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Are you driven to contribute to change and bridge the gap between science and society? Globally, we are currently facing many complex challenges. Think of climate change, inequality, digitalisation and a healthy future. Change is essential here. Change in how we interact with each other and the world, change in our thinking and technological change. Do you have a great idea for a new course that could contribute to the problem you have always wanted to solve? Join the special edition of the Create a Course Challenge and develop your course idea together with the curriculum experts of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS).

Think along with us about education at the UvA

With this special edition of the UvA Create a Course Challenge, students are challenged to be creative and think about how education can be future-proof, challenging and meaningful. What topics and teaching methods should be tackled and what role should students and teachers play? Think along with us about how education at the institute, and within the UvA, can contribute to future change. This is your chance to make your vision of education a reality. Who knows – next year, you may be a student assistant in your own course!

Students without borders

Crossing boundaries is what this challenge is all about: not just between students and lecturers and between faculties and disciplines, but also between academia and society.

Special Edition: Future Change 

The world is changing and so is education. The future demands innovative solutions to current challenges. Therefore, for this special edition of the challenge, the focus is on contributing to the changes our society needs. Change is a broad concept that can be considered from many different perspectives, such as technological, economic, ecological, political, social, psychological and philosophical change. When developing your course, think out of the box and across disciplines.

  • How does it work?

    The UvA Create a Course Challenge consists of four rounds. In the final round, the winner is chosen by a jury. The IIS and the winner will work together to develop the course. The challenge is open to all UvA students, Bachelor’s and Master’s alike.

    Round 1: Submit your idea

    Deadline: 10 October 2023, 9 AM (CET)

    Submit the first draft of an idea for your course below. Or take a picture of your beer coaster if you've written it down and email it to Be creative in both content and form!

    Round 2: Develop your idea

    Deadline: 1 November 2023, 9 AM (CET)

    As soon as we receive your idea, we’ll send you an Action Plan template, which you can use to further develop your idea. Which teaching methods will be used in your course? What will the students learn? Which lecturers will be involved? What study material will the students use, and how will they be assessed?

    You can choose to develop your course in Dutch or in English, depending on the language in which the course will eventually be taught. Send the completed Action Plan before the deadline of 10 October 2023 AM to the IIS at

    Round 3: Nominate your favourite idea

    Between 8 and 15 November 2023

    All UvA students and staff may vote once on their favourite course idea between 8 November 9 AM and 15 November 9 AM (Central European Time). The five ideas with the most votes will continue in the challenge and proceed to round 4. 

    Round 4: Pitch your idea to the jury

    Thursday 23 November 2023, 5 - 7 PM (CET)

    During the grand finale, the jury,  decides which idea they will reward with the realisation of the course. Together we will raise the glass on the winning course idea. The jury members are John Grin, full professor of public policy and governance at the University of Amsterdam, Linda de Greef, programme manager of the Education Lab of the IIS and Noah Pellikaan, chairperson of the Central Student Council of the UvA. 

  • Conditions

    When developing your idea, keep in mind the following requirements and guidelines.


    • The concept of 'change' should be central; 
    • The course must be interdisciplinary in nature;
    • The course must be suited for second and third-year UvA Bachelor’s students;
    • The course must be designed for a minimum of 20 participants;
    • Number of credits: 6 ECTS;
    • The course may be either in English or Dutch.

    Your course will be assessed on the following criteria:

    • Interdisciplinarity: different academic disciplines come together. 
    • Societal relevance: the course brings the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to the complex challenges our society is faced with.
    • Originality: the course has an innovative nature. 
    • Innovative teaching methods: think outside the box of lectures and tutorials.
    • Design: the learning objectives, learning activities and the way in which the learning objectives are assessed. 
    • Innovative teaching methods: think outside the box of lectures and seminars. Involving external parties or societal partners is an added advantage. 
  • Meet the finalists of 2023

    "All Eyes on Us: Cyberfeminism and Digital Surveillance"

    By Anna Vrtiak & Lisa van Oosten, Masterstudent Digital Business and Bachelorstudent Information Science (FNWI)

    This course is a call for the digital citizen. In a world where every click is silently observed, unseen algorithms dissect our behaviors, making choices for us, maybe even defining us. Let’s delve into the confluence of digital surveillance and cyberfeminism, offering an interdisciplinary lens to dissect the complex web of online monitoring, datafication, and their implications on gender and society. Why do unseen watchers want your data? How does this surveillance perpetuate biases, especially against marginalized groups? Join us on this riveting journey, as we forge new paths in a world where the observer is no longer hidden, and empowerment is but a lesson away.

    "Decoding our Future: Opportunities and Threats of the Digital Revolution"

    By Annika Iselhorst, Bachelorstudent Political Science (FMG)

    "Decoding our Future: Opportunities and Threats of the Digital Revolution" is an interdisciplinary course that invites students from all disciplines to explore the ever-evolving landscape of emerging technologies. During the course, students learn about the fundamentals of new technologies such as Social Credit Scores and Artificial Intelligence, gaining insights into how they work and what makes them special. Participants will be encouraged to understand the opportunities and threats presented by technologies like Superintelligence, Surveillance Capitalism, and Neurotechnology. They will critically examine the societal implications of these technologies and work on developing governance solutions to shape the future of our technology-driven world. With tutorials focusing on student-led research, discussion, and policy development, participants will learn to bridge the gap between technological development and ethical governance and to bridge the divide between private tech enterprises and society. The goal is to create a path towards a more informed and responsible digital future.

    "Quantum Leap in Social Sciences"

    By Luca Bausani, Bachelorstudent Computational Social Science (FMG)

    Embark on a transformative journey into the heart of modern science and its potential to reshape our understanding of the social world. "Quantum Leap in Social Sciences" is not just a course; it's an exploration of possibilities, a bridge between two seemingly distant realms. In this innovative course, you'll delve into the enigmatic world of quantum mechanics, tracing the evolution of physics from Newton's classical mechanics to the visionary concepts of string theory and John Stewart Bell's theorem. You'll be introduced to the Orchestrated Objective Reduction (OR) theory, unraveling the mysteries of consciousness within the space-time matrix. But this journey isn't just about theory – it's about application. Discover how these quantum principles can revolutionize the social sciences, providing fresh methodologies and empirical insights to challenge established assumptions. This course offers a profound revelation about our universe, who we are, and what we can achieve when we unite our knowledge and intentions. Are you ready for the quantum leap?

    "Who Are My People: Towards Community Values in the Age of Hyper-Individualism"

    By Evita Shrestha & Sascha Kraft, Bachelorstudents Psychology (FMG)

    This course discusses the concept of Community as an essential human need using a transdisciplinary approach. The focus hereby lies on the value which community – and the spaces where communities thrive – can provide for a hyper-individualistic society faced with a number of health and humanitarian crises. History, benefits, and complications of community will be assessed through anthropological views, physiological evidence, psychological research, and sociological discourse. Students will implement their gained knowledge and ideas into the physical manifestation of a community space at the University campus. Stretching beyond traditional Western discussion, we aim to dissect various theoretical frameworks with which students can analyze practical applications of community and find potential solutions for the compromise between compartmentalized communities and boundaryless unity. “We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.”  ~ Cicero.

    "Why Things Go Viral?"

    By Shreya Shreemani Kumar, Masterstudent Finance (FEB)

    This course should be introduced at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it is innovative in its approach, recognizing the critical relevance of understanding why trends go viral in today's dynamic digital landscape. This course stands out due to its interdisciplinary nature, bridging psychology, sociology, economics, and media studies to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of virality. This unique approach is valuable because it equips students with practical knowledge and skills to navigate the rapidly changing digital world responsibly. While UvA offers various courses related to media studies and communication, this course is distinct in its focus on virality and its societal impact. By exploring the ethical considerations and societal relevance of virality, it prepares students for a future where the ability to comprehend and leverage the dynamics of virality is increasingly crucial. In this way, the course positions UvA as an institution at the forefront of addressing contemporary issues and prepares students to be forward-thinking contributors to the digital realm.