The first year consists of academic core courses. Interdisciplinary courses such as ‘Law, justice and morality', 'Politics, power and governance’ and ‘Decision making’ help students foster a broad mindset and provide a good foundation in the disciplines. This in turn gives them the required knowledge for the courses in the second and third year.
In the methodological courses (‘Doing research’), students will learn about the main qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques. At the end of each semester, in the integrated seminars, students conduct a project based on social challenges and themes, such as security, solidarity and global justice.
By the end of the first year, students must choose one major.
In the second year, students start on their specialisation (major) in either politics, psychology, law, or economics and business. The majors have been specially and carefully designed by teams of leading scholars from all across the University of Amsterdam. During the first semester of their third year, PPLE students can study abroad for one semester. Before receiving their Bachelor’s of Science degree, they will write an extensive Bachelor’s thesis.
The world of politics has been transforming dramatically over the past 50 years or so. The focus of political science is no longer only the state. Non-state actors (such as NGOs and social movements) have come to play a larger role, new axes of economic and military power have emerged, and the dynamics of inter- and intra-state conflicts have changed. The global order increasingly has to deal with challenges of a truly global nature. Increasingly also political scientists study the linkages between politics on different scales, from the local to the global.
The human factor is a critical variable in almost all the complex problems we face today. Psychology, as the study of human behaviour, will help to understand (and change) the role we as humans play in topics such as social inequality, climate change and consumer behaviour.
As a guiding framework for modern societies, law affects people in all domains of life. Interdisciplinary courses in law will help you interpret complex social issues, such as international relations, immigration and European integration, through the lens of the legal system and principles of justice.
Economic reasoning is crucial to the analysis of the major challenges that the world faces. Policies on, for instance, international trade, economic and social development as well as management of the environment all benefit from a thorough understanding of economic behaviour and the relations between the major stakeholders.
Students who want to major in economics need to successfully pass the economics major entrance test in the spring semester of their first year.
As announced in the press conference of the Dutch government on Tuesday, 14 September 2021, the last Corona measures will be withdrawn from higher education as of Saturday, 25 September. This will make a return to the 'old normal' at PPLE and UvA for the most part possible. We are pleased about this news, but we also understand that it can be a source of concern for some of our students and staff.
The following is a detailed account of what the new relaxations of the measures mean and how we can collectively ensure that everyone can feel safe while studying or teaching at PPLE.
For examinations, the maximum group size will already cease to apply from 20 September. As it will be difficult to arrange rooms for exams of large courses at this point, these exams will nevertheless be held online, as previously scheduled.
As a community, we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe. What we do and how we behave will affect our friends, our fellow students, and university staff members. Therefore, we would like to bring to your attention the PPLE College community norms summarised in our Code of Conduct.
The most important takeaway up front: Stay at home and get tested at the Municipal Health Service (GGD) if you have symptoms! You can read who to contact in this case and how to behave in general in the Code of Conduct.
In line with the UvA’s policy, we recommend that everyone gets vaccinated. Dutch students and staff can make an appointment with the GGD. Until 19 September all students can still visit the vaccination unit on the Roeterseiland campus without making an advance appointment. You will not be required to prove that you have been staying in the Netherlands for at least one month or to have a BSN number. The Amsterdam Municipal Health Service (GGD) has set up a special appointment hotline for international students: (+31) 020 5555 202. View all vaccination locations in Amsterdam here.
Just like vaccinations, self-testing remains an important measure to safely perform educational activities on campus. The guideline we encourage students and staff to comply with is to self-test at least twice a week. Starting 16 September, self-tests will be available at building entrances at the campus. Moreover, you can order tests free of charge at zelftestonderwijs.nl.
All buildings have natural or mechanical ventilation that meets the requirements set out by the RIVM guidelines. The UvA has concluded a maintenance contract for all the ventilation systems to ensure that they can be used safely and reliably. The ventilation is checked regularly and adjusted where necessary.
Lastly, we will continue to take other additional hygiene measures, such as extra cleaning and disinfection.