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The Core is a distinctive feature of the Freiburg LAS program and offers a foundation for knowledge and reflection in academic work and beyond. It is therefore in part philosophical and in part practical. The Core Program consists of three parts:

  1. Academic methods and key skills for research, analysis, presentation, and writing
  2. Reflections on Science and Knowledge: philosophy, history, and social anthropology of science and knowledge – the key to interdisciplinary education and training
  3. Responsibility and Leadership

This combination merges the students' training in personal skills, research methods, and general epistemology into a comprehensive framework that has social applicability, intellectual depth, and personal relevance. Consequently, all students participate in the Core Program. 

The following chart provides an overview of the Core modules:

Grafik Core

The chart provides an overview of the LAS Core. You can find the full description of each module in the Module Handbook. The basic and advanced courses we offer in the above-mentioned modules are listed in the Course Catalog.

Full description

1. Academic Key SkillsIn the first year, students develop and sharpen their academic key skills (scientific methods, exchange formats, researching and working with academic literature and sources, academic presentation). This part of the Core Program ascertains that all LAS students, irrespective of their cultural background or intellectual interests, share a common base of resources for mastering academic challenges. Therefore, the Foundational Year focuses on methods of research and analysis as well as on techniques of writing and presenting. This framework makes up most of the first year’s classwork and ensures that students’ start into academic life with LAS is both stimulating and structured.

2. Reflections on Science and KnowledgeThe LAS program at UCF places a strong emphasis on reflections on scientific knowledge and methods. This is represented by two Chairs at UCF: Epistemology and Theory of Science (ETS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS).

The four modules in this part of the Core form the inter- and metadisciplinary backbone of the LAS program, providing a coherent conceptual and methodological framework for the different areas of specialization in the Majors. Key topics in the courses offered by the ETS Chair are logic, the human epistemic condition, epistemic and social status of scientific theories, the progress of science, and the reality of scientific objects. The STS Chair offers courses that focus and comment on science, technology, and academia in history and present and their interdependence with society, as well as on mundane knowledge practices.

3. Responsibility and Leadership extends over the entire LAS program and is designed to inspire and equip students to effectively engage with the challenges they are going to face before and after graduation. It prompts students to consider their own position in the world, to think about their responsibility and personal vision in life, and to acquire the skills they need in order to reach their goals. Two sequential modules focus on the four main themes: social (in)equality, personalities and group processes, applied ethics, and characteristics of leadership. Courses combine rigorous academic input with personal reflection and training in more experiential formats.

For more information about the LAS Core, please contact Thorsten Leiendecker