University College Maastricht, A Liberal Arts and Sciences Bachelor Programme


Program Description

Are you highly motivated and looking for a programme that gives you the freedom to pursue your own interests? Do you want to be part of a diverse yet close-knit academic community that encourages discussion and debate? University College Maastricht is a Liberal Arts and Sciences Honours College that provides small-scale and individualized bachelor's education. At UCM, you will be part of a truly international community, working and socializing with students from more than 50 countries. With the support of our committed staff, you can choose from more than 150 different courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences to build an academic profile that helps you meet your goals.

Why this programme?

As an honors college, UCM is challenging and highly rewarding. By allowing you to compose an individual curriculum, the UCM programme ensures that you:

  • develop a basic understanding of a wide variety of academic disciplines
  • become an expert in a specific academic field
  • learn to think academically
  • become a self-directed learner
  • work well in international teams

Choosing your courses
Throughout your three years at UCM, you will construct your own curriculum by choosing from more than 150 different courses. Your Academic Advisor is there to help you define clear goals, explore your strengths and preferences, and choose the right courses.

Your Academic Advisor
Your Academic Advisor is an expert who teaches and conducts research in the fields you want to pursue. He or she provides guidance and feedback and helps you formulate concrete answers to questions such as:

  • What courses do I find interesting?
  • How do I combine my various interests into one meaningful curriculum?
  • What kind of master’s programme would I like to pursue?
  • What are my strengths?
  • Where do I see the needs and opportunities for improvement?

Spend a semester abroad
UCM has partner institutions all over the world, with universities in Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America, and also within Europe. Numerous students have gone on a semester abroad in their fourth or fifth semester and had the experience of a lifetime. They traveled the world, made lots of friends, developed an understanding of different cultures, and complemented their UCM curriculum by taking interesting courses.

Problem-Based Learning
Courses at UCM are taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). PBL gives you an academic problem and challenges you to solve it. Using a combination of small-group work and individual research, you seek possible solutions to the problem and get feedback to help you refine your answers. You are in control of your own education, and the tutor is there to facilitate your learning. The PBL format helps you retain information better, teaches you to think about problems independently and develops your interpersonal skills. All teaching at UCM happens in small groups of approximately 12 students. This small-scale setting encourages you to be an active participant in class, gives you space to develop your own ideas and ensures that you receive personal attention from tutors.

Academic community
University College Maastricht is a close-knit academic community that fosters your desire to learn by creating an environment where it's easy to get to know your tutors and fellow students. UCM only enrolls 225-250 students per year, and the class size is approximately 12 students. The PBL format enables academic staff to really be there for students, both academically and socially. Discussions tend to spill over from the classroom into the common room, which is the social hub of the college. The common room is also the scene of many extracurricular events and activities, organized by Universalis, UCM’s dynamic student association. This entirely student-run organization contributes to life at UCM by organizing debates, open mic nights, events for charity and more.

Student involvement
Being an academic community also means that everyone takes responsibility for the quality of the programme. Students are involved with the running of the college at every level. There are students on all the major boards and committees. They participate in evaluating and improving courses and advise on all matters that affect their experience at UCM. It's also easy to approach everyone involved in the administration, to discuss student concerns.

Dedicated staff
The UCM staff consists of dedicated people who are involved in teaching, research and advising. They come from all over the world and are experts in a variety of academic fields including psychology, international relations, life sciences, philosophy, and history. We also work closely together with lecturers from all other UM faculties who are responsible for courses in law, economics, sustainable development, migration studies, etc.

Courses & curriculum

UCM offers a course catalog containing more than 150 courses, skills training, 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 the 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.

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 75 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.

Skills training
In your first year, you'll complete skills training that focuses 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 training that explores different research techniques in greater depth, including statistics, qualitative and quantitative methods, ethnographic interviewing and laboratory skills. You can also take training 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 training 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, a 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. UCM offers a course catalog containing more than 150 courses, skills training, 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.

Download the full course catalog for a full overview of the courses and detailed course descriptions.

Your future

After three years at UCM and 180 ECTS, you’ll qualify for an internationally recognized Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. You can leave the university and enter the job market, or you can apply for a master’s programme in the Netherlands or abroad. Your self-designed curriculum determines which master’s programmes you qualify for. Your Academic Advisor will help you compose a curriculum that matches your desired master’s programme.

Some UCM graduates have stayed at Maastricht University, while others have moved on to other Dutch universities. UCM graduates have also been admitted to prestigious master’s programmes at international universities such as:

  • University of Oxford
  • Columbia University (New York)
  • The London School of Economics
  • University College London
  • Sciences Po (Paris)
  • Hertie School of Governance (Berlin)
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Career possibilities
As UCM allows you to design your own curriculum to suit your individual interests, talents, and ambitions, you have an almost unlimited range of future career possibilities. UCM graduates have gone on to a wide variety of professional careers, in both the Netherlands and abroad, including:

  • management consultant
  • researcher
  • government policy advisor
  • assistant to an EU Commissioner
  • think tank member
  • entrepreneur
  • industrial designer
  • pharmacologist
  • stock trader
  • NGO project coordinator
  • forensic psychologist
  • theater programmer
  • museum curator
  • education innovator

With careful planning, you can take the courses required to be admitted to most master's programmes. However, some more vocational programmes, such as Dutch Law and Clinical Psychology, are likely to have additional requirements.

Tuition fees

Maastricht University has a statutory and an institutional tuition fee. It depends on your situation which tuition fee you have to pay.

Study year 2021/22

  • The statutory fee for this programme is: €3.585
  • The institutional fee for this programme is: €10,900
Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with 16,861 students and 4,300 employees, is still growing. The university stands out for its innovative educati ... Read More

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with 16,861 students and 4,300 employees, is still growing. The university stands out for its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education. Thanks to its high-quality research and study programmes as well as a strong focus on social engagement, UM has quickly built up a solid reputation. Today it is considered one of the best young universities in the world. Read less