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Course module: B-MTIC20
Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge
Course infoSchedule
Course codeB-MTIC20
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / LevelM (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionDutch, English
Offered byFaculty of Science; Graduate School of Life Sciences; Graduate School of Life Sciences;
Contact persondr. ir. M.M. Hefting
Telephone+31 30 2537441
Contactperson for the course
dr. ir. M.M. Hefting
Other courses by this lecturer
mr. dr. L.M. Henderson
Other courses by this lecturer
M. Kali
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. B.A. Ricker
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3-GS  (07/02/2022 to 22/04/2022)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotAD: AD
Study mode
RemarkMax 60 students (20/TIC) can follow the course. Apply before November 22, 2020 via
Enrolment periodfrom 01/11/2021 up to and including 28/11/2021
Enrolling through OSIRISNo
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
Course placement processdocent
Learning goals
At the end of the course, the course participants should be able to:
  • Cross boundaries while planning and executing a thematic interdisciplinary challenge.
  • Communicate about a thematic interdisciplinary challenge with fellow students, professionals, stakeholders, and scientists.
  • Formulate a clear demarcation of an interdisciplinary challenge together with a societal theme partner.
  • Connect science and society in a comprehensive and integrated problem analysis of an interdisciplinary challenge.
  • Develop a suitable and innovative end-product and implementation plan for a societal theme partner.
  • Review the content and feasibility of the end-product and implementation plan.
  • Review their own strengths and weaknesses with regard to interdisciplinary and cross-level collaboration, and their ability to connect science and society. 
  • Review what one brings to the group in relation to others, and one’s personal and professional growth.
Please note! For this course deviant enrolment rules apply:
A maximum of 60 students (20 per TIC) will follow the course together with 15 professionals. As a student, you are asked to tell us your story when you apply for the TIC course via our website. When applying, you can also indicate which TICs you prefer to explore and which TIC is your second choice.
You can apply for the course before the 22nd of November 2020 (via our website). On the 24th of November 2020 you will be notified whether you can participate in this course. If you are not selected, you can register for another course until November 29, 2020. If you have been selected, you will automatically be registered for the course.

ontent description
Today’s world faces a lot of complex societal problems. These problems demand the input of multiple academic disciplines. Therefore, in the TIC course, students and professionals will be challenged and trained to become interdisciplinary and innovative problem solvers that contribute to solutions for real-world and complex societal problems.

Starting February 2021 the Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge (TIC) is a university-broad course for year-3 Bachelor students, Master students and professionals from different disciplines. The course will promote interdisciplinary and cross-level collaboration while solving real-world challenges within the strategic themes of Utrecht University.

Students and professionals will be asked to choose one Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge they would like to explore: Drowning Deltas, Green Teens or Contesting Governance. More information about these TICs can be found on our website:

The course will offer a mix of expert sessions, workshops and discussions. In interdisciplinary groups of 4-5 students and professionals, you will learn to apply theoretical knowledge in order to solve real-world challenges.

One line of workshops will guide you through different stages from defining to solving the problem. Students and professionals from various fields will work together with scientists and policymakers towards a suitable end-product that contributes to an innovative solution of the jointly defined problem. The solution could be a prototype, a video, a symposium, a policy document, etc.

Another line of workshops will be directed towards (inter)personal and professional development. The course format creates a space to discover yourself and use your curiosity, enthusiasm, and creativity to come up with innovative ideas that contribute to the needs of today’s society.

Educational forms
The course consists of, among other things, debates, group work, workshops, lectures, presentations, projects, problem based learning and a symposium.

No written exam. The final grade is the result of active participation (pass or fail), the solution proposal and implementation plan (30%; minimal grade 5.5), assignment (30%; minimal grade 5.5) and reflection essay (40%; minimal grade 5.5).

Study material
Peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and popular scientific articles, which will be distributed at the start of the course.
Entry requirements
Prerequisite knowledge
Entry requirements
No specific required previous knowledge, but students need to be willing to work together in interdisciplinary teams and look across boundaries outside their comfort zone.

Max 60 students (20/TIC) can follow the course. Apply before November 22, 2020 via
Required materials
Literature reader
Study material Peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and popular scientific articles, which will be distributed at the start of the course.
Instructional formats


Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade-

Kies de Nederlandse taal