU relations will face.
Pre-requisite: one course in politics

POL 322G – The EU and Military Approaches to Security

This EPSS course provides an in-depth analysis of core actors, key dimensions and approaches to promoting security through military means. Particular emphasis will be placed on the so-called ‘comprehensive approach’. The course provides a conceptual and theoretical introduction to military security by focusing on the concepts of threat, risk, security and conflict and their evolution. It explores the changing nature of war and the complexity of today’s conflicts and analyses the role of the military in security issues such as deterrence; arms control and disarmament; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and small arms and light weapons; failed states; terrorism and counterterrorism; and human and man-made disasters. The influence of the privatisation of international security and the evolution of military equipment on the role of the military will be discussed. Finally, students will study the specificity of the military in crisis management, the main approaches to peace support operations and military crisis management in the UN, EU and NATO frameworks, the comprehensive approach, and the role of the military in state building.  Pre-requisite: one course in politics

POL 332G – European and Global Governance of Migration

This course provides an overview of the EU policy-making structures as they apply to migration policy as well as broader themes of EU justice and home affairs. It includes an analysis of the changes of EU governance in the area of justice and home affairs: its origins and evolution as well as the current debates, including security and human rights aspects. In addition to the strong EU focus, the course also maps out the development of the global governance of migration. It explores the role of different stakeholders who are active in migration debates, including different states, international non-governmental organisations, and lobby groups (many of which are active in Brussels). Overall, the course draws on different debates on migration and relates them to broader developments in global politics, including the economic crisis, issues of national identity, immigrant settlement and integration.

POL 333G – Policies in the EU

Aims to familiarise students with institutions, actors and policy patterns of EU policy domains (agriculture, regional development, environmental policy, social policy and foreign/security policy), as well as with public policy approaches and concepts used to analyse EU policies. Addresses challenges of EU policy-making: asymmetry, path dependency, complexity, accountability, legitimacy, public participation, implementation and monitoring deficits, hierarchical authority, enlargement, etc. Refers extensively to policy cases and domains to clarify theories and concepts, which are juxtaposed to highlight explanatory advantages and weaknesses.
Prerequisite: none, POL 231G recommended

POL334G – The European Union in the World

This course explores the changing role of the European Union (EU) on the global stage. This course will examine the evolution of the EU’s global influence through an analysis of several key areas of influence, including enlargement, trade and economic policy and the development of defence policy.
Pre-requisite: at least one course in political science

POL 341G – The United Nations and Global Governance

This course provides students with a comprehensive analysis of the evolution, institutions, policy-making procedures and policy outputs of the United Nations system within the context of Global Governance. The course assesses and evaluates the successes, failures and future prospects of the UN system in addressing fundamental global challenges in the areas of peace and security, development, climate change and human rights. Particular emphasis is placed on the evolution, mechanisms and impacts of United Nations Peacekeeping.
Prerequisite: At least one politics/international affairs course

POL 371G – International Affairs Research Methods

This advanced research method course provides students with in-depth knowledge and skills required for confidently and effectively mastering research, policy analysis and policy advice in the field of International Affairs. Students will not only deepen their knowledge and skills of quantitative and qualitative research methods required for graduate studies, but will also acquire essential professional, analytical and research-related skill-sets needed for a successful career in International Affairs.

POL 391G – Capstone: Global Governance

The International Affairs Capstone course provides students with an opportunity to integrate their knowledge and exercise the skills acquired throughout their studies and apply them to a concrete policy-problem. As the final, summative and integrative course of the IA Programme, students will be tasked to apply their knowledge and skills in a highly independent, theory-driven, but policy-oriented manner. Students usually work for the duration of the capstone course as policy advisors or policy analysts for a “client” (policy-maker from Brussels-based organizations, such as the European Union or NATO) on a real-life problem.  By calling for the integration and application of their multi-disciplinary knowledge, the Capstone course seeks to prepare students both for independent research at the graduate level and to bridge the gap between academic studies and the professional realm of policy-oriented analysis.
Prerequisite: HIS 271G or POL 271G, and third-year standing in the International Affairs major; or permission of the instructor

Psychology (PSY)

PSY 101G – Introduction to Psychology

This course is aimed to provide students with an introduction into the research field of psychology. Students get acquainted to core concepts and existing domains within Psychology. Psychology as a scientific discipline and the interconnection between sub domains in Psychology are central issues in this course. Topics that will be treated include: what is psychology, biology of behaviour, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning and adaptation, motivation and emotion, development over the life span, personality, adjusting to life (stress, coping and health), psychological disorders, social thinking and behaviour, etc. Theory will be supported by demos, class experiments, exercises and film fragments.

Statistics (STA)

STA 101P – Quantitative Methods

Statistics is the art of using data to make numerical conjectures about problems.
Descriptive statistics is the art of summarizing data. Topics include: histograms, the average, the standard deviation, the normal curve, correlation. Much statistical reasoning depends on the theory of probability. Topics include: chance models, expected value, standard error, probability histograms, convergence to the normal curve. Statistical inference is the art of making valid generalizations from samples. Topics include: estimation, measurement error, tests of statistical significance.

STA 301G – Methods: Statistics for Business and Economics

Methods: Statistics for Business and Economics first reviews the basic concepts of statistical inference: sample variability, estimation with confidence intervals, and tests of statistical significance. The course then extends inference by looking into: (i) small-sample tests for averages (t-test); (ii) hypothesis tests comparing two sample averages; and (iii) Chi-square tests. The course finally introduces the student to simple regression (fitting a line to a scatter plot) and multiple regression (the generalization of the regression technique to more than one explanatory variable). Students learn how to use a statistical calculator and statistical software to do their own quantitative research.
Prerequisite: STA 101P