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Broader Mind Course - for all bachelor's and master's students

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Last updated on 14 December 2022
At VU you develop A Broader Mind. In every study you will be challenged to take a broader view of your academic discipline, of society and yourself. Take the course and help make a difference.

The Broader Mind Course is an extracurricular, interdisciplinary course which focuses on your personal development and involvement with societal issues like success & failure, poverty and sustainability. In a mixed group of students from all VU faculties, you will be involved in an innovative course that will challenge your perspective on different topics. The course runs from February 23 till June 23 in the year 2023, registration opens December 12. 

Last years’ students share their 9 reasons to follow the Broader Mind Course in this video.

An overview of practical details and themes of Broader Mind Course can be found in the flyer.

Join or contribute to the Broader Mind Course

  • Who is the course for?

    The course is interdisciplinary, and therefore accessible to all VU bachelor’s students, regardless of your faculty or whether you are a first-, second- or third-year student.

  • What does the course entail?

    In the Study guide, you will find everything you need to know about the Broader Mind Course, Track A and Track B . You will choose one of these two tracks. Each track covers four themes, namely:

    Track A
    Success & Failure (School of Business and Economics)
    Poverty (Social  Sciences)
    Human Body (Law)
    Rebellion (Humanities)

    Track B
    Viewpoints & Worldview (Religion and Theology)
    Health & Happiness (Medicine)
    Digital World (Behavioural and Movement Sciences)
    Sustainability (Sciences)

    Each theme takes two weeks to complete and involves blended learning, with online and offline activities. The language of instruction is English. The total study load is 40 hours, which breaks down into about three hours per week, spread over four months, except during exam periods. When you successfully complete the course, you will receive a certificate of participation and it will be mentioned on your diploma.

  • When is the course?

    The course runs from February 23 till June 23 in the year 2023, registration opens December 12. 

    The course takes place in periods 4 and 5, except during exam weeks. There are 6 (offline) ‘meetups’ on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, from 17.30–19.30. There are also 5 (online) ‘get-togethers’ on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, from 17.30–18.30. You will also do online assignments on your own time

  • Want to register for the course?

    To register for Track A or Track B of the Broader Mind Course, go to your dashboard and enter the course code or the name of the course in the registration module (via Plan course > All courses > Search in extracurricular courses). 

    Registration opens December 12 and runs until January 16. 

  • Want to help design the course?

    A unique feature of the Broader Mind Course is that the curriculum is not only developed by teachers but also by students. You, too, can be a co-designer of the Broader Mind Course! You can do this in two different ways:

    1. As a member of the feedback team. In a few development sessions, you will give feedback on the course content and come up with ideas to improve the course. (Time commitment: three sessions a year in September and October, one and a half hours per session)
    2. As a member of the construction team. You will act as a course developer and work with a small team to further develop one of the themes of the Broader Mind Course. You will have several team meetings to brainstorm new ideas, create assignments and develop new course materials. (Time commitment: August–February, 8–10 hours per month).

    Sign up for one of the information sessions on participating in the feedback and/or construction team via or this form. You do not need to have followed the Broader Mind Course to participate.

  • Want to become a student guide for the course?

    We are looking for enthusiastic senior bachelor's and master's students to act as a ‘student guide’ for a group of students during the Broader Mind Course. You will help the students with both on-campus and online activities, give feedback and assess the final assignment. We will make sure you are well-prepared by providing you with training and coaching both prior to and during the Broader Mind Course. So, you will also learn quite a bit!

    For more information, please contact us at As a student guide, you will receive a volunteer's allowance.

  • Get inspired by these Broader Mind Course videos

  • Want to stay informed?

    Sign up for the Broader Mind Course newsletter.

A great opportunity

“You don't often get the opportunity to talk about social issues with people from other disciplines. It was a great opportunity to listen to others, to think about challenging issues and to try to find solutions to them.”

- Diana Lucía Gross, Social Psychology student

A Broader Mind students share their experiences

At VU Amsterdam, you don't just become something, you become someone. Someone with academic expertise who is also mindful of society. Some of the students of the Broader Mind Course share their experiences.

Do you have questions about the Broader Mind Course?

Please feel free to contact us

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