Leuphana Semester at College

Shared introduction to science

Leuphana College offers you a unique introductory programme to studying: the Leuphana Semester. During the Leuphana Semester’s largely interdisciplinary modules you acquire the fundamental methods for a scientific course of study: You find out how to get from an observation to a thesis, collect reliable data or classify current events by the history of ideas. In the first semester you also learn how to write scientific papers and present results in an academic environment. At the same time you receive an introduction to your main subject’s content and methods in the subject-specific modules.

Opening Week

The Leuphana Semester starts with an Opening Week. The Opening Week is simultaneously a practical workshop and a forum for ideas. During Opening Week, through your first academic work on a social project – under the supervision of relevant specialists – as well as through cooperation with other first semester students, you gain an impression of the manner in which scientific work, social practice and responsibility and general educational goals are combined at Leuphana College.

Module: Responsibility and Sustainability

This module gives you the opportunity to get an insight into the responsibility of research for society from an interdisciplinary perspective.

A course of lectures and the accompanying tutorials set out the content framework for the module. They introduce the complex topic of sustainable development and furnish you with the initial tools so that you are able to participate in interdisciplinary global transformation research. In the course of lectures, you encounter lecturers who provide you with differing perspectives – switching between individual specialist fields and civic practice. In the project seminars, you explore the academic field for the first time in terms of learning through research. You test out independent theses on sustainable development in manageable projects that are also given a forum open to both members of university and a public audience during the conference week.

The conference week invites you to discuss the possibilities and limits of shaping the future with guests from the fields of politics, science and civil society.

Module: Humanities

In the Humanities module, you challenge everyday certainties, critically analyse claims to truth and question world orders and knowledge systems based on their historical and intellectual foundations. Understanding should be recognised and understood as a basic approach to scientific thinking and intellectual orientation. This is done using module topics that change every year picking up on topical social debates.

The module topic is presented in a joint forum event in overviews and at the same time continued in more depth through contributions from the individual seminars. The forum event is a market for discussions, differences and consensus, but above all it is a place for all first semester students to get to know one another and exchange views on the module topic in debates.

The module finishes with a public panel discussion with renowned guests from science and culture. Rüdiger Safranski, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Richard David Precht and Uwe Jean Heuser have been guests at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg college in the past.

Module: Methods I

In the interdisciplinary methods module, you develop qualitative and quantitative basics based on scientific theory and scientific history with the other students in your year. You will also be able to use the skills you gain from this in the other modules in the first semester as well as in your continuing studies.

What is science? This question is addressed in a lecture and in-depth seminar. Scientific ways of thinking and practices as well as approaches to and methods of systematic knowledge acquisition are also presented and critically discussed. In the process, you get to know significant philosophers of science such as Popper, Kuhn or Lakatos and grapple with the corresponding theories and methods.

You explore a variety of viewpoints and gain insights into the various fundamental problems and approaches within science.

Module: Methods II

In the subject-specific module Methods II module, you learn which methods you have to reliably master in your specialist discipline. As a result, you already get an overview of the subject-specific methods and practise their application at the same time in the first semester.

Module: Introduction to the discipline

This module is an introduction to the content in your specialist discipline. You acquire your first scientific skills in your chosen main subject in lectures and seminars.

As a result, you acquire insight into your specialist field during the course of the first semester and get an overview of the related subject areas. At the same time you learn how to apply the methods and skills acquired during the Leuphana Semester to your subject area.

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