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BA/BSc Liberal Arts and Sciences

University of Groningen
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

BA/BSc Liberal Arts and Sciences - University of Groningen

The Liberal Arts and Sciences program is taught entirely in English and enables you to design a curriculum that suits your individual interests and ambitions. You’ll be taught in small classes, where the education is highly interactive with a strong focus on collaborative, project-based learning. Throughout the degree you’ll work in interdisciplinary teams on a series of projects where you’ll learn to apply creative approaches to find solutions for complex global challenges.

The program prepares you for further study and careers in a wide variety of MSc programs and professional fields, including MSc programs in (International) business, law, international relations, media, arts, psychology and (life) sciences and careers in for instance, research business, international policy-making and journalism.

In Year 1 you gradually choose your major in respectively Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities out of a broad portfolio of courses in psychology, health and life sciences, physics, philosophy, political science, (international) business, law and economics and more.

Years 2 and 3 enable you to deepen your understanding in the field(s) that interest you most by developing major specialisations in for instance, Physics; Health and Life Sciences; Brain, Behaviour and Culture, Philosophy, Politics and Economics; International Law, International Business, Media, Art or Philosophy. You also have the option to follow a ‘free major’ meaning you can select any combination from the wide range of courses on offer).

Alongside your academic courses and academic projects you’ll follow courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, logic, mathematics, and philosophy of science, and in Year 3 you have the option to study courses abroad for a full semester before completing your Capstone Project (thesis).

University College Groningen (UCG) is based in the centre of Groningen, a university city with over 5000 students (roughly a quarter of the population!), and as a UCG student you’ll be part of a community meaning you’ll live with your fellow students for the first year of study.

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Admission requirements

Assessment interview

Upon receiving your full application and motivation to study at UCG, you will be informed within 2 weeks whether you have been offered a place at University College Groningen. Because you will need to make an informed decision whether UCG is your next big step, we would like to invite you to one of our monthly Offer Holder Days (dates t.b.c.). This day is your chance to visit the academic and residential campus of UCG, talk to one of the members of the UCG Board of Admissions, meet our Student Association Cearus and experience Groningen by yourself with other UCG Class of 2019 Offer Holders. (Alternative arrangements can be made for international candidates, but they are more than welcome to attend a UCG Offer Holder Day).

Math test

Next to being proficient in English, another minimum requirement for studying at UCG is proficiency in Mathematics. We measure proficiency in Mathematics by having passed maths as a graduating course in your secondary education. For students form the Netherlands, this means that you have to have passed Mathematics A, B or C as a graduating course. If you do not meet that requirement we would advice you to choose an alternative course / test to complement your application:

Course VWO Mathematics A (e.g. probability, statistics, calculus, logarithmics) or Mathematics B (e.g. differentiation, integration, trigonometry, geometry) offered in Dutch and English at the Boswell-Beta institute in Utrecht (the Netherlands) throughout the year and during the summer months;Dutch VWO Wiskunde A or Wiskunde B certificate (Dutch preuniversity Mathematics A or B), obtained at: CCVX;AP Calculus AB or BC with a College Board examination;AS-level or A-level certificate in Mathematics (via one of the British A-level examination boards);IB certificate Mathematics Standard Level or Higher Level.

Previous education

UK - 3 A Levels at Grade B; Germany - Abitur at Grade 2.0 or higher; USA - 4 Advanced Placement Tests at Grade 4.0 or higher; International Baccalaureate Diploma - 32 points or higher. All applicants are also required to demonstrate proficiency in English and mathematics (see English and Maths sections for details)

Written request

Video or letter of motivation - we would like you to present yourself, your motivation to study LAS at UCG, and to tell us what your personal aspirations are during your time at UCG.

Language requirements

  • IELTS overall band: 6.5
  • IELTS listening: 6.0
  • IELTS reading: 6.0
  • IELTS writing: 6.0
  • IELTS speaking: 6.0
  • TOEFL paper based: 580
  • TOEFL computer based: 237
  • TOEFL internet based: 92

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Program content

1st year

The emphasis is on orientation and ideas, seeing and identifying problems and imagining solutions, and students learn to provide informed suggestions on how to contribute to the challenges of modern society. Continuous elements are the IC2I course and the research and methodology course, both of which help you to reflect on and integrate what you learn in the disciplinary subjects.

Courses in the first year of LAS:

Core (30 credits)

  • Global Challenges
  • Research and Methodology (Logic, Calculus, Philosophy of Science)
  • Integrative Projects and Academic Skills

Your choice (30 credits)

  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities

(you need to study 20 credits in your major field and 10 credits outside your major field - it is up to you whether you study two or all three of these disciplines)

2nd year

The second year of the program focuses on disciplinary specialisation by deepening competences through research methods and major courses as well as the second research-focused step in the IC2I-learning line: creating scholarship. An analytical approach is encouraged as you learn to apply the scientific notions from your major orientation in interdisciplinary projects and learn to convert grand ideas and designs into coherent and theoretically robust solutions.

Courses in the second year:

  • Major courses (30 ECTS)
  • IC2I: Creating Scholarship (15 ECTS)
  • Research and Methodology: Disciplinary research and methodology (15 ECTS)

3rd year

The third year focuses on working on advanced competences and skills to solve complex societal problems. Individualised specialisation and preparation for post-bachelor learning and development are offered through additional major and minor courses. In the IC2I-learning line, the students work in groups on how to make theoretically sound solutions effective: creating leadership. In addition, they work individually on their Bachelor's thesis project.

Courses in the third year:

  • Minor courses (Minor: 30 ECTS)
  • IC2I: Creating Leadership (Thesis)(Major: 15 ECTS)
  • Major courses (Major 15 ECTS)

program options

  • Health and Life Sciences (major) The Health and Life Sciences major orientation provides a comprehensive understanding of mechanisms underlying the normal development and function of humans, and of mechanisms causing disease.

    It includes mandatory courses on the living cell and the human body, discipline-oriented research methods, and electives in topical fields grouped around general courses, system- and disease-oriented courses and interdisciplinary electives, all related to the research theme on Healthy Ageing.

  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics (major) This program offers a broad orientation on social phenomena, building on core ingredients of philosophy, political science and economics.

    In the PPE major, students may choose to explore topics related to instiTuitional design in general and sustainability in particular. Typical topics are history of philosophy, philosophy of science, ethics, logic, political science and international relations, microeconomics, markets and regulation and (international) macroeconomic theory and policy.

  • Cognition and Behaviour (major) The major orientation Cognition and Behaviour offers a program in psychology, cognitive sciences and closely related disciplines.

    The major orientation starts with a choice between the courses 'Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience' and 'Social Environment and Behaviour'. A core topic is the History and Philosophy of the Mind and Society. Students may choose among a wide range of themes within Psychology and related disciplinary fields such as Consumer and Economic Psychology, Social Influence, Organisational Change, Social Cognition, Neuropsychology, Cognition and Attention, Gerontology and Perception. The topics can be explored further in relation to the three research themes.

  • Reflecting on Culture: History and Criticism (major) This major orientation takes the self-reflective capacities of culture as its point of departure and offers two strands: the historical approach and the critical approach.

    There are courses on cultural history, cultural analysis, a particular medium of art (film, television, literature, theatre and music), a particular historical period, the methods and methodology of the Humanities. This major orientation offers, in both approaches, the interpretative method and critical approach (textual hermeneutics) which form its methodological point of departure. The topics studied are most closely related to the research within the theme of Sustainable Society.

  • Physics of Energy (major) This major orientation covers physics with an emphasis on energy and sustainability.

    The program includes a broad spectrum of physics courses in topical fields related to e.g. magnetism, electricity, mechanics and relativity, thermodynamics and the structure of matter. Electives are offered in the fields of energy and sustainability.

  • Politics, Philosophy and International Business (specialization) Combine International Business courses with Philosophy courses to obtain a broad outlook on complex, international challenges.

    A wide variety of societal problems require a political solution, have an important business component and present ethical dilemmas. The major specialisation International Business, Philosophy and Politics provides for an interdisciplinary approach to developing international corporate strategies.

    Become a well-rounded individual who can address today's societal problems from different perspectives Prepare for a career in international business by understanding the implications of matters such as ethical dilemmas and governance on international corporate strategies Follow a specialisation that prepares you for Master programs in International Business Management, International Economics and Business, Philosophy, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, International Organizations, etc.


  • Tuition fees for EU/EEA Students: € 4,380 per year
  • Tuition fees for Non-EU/EEA Students: € 13,093 per year


BA/BSc in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Career paths

Job prospects

Successful completion of the LAS program leads to either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree. Both degrees reflect the same level; it is the content of the academic field that you have chosen which determines the difference between the two degrees.

A Bachelor of Science degree is awarded to students completing the program with a major orientation in Physics of Energy, Health and Life Sciences, and Cognition and Behaviour.

A Bachlor of Arts degree is awarded to students completing the program with a major orientation in Reflecting on Culture: History and Criticism, or Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Students will have broad knowledge and understanding of the spectrum of academic disciplines combined with specialized knowledge of a disciplinary field and a strong competence to solve complex societal problems.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences program will provide the graduate with knowledge, skills and competences that will qualify her or him to enter high-profile research Master's programs in a chosen academic discipline. Job opportunities will depend on the chosen Master's program, but LAS graduates in the past have progressed to careers in a variety of fields including business, politics, the arts, scientific research, NGOs', and more.

Job examples

  • Policy Advisor
  • Scientific Researcher

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About this institute

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, founded in 1614 and it ranks amongst the top 100 universities in the world. We are a research-intensive institution offering a wide range of highly regarded bachelor, master...

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Why study at University of Groningen

We're a Top 100 University

Study at one of the world’s leading universities. Learn from the best and take advantage of exciting research opportunities. Live in a vibrant city where over a quarter of the population are students. Whatever you’re seeking from your university experience, you’ll find it in Groningen. With over 45 world-class Bachelor’s programmes and 160 highly-ranked Master’s programmes, we have a field of study for you.

Our groundbreaking research

As a student, you will be actively involved in research at one of Europe’s top research institutions from the get-go. The University of Groningen carries out ground-breaking and socially-relevant research that builds bridges between disciplines and closes the gap between science and society.

400 years of reputation

The University of Groningen is the second oldest university in the Netherlands and has built a reputation for excellence. Many talented people have passed through the university during its rich 400-year history, including Nobel Prize winners like Ben Feringa (Chemistry, 2016) and Frits Zernike (Physics, 1953). Some have been pioneers in their respective fields, such as the first female University student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Bank.

Vibrant Student Life

While its history can be traced back to 300 BC, today Groningen is a vibrant student city with the youngest population in the Netherlands – one in four people here is a student! That means there’s always something to do, with various art and music festivals, theatres, cinemas and performance venues catering to all tastes, whether you prefer to watch or want to join in. In Groningen, you’ll see students everywhere: studying in the pretty Noorderplantsoen park, working various part-time jobs and partying the night away.

Global Community

The University of Groningen attracts a large international community! Our Erasmus Student Network (ESN) conveniently facilitates all international students in Groningen and organizes over 150 activities a year. The University of Groningen has strong international connections which means that you can easily spend part of your degree studying abroad. The University also offers several unique international Master’s degree programmes in cooperation with other large European universities.

Contact info

University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

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