• What is a Liberal Education?
  • What is the profile of the Studium Individuale?
  • How does Studium Individuale relate to other parts of Leuphana University of Lüneburg?
  • What is the profile of a Studium Individuale student?

FAQ: Studium Individuale at Leuphana College


What is a Liberal Education?

A liberal education is a specific approach to higher education at universities and colleges. Its aim is to prepare students to be creative, purposeful and responsible agents in many walks of life. To do this, Studium Individuale Core Modules introduce students to a broad range of topics and methods to provide a solid grounding for students individual study paths. 

A liberal education is less marked by studying a certain set of subjects or methods, but by other characteristics: 

  • It focuses, above everything else, on the personal development of each student. 
  • It emphasizes on breadth of learning, while allowing students to gain depth in chosen fields. 
  • It provides an intensive, personal and collaborative learning environment. 
  • It cultivates essential academic skills – such as analytical and reflexive thinking, clear and persuasive communication and well-rounded judgement – that are of high relevance for the student’s professional, civic and personal life. 

The tradition of a liberal education is best known and most wide-spread in the USA, in particular at so called “Liberal Arts Colleges.” In Europe, programmes of this kind have started to emerge in the late 1990s, with the various University Colleges in the Netherlands being the most well-known examples. While there are some common features shared by liberal arts programmes, such as ensuring a breadth and depth of knowledge, there are also some important differences between them. For instance, Studium Individuale is unique in the openness and flexibility of its study programme, requiring only 7 Core Modules and leaving the rest of the students’ study paths up to them. It is not required to fulfil a certain amount of credit points in specific study subjects.

What is the profile of the Studium Individuale?

Within the broad family of a liberal education, Studium Individuale places particular emphasis on the freedom and responsibility of each student to design a personal course of study. About two-thirds of your individual curriculum is determined by yourself, with the support of academic advisors and fellow students. At the same time, the academic engagement with questions and problems of our contemporary world is a key feature of Studium Individuale. For both reasons, we consider it a contemporary liberal education.

personal – engaging – challenging

The three terms capture best what Studium Individuale is about: It is personal, by allowing you to develop a self-designed course of study according to your aims and interests. It is engaging, as it offers you a space to study seriously and passionately, tackling questions that are important to you. It is intellectually challenging as you have to make connections between different themes and because, in particular in the core modules, you will study topics and issues that are demanding and unfamiliar to you. It is personally challenging as your own choices, values and interests might be questioned and might change.

How does Studium Individuale relate to other parts of Leuphana University of Lüneburg?

Studium Individuale encapsulates ideas that are at the heart of the educational approach of Leuphana University of Lüneburg: the emphasis on personal development, the orientation towards important questions and challenges of our times, studying beyond the limits of single disciplines.

Mission statement of Leuphana University of Lüneburg

As a Bachelor programme and Leuphana major, Studium Individuale is embedded in the Leuphana College. Within the Leuphana College, undergraduate students from all different majors begin their studies with the Leuphana Semester, a set of three modules all students take in their first semester in mixed groups. As a student of Studium Individuale, you share these elements of the Leuphana Bachelor with all other Bachelor students. If the general approach of liberal education appeals to you, but you have a specific discipline in mind (Economics, Politics, Cultural Studies, etc.) you may want to explore the other major available at Leuphana.

What is the profile of a Studium Individuale student?

There is not one ‘profile.’ Students of the programme have diverse interests and characteristics. Some key aspects and traits that they have in common include a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity both intellectually and about the world. Students with such values are more likely to academically thrive within the programme.

Prospective students should be interested in different themes and questions and be open to engage with things that will be new, and that might not even appeal at first sight. They should also care about learning, both individually and with others, and seek out rather than avoid challenging work. 

Prospective students should also be prepared to lead their studies in a responsible and mature way, with frequent reflecting about their decisions. Interested students should be willing to put their existing ways of thought and opinions under scrutiny and into question, to attempt to take on different, unfamiliar points-of-view and to take responsibility for their actions and choices.

Overall, a combination of a strong interest in intellectually challenging work and a serious concern for some of the actual questions and challenges that we face in the contemporary world are important preconditions for flourishing in Studium Individuale.

Curriculum and Teaching Method

  • What are the core courses? What is their purpose?
  • How does the freedom of choice work exactly? Are there any limitations?
  • Is there a specific teaching method in the Studium Individuale?

Curriculum and Teaching Method

What are the core courses? What is their purpose?

A constitutive part of Studium Individuale is the specifically designed academic core consisting of 7 modules, which make up the intellectual backbone of the programme. Each semester, one core course is taken (with the exception of the first semester, where 2 courses are taken). The courses are interdisciplinary, of high intensity, and taught in English. Here, particular emphasis is paid to learning and practicing important academic skills, such as close reading, convincing oral presentations, essay writing and collaborative work. Choosing Studium Individuale means also choosing these mandatory core courses.

The overarching theme addressed in all courses of our core is “modern freedom.” Students are engaging in central questions that are crucial for both understanding and taking action in the contemporary world: What is valid knowledge? How can we understand and evaluate historical change? What are possibilities for, limits to and consequences of action? How can we use our (academic) freedom to make a meaningful difference in the world?

How does the freedom of choice work exactly? Are there any limitations?

The Studium Individuale major allows students to study questions that they are interested in and want to explore in depth. Students are asked to take courses from different fields and to consciously make meaningful connections across the different courses. This is what we mean when we say that the Studium Individuale is an interdisciplinary programme. For example, if you are interested in climate change Studium Individuale allows you to explore that through Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Sustainability Science, and more, giving you a variety of different disciplinary perspectives on one issue.

The rationale of Studium Individuale is, in other words, not to simply study a number of different subjects alongside each other, but to draw together contents and approaches from different fields to explore relevant questions. Students carve out their own unique study path to satisfy their own academic and intellectual interests.

The only compulsory requirements of Studium Individuale are the 7 Core Modules and the 3 Leuphana Semester modules. For the formal regulations, please take a look at the “Fachspezifische Anlage,” the officially binding document that specifies formal curricular requirements of the Studium Individuale. For legal purposes, this is only available in German. 

Fachspezifische Anlage (FSA)

Is there a specific teaching method in the Studium Individuale?

Committed to a contemporary liberal education, the Core Modules of the Studium Individuale programme cultivate a personal, engaging and challenging learning environment. The approaches to teaching and learning extend beyond the confines of single disciplines. 

Lecturers strive for interactive and dialogue-oriented seminars that incorporate students’ unique experiences and provide space for self-directed learning. Lecturers also address important contemporary themes while at the same time aiming at high academic standards. We do not, however, follow one single teaching method as other programmes of our kind do.


  • Is it an English-taught programme?
  • Is the Studium Individuale an international programme?


Is it an English-taught programme?

The Studium Individuale programme is internationally oriented. Its own Core Modules are held entirely in English. An increasing number of Leuphana majors, such as Digital Media and International Business Administration & Entrepreneurship, as well as some courses in the Complementary Studies programme, are equally taught in English. 

Please note, however, that the majority of courses offered at Leuphana are in German. For more information, please refer to the “Leuphana Bachelor Degree programmes”.

Is the Studium Individuale an international programme?

Every student of the Studium Individuale programme is encouraged to study abroad, as we believe that international experiences make an important component of a contemporary liberal education. Students can apply for all the partner universities of the Leuphana or arrange their own stay abroad.

In addition, we are extending our cooperation with various institutions committed to a liberal education, both in Europe and in other parts of the world, such as the University of Warwick in the UK and Rocky Mountain College in the U.S. For more information on study abroad, opportunities, please refer to the Leuphana International Office.

Support and job opportunities

  • What support is available for Studium Individuale students?
  • Which options will I have as a graduate of the Studium Individuale?

Support and job opportunities

What support is available for Studium Individuale students?

Advising plays an important role in the programme and the lecturers have an open door for any questions or concerns throughout the semester. Students meet at least once per semester with an advisor from within the staff of the programme. In addition, students are also always welcome to contact advisors via e-mail or schedule an online or in-person consultation.

For specific questions regarding the different components of your personal course of studies and questions that you explore, you can address other member of faculty from Leuphana. You can also make use of the general ‘advising centre’ of Leuphana College, as well as of the Career Services Center. For first semester students, there is also the opportunity to exchange with other fellow students through Peer Advising. The student-led Reflection and Connection team (ReCo) organise regular chances to exchange, obtain valuable advice and reflect on your study path throughout your enrollment.

Which options will I have as a graduate of the Studium Individuale?

The key rationale of a programme such as Studium Individuale is to provide students with skills, knowledge and ways of thinking that are needed across various careers in different areas in the contemporary world. Depending on the choices that you make throughout your studies, Studium Individuale can enable you to continue your studies with a range of M.A. or M.Sc. programmes. Innovative Master programmes that combine different disciplines are particularly attractive and attainable for students that graduate from programmes such as ours.

Concerning job market opportunities, there is a growing demand for graduates with interdisciplinary training, and who are responsible, and accustomed to thinking analytically and critically. Possible areas of work, to name a few, include national or international NGOs, administration and politics, think tanks and research institutions, media, journalism and many other areas.

Job market opportunities

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Studium Individuale lecturers and advisors. For last names A-M, please send an e-mail to: veronica.bremer@leuphana.de, last names N-Z, please contact andrew.brogran@leuphana.de. Admission-related questions should be addressed to Dr. Kerstin Papenberg (kerstin.papenberg@leuphana.de).

Contact persons

Academic Programme Management / Academic Director for Liberal Education

  • Dr. Steffi Hobuß

Lecturer & Advisor

  • Dr. Andrew Brogan
  • Dr. Veronica Bremer

Arrange an appointment

College's Student Counselling Service
Buil­ding 8, ground floor
Uni­ver­sitätsal­lee 1, 21335 Lüne­burg
Open Con­sul­ta­ti­on Hours
Wed  11 – 13 h (on campus)
Thu 16 – 18 h (via Zoom)

Initial Information

Information Office (Infoportal)
Building 8, ground floor
Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg
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Opening hours
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