Course Descriptions and Syllabi – Continuing Students

This section applies to continuing (started prior to Fall 2013) and study abroad students. If you are a new degree-seeking student (who will start in Fall 2013 or later), click here.

The courses regularly taught in the Bachelor’s programme are described in this section, though other courses may be offered on an occasional basis. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses are worth 6 ECTS units.

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.

The frequency of course offerings is indicated to help students plan their studies. However, it may occasionally be necessary to adapt the semesters in which courses are given.

Note: for the current list of summer courses on offer, please click here.

Art Business Communications Computer Science
Economics History Honours Essay Humanities
Internship Languages Law Mathematics
Natural Science Philosophy Physical Education Politics
Psychology Sociology Statistics


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 109E – Art in Belgium

In-depth study of a chosen period of Belgian art (Gothic or Baroque or Art Nouveau) in its diverse forms: painting, architecture and sculpture.

ART 181E – Introduction to Design

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

ART 361E – European Studies

A course focusing on European history and culture, which includes field trips to different European cities (Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels for Belgium; Amsterdam for the Netherlands; Paris for France and an additional trip to either Cologne or Trier in Germany or focusing on a theme such as the World War I and II). Studies the historical, cultural and economic aspects of each city as well as the country in which it is located. 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 101E – 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. Given each semester.

BUS 111E – 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. Given annually in the spring semester.

BUS 201E – Business and Media Ethics

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. Given occasionally in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: at least one 100-level course in business, economics or communications.

BUS 211E – Human Resource 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: BUS101E

BUS 212E – 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. Given annually in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E

BUS 213E – Management of Innovation and Technical Change

Provides tools and ways of thinking 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. Not given in 2012/13.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E

BUS 215E – Organisational Leadership

An exploration of 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 101E

BUS216E – Business in China

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

BUS 223 E – 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. Given annually in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E and MTH 140

BUS 231E – 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. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E

BUS 233E – Social Marketing

Social marketing is the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social marketing can be applied to promote merit goods, or to make a society avoid demerit goods and thus to promote society’s well-being as a whole. Given annually in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 231E

BUS 234E – 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. Given in Fall 2012.
Prerequisite: BUS 231E

BUS 241E – Financial Accounting

An introduction to accounting principles that form the foundation of contemporary financial accounting. The course provides a comprehensive grounding in the principles of financial accounting, including the underlying concepts and process involved in the preparation of financial statements. There is an emphasis on single-owner service providers and merchandising organisations in accordance with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Given annually in fall semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E

BUS 242E – Managerial Accounting

Introduces students to the vital role that management accounting plays in managing organisations. Explains how management accounting systems support the operational and strategic decision-making, planning, budgeting and controlling operations in an enterprise. Topics include budgeting, costing methods (traditional and activity-based costing), capital investments and performance measurement. Also human aspects (motivation, reward system, ethics will be covered. This is a “hands-on” course in which a lot of time is devoted to exercises. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 241E

BUS 251E – 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. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS101E

BUS 288E – Management of Art and Culture

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

BUS 301E – International Business

Introduces advanced students to the major fields of international business: organisation, production, finance, marketing and human resources management. Examines both the international environment and the nature and form of international business arrangements with a special focus on the role of multinational enterprises. It covers European, US and Asian firms as well as both the manufacturing and service industries. Concepts are studied through the use of case studies. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisites: ECN 101E, BUS 101E

BUS 302E – International Business Negotiations

Introduces students to basic concepts of the theory of negotiations while providing hands-on application of such concepts in simulated negotiations of complex international business transactions of a project nature. Also deals with the preparation/analysis of positions and reporting on progress and outcomes. Given annually in fall semester.
Prerequisite: BUS101E

BUS 312E – Mergers, Acquisitions and Related Transactions

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

BUS 321E – Finance

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. Given annually in fall semester.
Prerequisites: MTH 140E, BUS 241E


BUS 325E – 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. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisites: ECN 101E, BUS 101E

Syllabus (draft)

BUS 351E – Virtual Enterprises & Electronic Business

Focuses on information systems requirements and management issues relating to the conduct of business over the internet/intranet and on the development and management of virtual enterprises. Topics include web design, electronic commerce and virtual supply chains. Not given in 2012/13.
Prerequisites: BUS 251E

BUS 361E – 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. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisite: BUS 101E

BUS 371E – Project Management

An examination of project management concepts, including organisational forms, planning and control techniques, and the role of the project manager. Develops the skills vital to effective management of multidisciplinary tasks through lectures, case studies, and business simulations. The course covers both the managerial and technical skills required to plan projects, acquire the necessary resources, and lead project teams to successful completion. Given in the fall semester 2011.
Prerequisite: BUS101E

BUS 391E – Corporate Strategy

Business capstone course focusing on strategy formulation, implementation and performance. Deals with the identification and analysis of external opportunities and constraints and with the development of internal capabilities in response to these factors. Investigates the main functions of the corporation: products/services, research and development; manufacturing, logistics, marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources. Taught through theory and case studies. Given annually in fall semester.
Prerequisite: third-year standing in the Business major or permission of the instructor

BUS 392E – Entrepreneurship

Business capstone course designed to develop understanding of the entrepreneurial  process and small business management and to explore the strategies that improve new venture performance. The core task is for the student to produce an actual business plan for the student’s own venture that includes information such as: the technical concepts of the product or service, a marketing plan, an outline for the first three years and a financing plan (equity/leverage). Also develops skills in written business communication and oral presentations that allow students to integrate entrepreneurship concepts and interact with business experts. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisites: third-year standing in the Business major or permission of the instructor; BUS 231E, BUS 241E and BUS 321E required, BUS 242E recommended

Communications (CMM)

CMM 101E – Introduction to Communication Studies

Students attending this course will become familiar with the two fundamental strands of communications, namely Human and Mass Communication with a goal to become effective practitioners in the field by studying and comprehending the preliminaries to language as well as to verbal and non-verbal communication. Strong emphasis is placed on public discourse and on the organization and delivery of public speeches. The study of the uses and functions of mass media and its rise in modern society will allow students to learn and appreciate the strategy implemented by various types of mass media, from the traditional to new media and also gain an understanding of the business and financial underpinnings of such industries as advertising, television, music and cinema. Given annually in fall semester

CMM 104E – Organisational Communication

Familiarises students with the dynamics of interpersonal communication within groups. Introduces the theory and practice (mainly though case studies) used by organisations to plan, develop, implement and evaluate a variety of communication strategies. The course allows students to propose and defend a comprehensive communication plan for a newly created company. Given annually in spring semester

CMM 205E – Film: History, Theories, Narration and Scriptwriting

Develops and refines writing skills in the audio-visual field. The course expands students’ cinematic vocabulary by allowing them to become familiar with fundamental film structure and narrative forms in mainstream productions. It also allows them to gain an understanding of basic film theories and develop an appreciation for a number of seminal film movements (including Italian neo-realism, the French nouvelle vague and British social cinema, and Dogma). Analyses the constitutive elements of narration as applied to films and explains basic visual techniques. By the end of the course students will have mastered the techniques necessary to provide a professionally written screenplay, which they will pitch to a professional. Given annually in spring semester
Prerequisite: CMM 102E recommended

CMM 231E – Rhetoric

Introduces the history and study of persuasion and rhetorical theories from classical Greece to the present. Uses these theories to analyse persuasive messages of all types (public speeches, dialogues, television debates, theological arguments, articles, etc.). Analyses and assesses the implications of these persuasive messages, be they expressed in a democratic or dictatorial context, for society. Through role-plays and mock trials, students hone their persuasive and argumentation skills. Given in the fall semester

CMM 242E – Corporate Communications & Public Relations

Corporate culture is expressed through corporate communications and public relations. This course assesses the tools the communications manager has at his disposal to shape a company’s image internally and externally. Particular attention is paid to corporate communication strategy development within perceived cultural narratives, with students researching and assessing the quality and nature of the communication flow within an organisation or company of their choice. Public relations are approached by evaluating numerous case studies and situational analyses. Given annually in fall semester

CMM 251E – 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. Given annually in spring semester

CMM 271E – Intercultural Communication

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

CMM 289E, Topics in European Film History

This course offers an illustrated survey of the most important currents, schools, films and filmmakers within the European Film History (early cinema in Europe,  European avant-garde cinema during twenties, propaganda and poetic realism, beginning of sound film, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, British New Cinema, modernist and contemporary author’s cinema). The main emphasis will be placed on seeing and understanding films as texts (with story and style) operating in their differents contexts (social, cultural, economic, political, technological,…). Each class will concentrate on a specific current and will be followed by a screening in Cinematek/ Filmmuseum Brussels (

CMM 302E – Cultural Studies and Cross-Cultural Capability

Part one highlights major theoretical issues in the discipline of Cross-Cultural Capability (or Language and Intercultural Communication), exploring this field in the broader context of Cultural Studies, presenting its origins and growth as an academic discipline, and critically examining its jargon and methodology. Part two applies these insights to the Low Countries within the Belgian, Dutch and European contexts. Topics include the “building blocks” of Flemish, Belgian and Dutch identities and intercultural differences with the United States. A contrastive/comparative approach is applied to political, economic, geographical, historical, religious, etc. data. Specific emphasis is put on “transferability of knowledge” so that students learn to carry out research on similar topics independently. Given annually in spring semester

CMM 310E – Communication Theories

Provides a broad historical overview of the main communication theories and links them to current debates about media and the internet. Students review key authors and publications in the development of communication theory and learn to situate them in their historical context. Students discuss the texts in class and learn to relate them to current processes and issues. Given annually in fall semester
Prerequisite: CMM 102E

CMM 322E – International Communication

Introduces the historical context and examines different approaches to international communication from the modernisation and cultural imperialism theories to cultural studies and critical political economy perspectives. The course also examines the theories and problems related to the international function of the news media, the entertainment industry and the telecommunications sector. Students also gain a clear understanding of the creation of the global media marketplace and how international communication evolves in the Internet age. Furthermore, the course discusses the international governance structures related to media, news, telecommunications and the Internet. Given in spring semester 2013
Prerequisite: CMM 102E; CMM 251E is

CMM 341E – Marketing Communication & Advertising

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

CMM 346E – Lobbying in the EU

A lobbyist is someone who tries to influence a decision-making process. In other words, we are all lobbyists, but in Brussels, this is a profession for around 15,000 experts. This course will examine how these public affairs specialists raise awareness, run campaigns and facilitate dialogue between private or public organisations and the decision-makers of the European Union. Taking an issue management approach, students will focus on the ways in which lobbyists follow, analyse and even influence the decisions of the European Union. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisites: none, but at least one of the following are strongly recommended: CMM 104E, CMM 242E, POL 231E or POL 332E

CMM 361E – European Communication Policies

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the media policies in Europe, and in particular how they are shaped at the level of the European Union. The way in which media-related civil society organisations influence EU policy formation and the nature of the issues involved will be studied, as will the roles the European Commission and the European Parliament. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: CMM 261E or permission of the instructor

CMM 392E – Communication Capstone Course: Public Diplomacy

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. The course will also focus on the different global approaches to public diplomacy. With its network of international organisations, national diplomatic missions and media outlets, Brussels provides an ideal venue for studying and understanding public diplomacy conceptually as well as from the viewpoint of practitioners. The course requires students to integrate knowledge and exercise the skills acquired throughout their work in their majors, and provides students with an opportunity to work on an extended research project. 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. Given annually in spring semester
Prerequisite: SOC 203E

Computer Science (CMP)

CMP 101E – Introduction to Computer Science

This course introduces main theoretical and practical concepts from computer science to non-computer science majors. The topics covered include computer and network architectures; operating systems; databases; algorithms; security; standards; free & open source software. Students reflect on the opportunities and impact of computer technologies on all fields of our (knowledge) society. Students will learn how to manipulate data in innovative ways or create simple (Internet) applications without a lot of programming knowledge. Not given in 2012/13

Economics (ECN)

ECN 101E – Introduction to 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. Given each semester

ECN 201E – 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. Given annually in fall semester
Prerequisite: ECN 101E

ECN 211E – 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. Given annually in spring semester
Prerequisites: ECN 101E, MTH 140E

ECN 213E – 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. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: ECN 101E

ECN 223E – 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. Given in spring semester
Prerequisite: ECN 101E

ECN 271E – The European Economy: Structure and Performance

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

ECN 301E – Environmental Economics

Considers changing perspectives on the environment: neoclassical, modern, and heterodox. Covers benefit-cost analysis ecological macroeconomics, and modeling of ecological and economic systems. Applies various methods to problems of population, food, energy, fisheries, forests, water, pollution, and industrial ecology. Special emphasis on global climate change and sustainable development. Suitable for students in all majors. Given annually in spring semester
Pre-requisite: ECN 101E

ECN 303E – Industrial Organisation and Competition

Extends the analysis of the firm and market structure by adding insights from game  theory, principal-agent theory, transaction cost economics, economic sociology and behavioural economics. The course analyzes various forms of imperfect competition: oligopoly, Bertrand and Cournot competition, homogeneous and differentiated products, monopolistic competition and location analysis. Other topics include the classical structure-conduct-performance paradigm, concentration and mergers, research and development, compatibility and standards, advertising, quality, durability, warranties, pricing and marketing tactics. A survey of competition theory discusses workable competition, the Chicago School of Economics, Austrian economics and contestable markets, and studies European competition law and policy. Students must investigate an industrial sector of their own choosing. Given in fall semester
Prerequisite: ECN211E

ECN 304E – Development Economics

Theories of economic growth and development: neoclassical, modern, and heterodox. Problems of development in economies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Population, poverty, urbanisation, agriculture, environment, education, health, trade, stabilisation, aid. Designed for students in international affairs as well as business. Given in fall semester.
Prerequisite: ECN 101.

ECN 307E – 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. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: ECN 101E

ECN 334E – Economics of the European Union

Begins with a brief overview of EU history and institutions. Examines the theory of economic integration, both micro and macro, and policies of the single European market: competition, transport, energy, environment and labour. It also looks at structural policies: agriculture, fisheries, regional policy and social policy. Also studied are external relations and enlargement. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: One course each in economics and political science or permission of instructor.

ECN 353E – Econometrics

This course is designed to teach students how to quantify and test economic theories. We cover the basic ideas of linear regression, first with the two-variable regression model and then with the multivariate model, using both quantitative and qualitative variables. Then we deal with the practical consequences of relaxing various assumptions of the classical linear regression model. At the end of the semester, students will be able to set up an econometric model, estimate the model, perform appropriate diagnostic and hypothesis tests, and interpret the results. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisites: MTH 140E, STA 101E

History (HIS)

HIS 112E – Modern Europe: 1848 to the Present

This course stresses the development of modern European societies since the Revolutions of 1848. It will begin with an analysis of the causes, course and consequences of the 1848 upheavals in Europe and continue with an overview of the economic and social consequences of industrialisation, the evolution of parliamentary democracy, the origins and development of liberalism, nationalism and socialism, and diplomatic and military developments from the Crimean War to the end of the Cold War. The course will end with an examination of the situation of Europe after World War II and the causes and essential features of the Cold War. Given annually in fall semester

HIS 201E – Modern Europe: 1648 to 1848

Introduces students to the main political, social, economic and intellectual developments that contributed to the development of Western Civilisation and its common culture from the Westphalian Settlement of 1648 to the Revolutions of 1848. Absolutism, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleon, the Vienna Settlement and Restoration shall constitute the focal points. Given biennially in spring semester (2013)

HIS 202E – Development of the Major Powers: 1815 to 1945

Studies the domestic history of France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia stressing political, social and economic developments directly related to the powers’ current state, with particular focus on nationalism, liberalism, conservatism and totalitarianism as dominant ideologies. Connects international affairs to domestic developments. Includes weekly discussion periods and two extensive primary source workshops. Given biennially in spring semester (2014)

HIS 214E – Evolution of the International System, 1815-1914

Designed to introduce students of International Affairs to the practice of diplomacy and the evolution of the International System from the Congress of Vienna to the eve of World War I. Though historical in approach, lectures focus on how the diplomatic system functioned, how policy was formulated and what role certain concepts and theories (balance of power, Concert of Europe, collective security, war as an instrument of policy, etc.) played during this period. Pays special attention to helping students build up an international relations vocabulary. Assumes a basic knowledge of European history in the 19th century. Given biennially in fall semester (2013)
Prerequisite: HIS 112E

HIS 215E – Evolution of the International System, 1914-1989

Introduces students to the major events and patterns of 20th century history from the outbreak of the First World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the division of Europe so as to understand the defining trends and tensions in the international system today. Focuses on key questions such as: Why did the international system break down so catastrophically in 1914 and could this happen again? Is ideology or nationalism the principal legacy of the 20th century? What do the experiments in international governance exemplified in the League of Nations and the early years of the United Nations tell us about the possibilities for a system of global governance in the 21st century? What caused the Cold War and which security concepts used in handling the US-Soviet relationship during the Cold War could still be useful today in dealing with regional disputes and relationships between the West and the emerging new global powers? The course will help students to better understand the art and practice of diplomacy, the changing nature of military conflict, and the role of ideas and ideologies in promoting either conflict or peace. Given biennally in fall semester (2013)
Prerequisites: HIS 112E

HIS 221E – American History: Colonisation to Cold War

Surveys American history emphasising political, social and economic issues most directly related to development of the contemporary United States: discovery and colonisation, the American Revolution, expansion and sectional tensions, the Civil War and Reconstruction, imperialism, World War I, the New Deal and World War II. Requires formal analysis of primary sources.

HIS 262E – Political History of China

The course covers both the imperial history and modern history of China. The imperial history focuses on the growth of the imperial autocracy, and the relationship between the elite and society. A look at Han, Tang, Song, Ming and Qing dynasties gives students an idea of the sophistication of China’s achievements. China’s modern history started from a forced process of integration into the international system established by the European powers. In this part, students will first study the ‘century of humiliation’ and then examine how the Chinese Communist Party came to power and how China has been struggling to rise again in the world. A look at China’s long history, at those rebellions, revolutions and reforms and the successes and failures will help students to find a clue on how China’s future will be shaped and how it will affect our life.

HIS 271E – 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. Given biennially in spring semester (2012)
Prerequisite: HIS 112E

HIS 341E – Germany under National Socialism, 1933-1945

Takes a structuralist approach to the analysis of the ideology, society, economy and policies of the Third Reich from 1933-1945. It includes discussion of the historical background to the rise of the NSDAP; party ideology and racial theory; the political structure of the party; the governmental framework of the Führerstaat; the SS; social, economic and cultural policy; foreign policy; and the Holocaust. Classes include discussion periods, primary source workshops, in which students present key documents, and the viewing of several excellent BBC documentaries. A major term paper is required. A good knowledge of German is an asset for the course, though not essential. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: HIS 112E

Honours Essay (HON)

HON 393E – Honours Essay

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

In order to qualify for the Honours Essay, a student must at the start of the semester during which it is to be written, have earned at least 120 ECTS credits, have successfully completed HUM 112E, and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.

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

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

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

Humanities (HUM)

HUM 101P – Composition for Academic Communication

In this course, students will improve their language skills, moving from the colloquial and conversational, to the professional and academic level. Students will work intensively to transfer language strategies such as listening, reading, note-taking, speaking in class, asserting themselves in small groups, and writing from their native languages into English. Second, students will learn the conventions of academic writing, from the initial considerations of purpose and audience through to the finished product: the undergraduate essay. Academic honesty, and issues of plagiarism and intellectual property will also be introduced.

HUM 102P – Research and Presentation Skills

This course introduces students to the academic conventions surrounding research and presentation, and to MLA and APA formats.  Students will be guided through the process of academic research from the use of library resources and databases, through the creation of a research proposal, to the development of an annotated bibliography and research log. The course includes discussion of ethical issues in the use and presentation of facts, statistics and images, and the evaluation of sources. Additionally, students will learn how to contribute considered responses to academic discussion. They will learn how to give (read) papers, and how to present and defend their research under questioning. In keeping with the Liberal Arts philosophy of the College, the readings for the course are drawn from sociology, philosophy, history, politics, science, economics, language, and literature.

HUM 201P – Writing and Critical Inquiry

In this course, students will learn to critically analyze the diction, structure, audience and methods of argumentation in a wide variety of texts and then judge the success or failure of these texts. Other topics include discerning the difference between fact and opinion, accounting for the motivations of authors, and recognizing and avoiding logical fallacies. The student is expected to apply these persuasive devices and methods to his/her own writing and to evaluate critically his/her work and the work of other students in the class.

Internship (INT)

INT 381E – Internship

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

Law (LAW)

LAW 131E – Introduction to International and EU 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 231E – 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 301E – 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. Given annually in fall semester
Prerequisites: one other upper-level course in international relations, history or politics

LAW 312E – International 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 381E – Law of the EU Internal Market

Economic integration has been and remains central for sustainable development of the European Union. To offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers (as promised in the Article 3(2) TEU), the establishment of internal market was set out as one of the Union’s important objectives (Article 3(3) TEU). The concept of internal market is defined in Article 26(2) TFEU as an area without internal frontiers  characterized with free movement of goods, persons, services and capital ensured in accordance with the provisions of the TFEU. In this context, this course examines the law of the internal market of the European Union. The learning objective is to provide students with a good understanding of concepts and the relationships between sources of the E.U. law that are relevant to the functioning of the internal market. The project of completion of the internal market by the end of 1992 is analysed from the perspective of its historical, political and economic background. The subsequent policy and regulatory initiatives aimed at accomplishment of the internal market’s freedoms are discussed. Students are encouraged to involve actively in a conversation about the policy agenda and measures provided in legislation relevant to our subject.


Chinese (LCH)

LCH 111E – 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. Given annually in spring semester

LCH 181E – Practical Chinese

This course is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Chinese. It will focus on speaking (pronunciation and everyday conversation), basic practical grammar, and also Chinese history, culture and customs. The first part (3 weeks) will be taught in Belgium, while the second part will take place in China. Students will be given the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice in real-life situations, while experiencing the Chinese cultural environment. Several field trips in Beijing and nearby areas will be organised.

Dutch (LDU)

LDU 101E – 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. Given each semester

French (LFR)

LFR 101E, LFR 102E – 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. Both courses given each semester
Syllabus LFR101E
Syllabus LFR102E

LFR 103E, LFR 104E – 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 LFR103E: LFR102E or placement test.
Prerequisite for LFR104E: LFR103E or placement test.
Syllabus LFR103E
Syllabus LFR104E

LFR 201E, LFR 202E – 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. Given annually, LFR 201E in fall, LFR 202E in spring
Prerequisite for LFR 201E: LFR 104E or placement test
Prerequisite for LFR 202E: LFR 104E or placement test
Syllabus LFR201E
Syllabus LFR202G 

Mathematics (MTH)

MTH 140E – 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. Given annually in spring semester

MTH 203E – Advanced Mathematics for Business and Economics

Includes topics in mathematics of interest to students in economics and business. Covers linear algebra: vector spaces, linear transformations and matrices, values and vectors, quadratic forms. Reviews and extends multivariable calculus, including concave programming and the Kuhn-Tucker conditions. Introduces integration and dynamics: first- and second-order difference and differential equations, both linear and nonlinear. May include optimal control theory if time permits. Not given in 2012/13
Prerequisite: ECN 201E, 211E, MTH 140E

Natural Science (NSC)

NSC 202E – 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. Given in fall semester

Philosophy (PHL)

PHL 113E – History of Western Philosophy

Provides a general overview of the main philosophical topics discussed from the pre-Socratics 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 pre-Socratic 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. Not given in 2012/13

Physical Education (PHY)

PHY 101E – Introduction to Physical Education

Introduces students to physical activity and movement sciences in order to promote a more active life-style. Theoretical lectures give insights into the benefits, organisation and workouts of physical activity. In practical sessions students will use different diagnostic tools to obtain insights in their own physical profile and to plan a training regime. Training will include a personal training program “start to run” and will provide the opportunity to experience different forms of physical activity in optional sports. Given annually in the spring semester
Prerequisites: Students should have medical approval for participation in the practical sessions. In case of medical objections an alternative program can be suggested. Each student has to fill in a questionnaire on their medical and sports history.

Politics (POL)

POL 101E – Introduction to Political Concepts and Theories

This is a basic introductory course to political science. In this course, students will study concepts such as democracy and justice; nation and nationalism; power and justice; state and sovereignty; leadership and governmental institutions. The study of these concepts helps outline the relationship between the individual, the society and the state. Furthermore, these concepts serve as a basis for students to understand different political theories and prepare them to conduct research in political science. Given each semester

POL 132E – European Peace and Security Studies–A Brussels Perspective

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 mainstream 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 and peacebuilding as well as democratisation and the promotion of 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. Given annually in the fall semester

POL 212E – Introduction to International Relations

Introduces the major paradigms in the discipline of international relations, viz. realism, pluralism and globalism. Use of historical and up-to-date examples illustrate, as well as test, central assumptions and arguments of these approaches aiming to provide a framework offering a fundamental insight to the mechanisms and dynamics of world politics. Provides a knowledge base useful for the further study of international relations as well as everyday dealings with international politics. Given annually in spring semester

POL 213E – The Government and Politics of Global Powers

This course introduces students to the politics, key features and global influence of major states. 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 Brazil, China, India and South Africa. The course also sheds light on processes and dynamics of major political global transformations and the changing nature of “power”. Given biennially in spring semester (2013)
Prerequisite: one politics course

POL 214E – International Organizations and Global Governance

Analyses the role different types of organisation play in the globalisation process including cross border organisations and their challenges and opportunities for global governance. Provides tools for understanding differences and similarities between global organisations with a focus on political and civil society governmental and nongovernmental organisations. Utilises organisations with representation in Brussels for descriptive student projects on the problems of transnational organisations and their influence on the political process. Concludes with seminar sessions focusing on the future role of global organisations in governance. Not given in 2012/13

POL 231E – Introduction to the European Union

Explores the origins of the European Union and its development, explains the construction of European institutions and discusses its status as an organisation. Surveys historical landmarks in the European Union’s development and focuses on the workings and politics of the major institutions of the European Union. Visits the European Parliament and includes guest lectures bringing current problems in the process of the European integration process into the classroom. Given annually in spring semester

POL 235E – The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in Theory and Practice

This course provides an overview and in-depth analysis of the historical evolution, institutional settings, procedures and core policies of the European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in both theory and practice. Whilst the evolution of the CSDP will be considered in the wider historical and theoretical context of the European Union as an International Actor since the end of the Cold War, the course provides an analysis and overview of the EU’s 23 Military and Civilian Operations carried out so far. Students will be introduced to the main conflict areas and regions where the EU has become an active security actor (especially the Balkans and Africa). 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 CSDP missions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the theoretical and practical dimensions of EU-NATO, EU-UN and EU-African Union cooperation. Given annually in the fall semester

POL 236E – Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in Europe and Beyond

This 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. Given annually in the fall semester

POL 237E – 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. Given biennially in spring semester (2013)

POL 251E – History of Political Thought from Machiavelli to Marx

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. Given biennially in spring semester (2012)

POL 252E – 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. Given biennially in fall semester (2012)

POL 288E – The Politics and International Relations of Africa

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the domestic politics, political processes and foreign policies of major African states. The course places the evolution of African politics into the wider historical context of Cold War and post-Cold War developments and examines the emergence of major African powers, both within regional and global contexts. The course will also provide an analysis of sub-regional cooperation as well as an assessment of the opportunities and limitations of the African Union in addressing pressing African and Global issues. Particular emphasis will be placed on the politics and challenges in the Horn of Africa and on shedding light on major contemporary issues of economic and political governance.

POL 311E – International Political Economy

Studies the interactions among political, economic, and social institutions and processes and how they affect international relations. Describes approaches to international political economy: mercantilist, neoliberal, radical, and contemporary. Analyzes structures of trade, finance, security, and knowledge. Compares change, transition, and development in different regions. Analyzes global problems, including energy, migration, and environment. Given annually in fall semester
Prerequisite: One course each in economics and politics

POL 314E – The United Nations and Global Governance

Studies the United Nations organisation as the protagonist in processes of conflict control, dispute settlement and the maintenance of international peace and security. The historical background and genesis of the United Nations are examined, as well as the UN machinery for diplomatic and judicial dispute settlement and conflict resolution. Places special emphasis on the UN’s ability to organise a framework for global governance in sustainable development, as well as to address the security challenges of the new century. Given biennially in fall semester (2012)
Prerequisite: At least one politics/international affairs course

POL 315E – Model United Nations (MUN) Preparatory Course

Prepares Vesalius students to represent a country at a MUN meeting (currently GIMUN), an annual forum gathering students from around the globe to discuss current world problems. Helps students, who speak on behalf of an assigned country on a variety of issues decided each year to expand their understanding of diplomacy, global geopolitics and international relations. Provides opportunities for the delegates to forge friendships that transcend nationality. Please note that this course is not available to one-semester study abroad students and to students who have not participated in MUN preparations in the fall semester, given that the GIMUN takes place in the middle of the spring semester. Note, too, that the costs of attending the MUN session are the student’s responsibility. This course is assessed on a pass/fail basis. Given annually in spring semester
Prerequisite: At least one POL course, POL 314E recommended. In order to take this course, students must have been accepted as delegates to GIMUN, for which applications open in November. Please see the College website for information on the application procedure.

POL 319E – Chinese Foreign Policy and External Relations

This course provides a comprehensive analysis of Chinese foreign policy and external relations since 1949. It is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the ideational elements such as Chinese history, culture, and ideology; the material elements such as Chinese military and economic modernisation; the Chinese leadership and the decision- making procedure; and the influence of external environment, to examine the role of these elements in the making of Chinese foreign policy. The second part studies the bilateral and multilateral relations between China and the other countries and regions, which gives an overall picture of the continuities and changes of Chinese external relations. Given biennially in spring semester (2014)

POL 332E – Dilemmas of European Integration

The course provides an in depth discussion of major dilemmas of EU policy-making, structured around three main topics: communicating Europe, decision-making between the community method and inter-governmentalism, openness and soft methods of policy-making between efficiency and legitimacy. Thus structured, the course allows for an in-depth exploration of the main policy areas of the EU, while at the same time investigating decision-making rules, institutions and actors and their impact on policy content. The overall goal is to provide students with the cognitive tools needed to analyse any debate in EU policy-making – whether covered by the course or not -, based on a thorough understanding of the main mechanisms and dilemmas in EU integration. Given annually in spring semester.
Prerequisites: At least one social science course with an introductory course in European Integration recommended.

POL 333E – Policies in the European Union

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. Given annually in spring semester
Prerequisite: none, POL231E recommended


POL334E – 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 337E – The EU as an International Actor: Civilian Approaches to Promoting Security and Development

This course explores why and how the European Union exercises its scope of powers to enhance security in the developing world. It establishes the link between the distinct nature of the European Union as an actor of world politics, its structural foreign policy goals and instruments, and security risks and threats stemming from crises and conflicts in the developing world, mainly in Africa and Asia. Particular emphasis will be placed on the EU’s ‘soft power’ approaches, including economic tools, civilian crisis management, and rule of law as well as security sector reform operations. Given annually in the fall semester
Pre-requisite: one course in politics

POL 342E – Nations and Ethnicity: Political Conflicts in Europe

This course explores the relationship between nationalism, ethnicity and politics. In the first part of the course, the students will be familiarized with the contemporary theoretical debates in the study of nationalism. They will acquire the necessary analytical perspectives, concepts and tools for the investigation of the phenomenon in particular cases. The second part of the course will apply these theories and concepts in the analysis of several nationalist movements and ethnonationalist conflicts.
Pre-requisite: at least one course in political science

POL 351E – Military Approaches to Security

This specialisation 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. Given annually in the fall semester
Pre-requisite: one course in politics


POL 352E – Islam and Politics in Europe

More than 23 million Muslims live in Europe, which comprises 5% of the total population.  This figure does not include Turkey.  The number of Muslim immigrants and asylum-seekers is also increasing.  During the past several decades many critical events have occurred such as the “Satanic Verses” book burnings, 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid train bombings, the Muhammad Cartoons controversy, European and NATO involvement in military operations in Muslim lands, the headscarf “debate” and others that have highlighted the importance of understanding Islam and political Islam.

POL 391E, POL 392E – International Affairs Capstone

Provides students with an opportunity to work, under the direction of an adviser, on an extended research problem chosen in relation to their field and representative (as a “capstone”) of their course work at the College. Requires students to integrate knowledge and exercise the skills acquired throughout their studies. By calling for sophisticated understanding of theoretical issues as well as an appreciation of ways to empirically construct research solutions, it prepares students for independent research at graduate level. Among the themes around which the capstone seminar can be organised is the European Union as a global actor. Given each semester, POL 391E in fall, POL 392E in spring
Prerequisite: HIS 271E or SOC 203E, and third-year standing in the International Affairs major; or permission of the instructor

Psychology (PSY)

PSY 101E – 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. Given annually in spring semester

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 101E – Introduction to Sociology

Introduces the theory, fundamental concepts and methodology of sociology, using a cross-cultural approach and focusing on the major institutions of society. Examines everyday problems students find in their world such as ethnic and gender conflict, inequality and tactics for social change. Given annually in fall semester

SOC 203E – Methods of Social Scientific Inquiry

Focuses on the design, execution and presentation of research. Examines the logic of inquiry and the methods available to the researcher by working on specific problems in social scientific research. Focuses on the relation of choice of method to the problem and issues of reliability, validity, interpretation and perception involved in the interpretation of evidence. Given annually in fall semester
Prerequisites: STA 101E and at least one social science course at the 100-level


Statistics (STA)

STA 101E – Introduction to Statistics

This course introduces statistical methods that allow us to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and to assess the reliability of these decisions. The objective is to develop the ability to reason about random events or statistical results, to be critical readers of statistical reporting in the media, and to design and implement simple statistical tests of our own. We cover the following topics: objectives and pitfalls of statistical studies, structure of data sets, histograms, mean and standard deviation, analyzing relationships using correlation and regression, probability, binomial and normal distributions, interpretation of estimates, confidence intervals, and significance tests. Given each semester

STA 201E – Intermediate Statistics

Covers multiple sample tests, goodness-of-fit tests and analysis of contingency tables. Focuses on multiple regression, including indicator variables, curvilinear relationships and interaction effects, multi-co-linearity and auto correlation. Other topics may include time series and forecasting, exponential smoothing and non-parametric methods. Given annually in fall semester
Prerequisite: STA 101E