Courses & curriculum 2016 - 2017
UCM offers a course catalogue containing more than 150 courses, skills trainings and projects. As a student, you pick the courses that you find interesting and useful for your future studies, thereby creating your own academic profile.
Your concentration is the central part of your curriculum, which allows you to gain in-depth knowledge in the fields of your interest. UCM offers a choice of three concentrations: Social Sciences, Humanities and Sciences. You may focus on a particular discipline (e.g. psychology, economics, history, biology) or instead opt for courses around a combination of themes or disciplines. For instance, your curriculum could include economics, law and international relations, or sciences and psychology, or cultural studies and history. During your first year at the college, you explore which concentration you would like to choose by taking courses in academic disciplines of your interest. Once you decide on a concentration, you can start taking more advanced, in-depth courses. The UCM curriculum structure guarantees that you gain enough specialist knowledge to successfully apply for a master’s programme of your choice.
Interested in medical research?
With a science concentration and 90 ECTS of coursework in the Life Sciences, you will be eligible to apply to highly selective master’s programmes, like the four-year Medical Doctor-Clinical Researcher (A-KO) programme.
The academic core and general education
In addition to the courses in the concentration, every student needs to complete the ‘academic core’. It consists of four courses that provide the fundamental knowledge that any academic should have. These courses are about the principles of scientific research, the major political issues of our time, historical developments in the world over the last 70 years, and why abstract concepts and models are vital in science. You will also choose four courses outside of your concentration. This ensures that you’re able to think from different perspectives and understand how people in other academic areas think and work.
UCM has a diverse range of examination methods: papers, essay questions, take home tests or oral examinations. Each course will always have at least two methods of assessment, allowing you to receive continuous feedback on your progress.
In your first year, you'll complete skills trainings that focus on the general principles of doing research and the basics of academic writing. In your second year, you can choose to take more advanced skills trainings that explore different research techniques in greater depth, including statistics, qualitative and quantitative methods, ethnographic interviewing and laboratory skills. You can also take trainings to improve your skills in argumentation, presentation and even foreign languages.
During the UCM projects, you work fulltime for four weeks on applying the skills you’ve acquired in the skills trainings and the knowledge you’ve gained during the courses to produce an extensive piece of academic work, such as a journal article, position paper, research report or policy analysis. Some students choose to do a six-month research project under the supervision of an active researcher at Maastricht University. You conduct independent research with a professional research group and gain valuable experience for a future career in research.
All UCM students complete their studies by writing a bachelor's thesis, which is called a Capstone. Under the guidance of a Maastricht University faculty member, you will produce a substantial piece of academic work. This could be a research project, literature review, experimental study, analytical paper, philosophical treatise or some other form of research. The Capstone enables you to express your individual academic profile and to demonstrate the academic level you’ve reached during your time at UCM.