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Seminar Current Issues I

Seminar Current Issues I

6 ECTS credits
180 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 1020442ANR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (A) Bachelor - preliminary level.

Information about this course is applicable on academic year 2017-2018.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method

Grading (scale from 0 to 20)

Can retake in second session
Taught in
Partnership agreement
  • Under interuniversity agreement for degree program
Faculty of Economic & Social Sciences & Solvay BS
Communication Sciences
Educational Team:
Activities and contact hours
  • 12 contact hours Lecture
  • 20 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
  • 148 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course content

In this seminar, factual knowledge treated in the introductory courses of sociology, political sciences and communication sciences as well as insights and skills acquired in the methodological courses, will be integrated. The seminar entails a multi-disciplinary component, which will be rendered visible for the student through the exploration of one current issue related to the European Society from the point of view of three academic fields, namely, a sociological, a political and a communication science perspective. This seminar aims to develop the ‘multi-disciplinary awareness’ of students when studying contemporary European societal challenges. It emphasizes the uniqueness of each academic discipline, addressing societal issues through the perspective of each academic field separately.

More specifically, in this seminar we will, every academic year, select a specific overarching theme closely linked to current challenges faced by the European Union, which touches upon the three domains of social sciences. The selected topic will serve as the point of departure for the whole course and for a series of written and oral exercises / assignments. In the academic year 2017-2018 the central overarching theme concerns the Brexit. Appearing to be a fundamental contemporary challenge to the project of European integration, this current issue is rife with complexity to say the least. The general theme of Brexit allows articulating a set of interlinked topics via fields of tension, prone to various angles of investigation, theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches from political sciences, sociology and communication studies perspectives.

Course material
  • Digital course material (Required): Powerpoint slides to accompany the introductions of concepts and debates
  • Practical course material (Required): Text material to support lecture content, provide examples and illustrations of presented content, and initiate debate among the students
Additional info

Presence of the students is required in case of a (guest) lecture and during the debate seminars.

The course is organized as an intensive seminar module. A detailed course description including an overview of lectures, guest lectures and assignments will be posted on Pointcarré and discussed in the first session.


Teaching Methods

Lecture: collective contact-dependent moments during which the lecturer engages with learning materials
- Seminar, Exercises or Practicals (Practical): collective or individual contact-dependent moments during which the students are guided to actively engage with learning materials
- Independent or External Form of Study (Self): independent study

This description of the teaching methods is indicative, in order to assess the expected study load.

Lecture: 12 hours

  • Lectures introducing each block: 6 hours (3 x 2 hours)
  • Guest lectures per block: 6 hours (3 x 2 hours)

Practical: 20 hours

  • Seminars for the preparation of assignments: 14 hours (7 x 2 hours)
  • Debate & presentation seminars: 6 hours (4 x 1,5 hour)

Self: 148 hours

  • Preparatory reading of texts: 18 hours (3 x 6 hours)
  • Preparation of assignments: 130 hours
Programme Objectives

General Competences

This course contributes to the following learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Sciences in Social Sciences. The student after following this course

  • recognises the cross-sections, the intersections and the cross-fertilisations that are noticeable amongst the different social sciences.
  • is able to apply social theories and concepts on a well-delineated, socially and scientifically relevant research topic that relates to the European Union or other (international) institutions.
  • can formulate a valid scientific research question on a topic that relates to the social sciences.
  • can identify, gather and critically process the relevant sources and literature on a specific social sciences research topic.
  • knows how to set up a scientific and methodologically correct research design.
  • possesses the methodological knowledge and skills of data selection and data processing that prevail within the domains of the social sciences.
  • masters the techniques of good and accurate research reporting in oral and written form.
  • has an investigative, problem-oriented and critical attitude towards social, political and media-related phenomena and scientific research results with regard thereof.
  • recognises the multilayered and complex character of social, political and media- related facts and phenomena.
  • prioritises scientific integrity and honesty in his or her scientific research activities.
  • has awareness of the social role and function of social scientists.
  • has knowledge of and insight into the main institutions, actors and processes of decision-making and policy-making of the European Union.

More specifically, and by making use of different working forms and assignments, students

  • are informed of authors, theories and concepts prevalent in sociology, political sciences and communications sciences on the topic;
  • gain experience in how to conduct exploratory reading, including how to read and evaluate valuable scientific literature and empirical data;
  • learn how to gather and process scientific literature and data, study literature and conceptualize key terms;
  • critically investigate and problematize current issues regarding Brexit in a European context;
  • report their synthesis of investigated topics in both written and oral form.
  • develop a critical and scientific attitude towards scientific analysis.

The final grade is composed based on the following categories:

  • Other Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Other Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

Assignments with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

Note: Further information on the assignments and grading is included in the seminar's guidelines that will be published on Pointcarré.

Additional info with regard to grading

In case a student fails this seminar in the first session, each element that has been graded and for which the student failed needs to be redone individually. Further information on grading is included in the seminar's guidelines that will be published on Pointcarré.