University Minor

Fieke Overmaat

Minor: Art and Religion

Study year: 2021-2022

In my third-year I have chosen the minor Art and Religion. This minor looks for the relationship between religion and art. It is given by the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, so it is at another faculty.

I think this minor is perfect for someone who is interested in art and in history. I personally did not know much about the Bible and its stories, but this minor freshened up my knowledge a bit. In the first block, there were three courses: one about visual art history, one about architecture history and lastly a course where you analysed famous frescoes. These courses are there to give you some general art knowledge. I had normal lectures and seminars each week, so this first block is very comparable with the first year of the history bachelor.

In the second block we got taught two courses: one called ‘The Sacred Image’ and one ‘Religion, Space and Place’. These courses go deeper into the concept of religion in art, but also in society. These courses are more comparable with the second year of the bachelor history, because you will be working more on projects and papers you have to hand in. These courses were nice, because you could be very creative in your final product.

I would very much recommend the minor Art and Religion!

Kayleigh van der Waard

Minor: Psychology in Society

Study year: 2020-2021

Hi there!

My name is Kayleigh and this year I have followed the minor ´psychology in society´. This minor is a university minor, which means that it is not a minor provided to you by the Faculty of Arts but the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences. In short, this minor gives you the opportunity to look beyond our own field of study (history) and introduces you to a different field of academic science and skills.

This minor gave me insights in how behavioural systems work, why humans react in a certain way, what the biological aspects are of behaviour and how the field of psychology deals with research instruments and validity. This aspect of the minor actually helped me understanding my major, because history is all about people and their actions in the past. In the course ‘human error’ I learned why and how human errors are made and how you can write a policy to prevent errors. This course gave me a different biological and psychological understanding of human  behaviour, which is interesting to combine with history. 

The minor ‘psychology in society’ is an introductory minor to the field of psychology, so everyone can follow the courses. However, it did help me that I graduated in biology and chemistry in high school, because some courses focused quite a bit on biology and chemistry.

If you have any questions you can always contact me!

Laura Ietswaart

Minor: Rhetorics

Study year: 2019-2020

In the first semester of my third year I participated in the Rhetorics Minor. This year, the minor was available for the first time, which made the experience even more special. I chose this minor in order to improve my talking and presentation skills. When studying history, we are often expected to present our research. However, we do not get an efficient explanation on how to do this well. That is why the Rhetorics Minor is a very useful addition to the History bachelor. 

The minor is given in English, although Dutch students can choose to present in Dutch. This year, the group of students was very mixed in studies and nationalities. The teachers come from different parts of the university as well, and they have a lot of knowledge about rhetoric. So, in this minor you will get an abundant mix of theory and practice. During the minor, there will also be visits from specialists who will give masterclasses. For example, we had masterclasses by a speech therapist, actors and a specialist on Shakespeare. 

During the minor you will have three classes, each worth 15 points. During the Secrets of Rherotic class, you will learn the theory and history behind rhetoric, and you will also practice your skills by presenting a lot and performing a TED-talk. In the second block you get to choose between two classes: Politics and Media, and Science Communication. I chose the latter and during this class you will learn the art of presenting your academic research to a wider audience. During the entire semester, you will be busy with the Rhetoric Lab. This class consists of a group project. This project will be an assignment for a client outside the university. My group gave a beginners rhetorics course at a secondary school in Leeuwarden. Others did projects for museums or political parties for example. You are free to do whatever you like, and the teachers have a lot of contacts you can make use of. 

The first year a minor is given is never perfect. As we were the gunny pigs, we gave a lot of feedback. That’s why the second time around the minor will probably be even better, which makes this minor a very good choice! You will gain a lot of knowledge and experience, and you will also get to know your fellow classmates very well due to the many presentations and various dinners and evenings out which are included in the minor. That is why I highly recommend the Rhetorics Minor!

Thom Schuring

Minor: Development Studies

Study year: 2018-2019

The minor I followed is called ‘development studies’ and is a minor consisting of two times three courses (with elective options) that can be followed separately or combined. The courses range from lectures on the impact of environment on development including things like the carbon and water footprint till ‘Ethnicity, culture and politics’ where you have a change to attend lectures with voluntary seminars where you can discuss the topics. The second half of the minor is more demanding because you will need to write a (short) essay and present in English. If you are decent in speaking English and the first two years of your bachelor history weren’t that big of a deal this minor won’t be a problem for you. While this minor might not be the best way to a successful career, I found the topics that are thought very interesting and would recommend this minor to everybody that’s interested in the environment and why some regions are rich, and others are poor.

Elvira Ambrosius

Minor: Philosophy

Study year: 2018-2019

During the first semester of the academic year 2018/2019, I was enrolled in the University Minor Philosophy. I have been fascinated with philosophy since high school. But truth to be told, it sounded very appealing to me to not be focused on history for half a year. Eventually you could say that I had a ‘love-hate relationship’ with this minor.

First of all, I loved being busy with philosophy again: I had enough of collecting facts and most of all the objective approach with history. During the minor Philosophy you come in touch with a large number of philosophers and their ideas, you are sort of ‘forced’ to think on your own. The material is processed on high speed in eight weeks (one week longer than the history period). This results in the fact you have a short period time where you will receive a lot of information.

You get to experience some difficult theories (especially during the courses of History of Philosophurses of History of Philosophy) where you read the original transcripts of the philosophers. Courses such as Logic and Philosophy of Science are less focused on the transcripts and tend to be more beta sciences. I was really scared for the finals of the minor: there were three in one week! In the end the finals were not too bad, and the results were higher, in my case, than at history.

In contrast of the minor has no appealing setting. The switch from the history seminars during the afternoon to evening seminars of philosophy was hard to adjust to. This minor only has lectures: a full lecture hall (which became emptier after each lecture…) with just a teacher who was speaking, is not the best way to ‘philosophize’.

Overall it is a hard minor that you can only endure if you truly find philosophy interesting (it has a lot more deepening than theory courses at history). So if you can’t get enough of Marx, and also consider Plato to be a fun guy, you will most likely have great evenings during the philosophy lectures.

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