Minor Re-imagining Tomorrow through Arts & Sciences

Broadening minor


Existing disciplinary frameworks fall short when aiming to properly define and solve the complex problems of the 21st century (the waste problem, the climate crisis, poverty, etc.). Alternative futures have to be imagined and visualized, and this can only be achieved through the combination and validation of different knowledges (societal, artistic, academic). Inclusion of the arts opens new avenues, as the nature of the arts is to create, to reimagine, and to decompose and recompose.

In this minor, students from various fields and backgrounds develop theoretical competences in the area of transdisciplinary research, and together with teachers and societal partners, a setting is created in which theory and practice, and academic and artistic practices interact to identify and reframe a complex societal issue. The minor facilitates the building of collaborative learning contexts and networks, with an emphasis on the involvement of societal partners (e.g. government, businesses, and civil society members). This encourages students to (further) develop an entrepreneurial attitude. 

Students and teachers from Erasmus University, Codarts and Willem de Kooning Academy will work together to create a collaborative framework that allows combining disciplines within a project situated in a specific context. The minor is suitable for open-minded, engaged and critical students, who feel an urgency to work beyond disciplines and are keen to actively partake in shaping their learning process. This minor requires an open and flexible attitude towards education and interest. Students will collaborate continuously and intensively with their fellow students, teachers and societal partners, and take position as active, committed world citizens.  

Learning objectives

The minor aims to develop students’ knowledge, skills and attitude necessary for transdisciplinary research

Learning objectives:

  • The students are able to envision and realize a transdisciplinary project in a collaborative learning context consisting of students and teachers from different disciplines, and at least two relevant societal research partners.
  • As part of the transdisciplinary team, students are able to combine scientific, embodied and/or visual knowledges in order to identify, define and reframe complex societal issues through critical and creative thinking and making.
  • The students are able to reflect critically on their position as researchers in a transdisciplinary setting and as members of society.  
  • The students are able to critically evaluate academic, artistic and societal practices, and are able to select relevant practices and justify this selection within the scope of their research.
  • Students demonstrate creative thinking through the ability to develop suitable methods to research the defined issue.
  • Students are able to justify and take responsibility for the decisions they make throughout the transdisciplinary process.

Special aspects

The minor is divided into two parts (15 EC + 15 EC). EUR students can choose to participate in Part I (15 EC) only, or in Part I and Part II (30 EC). This decision lies with the student. See below for a description of the two parts.

After having registered for the minor, students are asked to send in some information about their interests, and are invited for a get-to-know-you talk. The purpose of the talk is both so that students can ask questions about the minor and so that the teacher team can prepare the minor on the basis of the expressed fields of interest of the participating students.

This is a full-time minor and the collaborative nature of the programme requires committed attendance and a flexible attitude throughout the entire process.

Overview content

The focus of the minor is a transdisciplinary collaborative project (4-6 students), which is guided by a transdisciplinary teaching team, on a complex societal issue. At the start of the course, students will explore the literature on transdisciplinarity and encounter several case studies to create a strong foundation for their own transdisciplinary process. 

PART I (preliminary overview; 15 EC / 10 weeks)

Weeks 1: Understanding the transdisciplinary approach, mapping the available knowledges, composing the teams (incl. societal partners), gathering sources on the selected topic.

Week 2: Reading/watching/making and brainstorming on the selected topic.  

Weeks 3 and 4: Plan of exploration.

Weeks 5 - 7: Research.

Week 8: Work-in-progress presentations, feedback rounds.

Week 9: Revision.

Week 10: Presentations of results and further research (public event, including societal stakeholders).

PART II (15 EC / 10 weeks)

Continued in-depth research (emphasis on collaboration with societal partners) on the topic explored in Part I.

Teaching methods

Students, teachers and societal partners will predominantly collaborate during extensive work sessions, throughout all weeks of the programme. In addition, students attend lectures, seminars, workshops and field trips, both on the topic of transdisciplinarity as well as on their selected topic

Teaching materials

Prior to the start of the minor, the teacher team will be trained in the field of transdisciplinary education and research (February-May 2018). During this training programme, the matching interviews with potential students will take place, during which the interests of students are discussed. These interests will be the starting point for the teacher team to assemble the teaching materials. These can range from academic and artistic texts, works of art, case studies/best practices from any related field, and so on. In addition, a reader will be compiled on the topic of transdisciplinary education and research (with texts from, for example, Tackling Wicked Problems: Through the Transdisciplinary Imagination (Brown, Harris & Russel, 2010)).    


Method of examination

  • Presentation
  • Reflection on the transdisciplinary process
  • Project Portfolio
  • Participation


The project teams conclude their research trajectory with a Project Portfolio. The form of the Project Portfolio is developed by the students in consultation with the teacher team. The form depends on the research topic and will reflect the different knowledges of all members of the team (students, teachers and social partners).

Composition final grade

  • Presentation (team assignment, 25%)
  • Reflection on the transdisciplinary process (individual assignment, 10%)
  • Project Portfolio (team assignment, 55%)
  • Participation (individual grade, 10%)


Student feedback is facilitated in an online evaluation form, several feedback moments throughout the minor and an extensive feedback session at the end of the minor. Due to the innovative and collaborative nature of the minor, student input and feedback is crucial to the success of the programme. Due to this reason the feedback moments are frequent and student input throughout the running of the programme is applied immediately when possible.

Contact information

Tamara de Groot
room: EUC office


Broadening minor
Erasmus University College
Studiepunten (ECTS)
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam | Erasmus University College