Many ways to find your major
How do PPLE students find out what they would like to major in? 'I have made a determined effort not to think too much about it,' says Rens Feenstra, first-year student at PPLE College.
Many PPLE students have chosen to study in an interdisciplinary programme because of their wide range of interests, but at the end of the first year they have to choose one discipline as their major. Rens: 'I was happy to postpone that choice to the end of the year and I know many of my fellow students were, too.'
All PPLE courses are interdisciplinary, but there is an emphasis on one of the disciplines for each course. For example, the course in 'Decision Making' is designed by researchers from the Psychology department, but also discusses political, legal and economic decision making. In the first year, students have courses from each of the four disciplines. Along with 'Decision Making', the other core courses are 'Law, Justice and Morality', 'Politics, Power and Governance', and 'Economics, Markets and Organizations'.
'Even if you think you know early on what discipline you want to specialize in, you don't get to hand in your choice before May anyway, so you may still find out that you really like one of the other disciplines more,' says Rens. 'From the beginning I have thought: it is not going to be Law. But I won't allow myself to rule anything out, so next week I am going to "Politics vs Law", a meeting organized by major mentors. I actually think Politics is my number one choice. I also talked to someone for the Psychology major during the Major market last month, but I was told that it is very much research-based and there is a lot of statistics - not exactly my thing. I did like the first class in Decision Making, though.'
According to Rens, there is no need to stress. PPLE helps students find their major in many ways: students can talk to their tutors and student counsellors, there are major mentors, there is an annual Major market, and extra meetings like the one about "Politics vs Law". Besides, students will still have two courses from each of the other disciplines in the second and third year, so they are not saying goodbye to the subjects outside their major.