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 provides an introduction to 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 provides an historical and intellectual framework for the other courses on the topic. It helps students to contextualise the rich and diversified aspects of Belgian culture, as well as its quirky ones.

ART 301G – Art in Europe

A course focusing on European history and culture, which includes field trips to different European cities (Antwerp, Bruges, Tournai and Brussels for Belgium; Amsterdam for the Netherlands; Paris for France). In this course students study the historical, cultural and economic aspects of the above mentioned cities and countries. Special emphasis is placed on the history of art and architecture. All costs for the trips are to be paid by the participants as an additional fee collected at registration; see section on tuition and fees. Given each semester.

Business (BUS)

BUS 101G – 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 142G – Financial Accounting

This course combines financial and managerial accounting concepts in a single course and includes a study of the accounting cycles of service organisations 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.

BUS143G – Managerial Accounting

Management Accounting is an essential tool that enhances a manager’s ability to make effective economic decisions .The course objective is to give students a good understanding about the concepts and techniques of management accounting. These issues will be explained against the background of a fast changing global market. Allocation”, “Overheads” and “Job-Costing and Process-Costing Systems”. 

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: BUS101G

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 101G

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 101G

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 organisations both in profit and not for profit contexts. Students get acquainted with modern day strategic management issues posed to arts organisations 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 101G


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 101G

BUS217 – Business in China

This course covers the economic and political aspects of doing business in China. China’s 1978 open door policy resulted not only in substantial economy growth but also in great chances for Western companies to participate in China’s unique economy. China’s “red capitalism” is highly distinct to Western economies with its private entrepreneurship and financial liberalisation on the one hand, and a Communist Party that reigns with great power on the other hand. This course will cover both the underlying theories and a number of real-world examples to discuss economic and political reality in China.
Pre-requisites: HUM101G

BUS219G – Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

The course focuses on managing disputes and emphasises the significance of praxis. Explores constructive alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes and procedures to legalistic, adversarial methods of dispute resolution in the public and non-profit sectors. Knowledge and skills developed are those needed to analyse 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. Emphasises conflict management and resolution leadership.
Pre-requisites: HUM101G

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 101G, STA 101G

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 140G

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 101G

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.
Prerequisite: BUS 101G

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 101G

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 301G – International Business

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 a mobile web application or ”app”.
Prerequisites: ECN 101G, BUS 101G

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 101G

BUS 312G – Mergers, Acquisitions and Related Transactions

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 underlines the importance of understanding the relation between projects and the strategic goals of the organisation. The course also discusses the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage projects from start to finish. It emphasises 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. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101G

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 underlines the importance of understanding the relation between projects and the strategic goals of the organisation. The course also discusses the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage projects from start to finish. It emphasises 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: BUS101G

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 101G, BUS 101G

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 101G


BUS 361G – Ethics for Economics and Business

Starts with the general features and conditions of ethical practice, followed by an overview of the main ethical traditions–virtue ethics, duty ethics (deontological ethics) and consequentialism (teleological ethics)—and a discussion of the specific character of applied ethics and the methodological problems that are connected to it. Three main issues dealing with the media will be treated: journalism ethics, advertising ethics and the ethics of new (digital) media. The discussion of business will include the idea of corporate social responsibility and ethical problems in human resource management and sales.
Prerequisite: at least one 100-level course in business, economics or communications

BUS 391G – Capstone: Entrepreneurship

Business 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: BUS101G

BUS 392G – International Marketing

This 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 strikes a balance between localisation and globalisation in product, promotion, pricing, and distribution, to meet the needs and expectations of the chosen foreign market.
Prerequisites: BUS101G

BUS 393G – Business Capstone

The capstone course is a method of summative evaluation in which the student is given an opportunity to demonstrate integrated knowledge and growth in the major. The course will assess a student’s cognitive and intellectual growth in their major and also the overall academic learning experience. The course will provide an opportunity for students to integrate and applied learning from their academic career in a comprehensive manner.  The capstone provides an opportunity for students to integrate and apply knowledge from their academic studies; through the comprehensive evaluation of core curriculum of finance and accounting, economics, marketing, management, human resource, and all learned fields.
The course will take on a focus of client-based research, client based problem-solving, or an intergraded approach to business planning. The key element is to give a real world exercise to the students. They shall work directly with a client(s) to evaluate students on their base knowledge of the overall curriculum learned during their academic career. The general focus should be practical and applied knowledge.
Pre-requisites: BUS101G

BUS 395G – BA Thesis in Business Studies – Seminar I (Advanced Research Methods)

The advanced research methods seminar (Seminar I) for the BA Thesis in Business Studies, requires students to formulate and devise their research question for their BA Thesis topic as well as to choose and apply advanced research methods specific to the field of Business Studies in order to tackle and investigate their major research topic. In this seminar, students will acquire knowledge and skills of advanced research methods and will complete their preparatory work for conducting major research on their BA topic which will serve as a foundation for finalizing their thesis writing in BA Thesis Seminar II. Pre-requirements: Students must have taken all Core courses before taking this course.

BUS 396G – BA Thesis in Business Studies – Seminar II (Senior Seminar)

After completing the BA Thesis Seminar I, students are required to complete writing their BA thesis, applying advanced research methods acquired in BA Thesis Seminar I. Under the guidance of their thesis supervisor, students finalise the writing process and present intermittent results in senior seminars and round-tables. The final oral defence/presentation of the thesis’ results will take place in the context of the College’s public “undergraduate research day”. Pre-requisite: BA Thesis Seminar I.

Communications (CMM)

CMM 101G – Introduction to Communication Studies

The course focuses on the preliminaries of language as well as verbal and non-verbal communication in a variety of social and cultural settings. Perceptions of others based on such physical traits as body, face and voice will be analysed while empathy as a crucial aspect of Interpersonal Communication will be analysed. The nature of groups (their goals, types and characteristics) will be analysed and the techniques for solving problems within groups will be discussed and applied in the relevant assignments. The course also focuses on the various traditions of human communication theory, ranging from semiotic and the phenomenological to the socio-cultural and the critical tradition as well as concepts linked to the Pragmatics of Human Communication.

CMM 102G – Mass Communication

This course provides an overview of theories to describe and explain media communication. The course will look at several perspectives on media and how they are translated into contemporary research efforts. Specifically the course deals with the communication field from the perspectives of content and language, media and society, audiences and effects, and media organisations. Students will be encouraged to participate in discussions where key theories will be analysed and possible applications discussed.

CMM 106G – Intercultural Communication

The first part of the course introduces students to the main culturally-driven models and criteria as espoused by major interculturalists such Tropenaars, Hall, and Hofstede with a view to help them better comprehend the definition of the term culture in both its broad and narrow sense and appreciate the implications thereof on a personal, interpersonal and social level as well as in the job or business-related environment. Topics such as culture shock, ethnocentrism, stereotyping and other intercultural dynamics will be discovered and analysed in view of how these elements can engender misunderstanding and miscommunication. Major theoretical issues will be discussed in order to better illustrate the difficulty of dealing with cultures and identities in all their complexity. By focusing on nation-specific cultural values and the inevitable behavioural impact that it engenders, the course will provide a framework and context to discuss such sensitive topics as cultural relativism and multiculturalism.

CMM 211G – Rhetoric

Students attending this course will come to understand how rhetorical theory and its practical implications have been critical components of effective communication throughout the ages. By studying the building blocks of rhetoric as first codified by ancient Greek rhetoricians such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, while also giving due consideration to more recent or current figures like Foucault or Umberto Eco, and by gaining an understanding of its contemporary forms, students will be better equipped to analyse various forms of persuasive messages. These run the gamut from public speeches to various forms of consumer-driven messages as well as political discourses and propaganda. Special attention will be devoted to text analysis of popular culture products and students will learn how to critically assess various analysis methods of media text

CMM 221G – Global 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.

CMM 242G – Corporate Communications & Public Relations

The course provides an analysis of the practice of corporate communication and public relations. It will study how major companies provide information on their activities, defend their issues and manage their identity and reputation and build or manage their brand image. Particular attention is drawn to the science and art of effective communication with various recipients, including the general public, the media, the shareholders and the employees. Students will gain a better understanding of how corporate communication tools and PR instruments can used to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. A number of major crisis management situations will be explored and their response analysed for effectiveness. Special emphasis will be placed on the strategies companies need to adopt in order to communicate effectively with the media and improve their media relations.

CMM 244G – Media Organisations and Economics

The course aims to analyse the different industry structures and operations related to mass media (including print, broadcast media, sound recordings, motion pictures, social media and media chains) from a historical perspective while emphasising its economic underpinnings. The course aims to explain the key drivers to the functioning of the media industry. It will provide a comprehensive macro-view of the increasingly globalised and interconnected communication markets. The course will also focus on how the most updated technological trends have significantly impacted on the media economy. Finally the course will also analyse how the economy of media impacts on the social fabric and discourse, affects media policy making, and raises such fundamental issues as competition law, copyright issues, and subsidies in media services. This in turn will also provide a solid background to assess and analyse the concept of Value Creation.

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. The course also has a special focus on International Political Communication and in particular the aspects of Public Diplomacy. It is designed to develop understanding of a key aspect of modern communications, namely the attempts by state and non-state actors to influence public opinion though strategic communication policies and soft power. Topics range from the role of public diplomacy in foreign policy to communication approaches in times of crises, as well as arts diplomacy, exchange programmes and citizen diplomacy.

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 policymaking 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. Major trends in the culture of EU interest representation such as the need for “transparency” and the use of coalition and alliance building are 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.

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 – World cinema: History, Theories and Narration

The course aims to provide a historical overview of the craft and evolution of the film industry from an international perspective, from its early inception in the late 19th century to the latest trends and developments in the 21st century. Students will become familiar with fundamental film theories, techniques, genres, as well as film schools throughout the world (including Italian neorealism, French Nouvelle Vague, the British social film movement, Russian style of editing, the dogma manifesto). It will provide students with the tools needed to understand and apply critical analysis to nation-specific cinemas. Special focus will also be put on how various governments and regimes have used cinema as an effective propaganda tool and how national identity can inform the narrative strand of a given film and arguably stress cultural, nation-specific values. By emphasising film genres, the course will also discuss the concept of global genres as developed by William V. Constanzo and explore cinematic border crossings and cultural links between various nations.

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

The course introduces students to how narratives and brands are increasingly conceptualised and produced across multiple media platforms as well as assesses the major cultural, social and political changes that have occurred as a result of increased media convergence. The course analyses how this major technologically driven cultural shift is impacting audience participation, interaction and consumption of mediatised content. Students appreciate how convergence and transmedia affects and shapes audience involvement on the spectrum that goes from passive consumption to active participation and full engagement, the latter impacting on various processes, including democratisation, commercialisation and individualisation. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to analysing and discussing the findings of some of the major theorists and practitioners in the field, including Henry Jenkins, Max Giovagnoli and Nuno Bernardo.

CMM 323G – Communication Audiences and Effects

This course focuses on reception studies, uses and gratification, cultivation, elaboration likelihood (ELM), spiral of silence, knowledge-gap, agenda setting, priming, and framing theories to understand how communication affects audiences. In discussing these theories, it deals with both the historical and epistemological context, and covers the impact of changes in mass communication (e.g. introduction of television and new media) on theory development.

CMM 324G – International Communication

This course provides comprehensive coverage of the range of communication effects across cultures, including news diffusion, media and development, influences on public opinion and voting, and new media’s effects. It also presents a variety of theoretical approaches to understanding the conditioning influence of cultures on communication effects, including psychological and content-based theories. It also includes survey studies of international media effects, communication effects in high and low context cultures, studies of gatekeeping and news values, data and research approaches of news and video and cultural identities and comparative cultivation analysis.

CMM 331G – International Journalism

The course focuses on the understanding of the foreign correspondents’ and international news’ role in society. The course analyses the direction, flow and pattern of the foreign correspondents’ coverage, as well as the impact of new technologies on the quantity, frequency and speed of their coverage and their political, social and economic consequences of those.

CMM 341G – Marketing Communication and Advertising

The course surveys the theoretical models of marketing communication with particular emphasis on a coherent and fully integrated approach to communication. Students are involved in the design and implementation of various strategic communication schemes for different publics while focusing on the advertising, publicity and promotional strands that are part of a comprehensive media-driven marketing campaign. The global nature of advertising and marketing is duly considered, thus allowing students to fully incorporate a series of important cultural factors. They also gain an understanding of why and how these factors need to be taken into consideration when selling a product, a service or a media/ cultural production such as a film. The course also focuses on the conceptualisation and creation of public service announcements as well as hospitality industry related campaigns (tourism, hotel industry) that are then focus group tested.

CMM 352G – Communication Law & Policy

This course introduces students to media and telecommunications law and policy. The course content covers (a) governance approaches in different communication sectors, (b) key values and principles underlying communication law and policy, and (c) the basics of media law, including but not limited to an analysis of the legal framework on media pluralism, universal coverage, protection of sources, freedom of expression, and copyright. Rather than entering into the specificity of one country’s legislation, students will receive a global comparative view on the subject matter. To the extent possible, the course will touch upon linkages with trade, competition, culture and education law and policy as well.

CMM 353G -Comparative Media Systems

This course introduces students to major theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches in the study of media systems and media industries. The course offers a wide-ranging survey of media systems across different regions of the world. Students will be familiarised with comparative research as well as the economic, social, political, regulatory and cultural aspects of media systems.

CMM 372G – Advanced Qualitative Communication Research Methods

The course focuses on qualitative research methods used in communication studies, such as qualitative interviewing, participatory observation, and qualitative content analysis. It covers applications of these methods on traditional media (print and audio-visual) and new media, advertising, public relations and marketing, and media effects studies, as well as communication policy research though case studies and seminal research papers in the different fields.

CMM 373G – Advanced Quantitative Communication Research Methods

The course focuses on quantitative research methods used in communication studies, such as quantitative content analysis, survey research, experiments, and combinations thereof. It covers applications of these methods on traditional media (print and audio-visual) and new media, advertising, public relations and marketing, and media effects studies, as well as communication policy research though case studies and seminal research papers in the different fields.

CMM 391G – Capstone

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.

CMM 395G – BA Thesis in Communications – Seminar I (Advanced Research Methods)

The advanced research methods seminar (Seminar I) for the BA Thesis in Communication Studies, requires students to formulate and devise their research question for their BA Thesis topic as well as to choose and apply advanced research methods specific to the field of Communication Studies in order to tackle and investigate their major research topic. In this seminar, students will acquire knowledge and skills of advanced research methods and will complete their preparatory work for conducting major research on their BA topic which will serve as a foundation for finalizing their thesis writing in BA Thesis Seminar II. Pre-requirements: Students must have taken all Core courses before taking this course.

CMM 396G – BA Thesis in Communication Studies – Seminar II (Senior Seminar)

After completing the BA Thesis Seminar I, students are required to complete writing their BA thesis, applying advanced research methods acquired in BA Thesis Seminar I. Under the guidance of their thesis supervisor, students finalize the writing process and present intermittent results in senior seminars and round-tables. The final oral defence/presentation of the thesis’ results will take place in the context of the College’s public “undergraduate research day”. Pre-requisite: BA Thesis Seminar I.

Economics (ECN)

ECN 101G – 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.
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/LM-model, 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 101G, BUS142G, BUS 143G

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 101G

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 101G, MTH 140G

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 International Affairs students to the practice of diplomacy and the evolution of the International System from the Congress of Vienna to present developments. Though historical in approach, lectures focus on how the diplomatic system functioned, how policy was formulated and what roles were played by certain concepts and theories (balance of power, Concert of Europe, collective security, war as an instrument of policy, etc.) during different periods. This course introduces students to the major events and patterns from the outbreak of World War I 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. Furthermore, lectures focus on key questions such as: Why did the international system break down so catastrophically in 1914? 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? Which of the security concepts used to handle 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 reflects on the historical developments within the context of contemporary politics and the challenges they pose to the international system. Upon successful completion of “History of International Relations, 1815-present” have a better understanding of 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.
Prerequisite: HIS 101G

HIS 261G – Regional History of international relations: Africa

This course surveys major historical developments that underpin the contemporary politics of Africa. Among the issues discussed are: European colonialism, westernisation, the slave trade and contemporary challenges linked to decolonisation processes and independence movements, state-building, peace-building and the roles of gender, race and ethnicity. Students are expected to broaden their understanding of Africa and how its history is interlinked with global politics, economic and environmental developments.
Prerequisite: HIS 101G

HIS 262G – Regional History of international relations: Asia

This course introduces students to the history of modern Asia, developments within and between the regional states, and the impact that they have on global politics. The course is composed of lectures and seminars during which students analyse texts and engage with guiding questions developed for each week’s readings. The course analyses historical developments through the prism of contemporary politics and assesses how historical paths, domestic political institutions, and extra-regional actors such as the United States have shaped the history of modern Asia.
Prerequisite: HIS 101G

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 101G

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.

Humanities (HUM)

HUM 101G – Composition for Academic Communication

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 analyse and critique the methodologies of previous studies and compose a literature review. Students improve their critical thinking skills by engaging with research language and thereby hone their academic writing. Students learn how to select, question and analyse studies and how to use academic research in their own writing. In addition, critical thinking exercises refine students’ ability to distinguish valid from invalid arguments and will teach students key critical analysis skills. The course also engages with core debates important in understanding contemporary processes in the fields of Business, Communications, International Affairs and Law.

HUM103G – Global Ethics

This course introduces students to the major theoretical and applied debates in the field of global ethics as well as to its major moral puzzles and challenges. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives and thematic issues in the fields of Business, Communications, International Affairs and Law, the course will challenge students to reflect on major ethical theories and traditions as well as core problems such as corporate governance, media ethics, global distributive justice, the ethics of making and sustaining peace and the legal dimensions of ethics. By combining the works of both classical 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”.

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. It requires students to work on- site at least 10 hours per week, keep a daily activity log and write a project report.
Prerequisites: Students in their second semester of second year or first semester of third year, good academic standing and approval by the Internship Committee

Law (LAW)

LAW 101G – 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 111G – 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 102G – 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 101G – 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 101G – 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