Interdisciplinary perspectives on child development in societal challenges

Many societal issues concerning children and youth are complex because a wide range of factors influence the development of children and youth. Therefore, these factors can’t and shouldn’t be studied separately.

In this minor you learn to combine insights from different fields to study the development of children and youth. You’ll learn about fields such as biology, human geography, philosophy, pedagogy and economics. You follow two interdisciplinary courses: in one course you provide with a team of students from different disciplines a theoretical answer to a self-chosen social issue. In the other course you apply, again in a team, interdisciplinary knowledge to an issue specified by partners such as Oxfam Novib and Amnesty International. In addition, you will follow two courses in which you specialize in a relevant discipline outside your own field of study.

With this minor you will gain knowledge and skills to work in an interdisciplinary team on questions such as 'How can we motivate, activate and help youth from all countries to think about a more 'green' future’?, 'What influence does nutrition have on the development of a child?' or 'How can we protect the rights of the child in conflict situations, ranging from home (e.g. a divorce) to global (e.g. a war)?'.

This minor is designed on behalf of the strategic theme ‘Dynamics of Youth’.

Study programme

The minor consists of 4 courses of 7.5 ECTS each: two compulsory courses and two elective courses. The courses may be completed in any order. The ideal sequence to go through the courses is to start with Child Development (200800002), then follow two elective courses, and end with Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge (20000014). In practice, the elective courses will often be taken during, or sometimes before or after, the compulsory courses.

Compulsory courses

  1. 201800002 - Child Development: Interdisciplinary perspectives – Period 1 – Level 3
  2. 202000014 - Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge To Teach, Inspire and Change – Period 3 – Level 3. You can sign up for this course via the Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge website. Students enrolled in the minor are guaranteed of a place in the course, but need to follow the application procedure to show their preference for a specific challenge. 

Elective courses

As elective courses you choose a package of two courses, for which the options are described below. Participation in these courses by students from the minor has been coordinated with the director of education. This guarantees that you are allowed to participate in this course (note: some courses can admit a limited number of students from this minor). In addition to the courses described here, you can also create a package of two courses yourself. Inquire about this possibility with the minor coordinator. You can also ask her for help choosing from the options described below.

The courses you choose must meet the following criteria:

  1. the courses are both provided by a study programme that is different than the one you follow yourself. They may, however, be provided by the same faculty.
  2. the courses offer deepening or broadening in a theoretical subject or skill that you do not acquire in your own study programme.
  3. the courses are a relevant addition to the knowledge and skills you learn in the compulsory courses.

Packages of elective courses

Entry Requirements

The minor is open to students from all study programmes. However, prior knowledge is sometimes expected for the courses, and therefore for the minor. See the individual courses for more information.

Difference from the minor ‘Youth studies’

There are two interdisciplinary minors about child development offered: the current minor and the minor 'Youth studies'. The current minor offers a broader perspective, both with regards to the ages covered (current minor: prenatal to early adulthood; Youth studies: adolescence) and the disciplines included in the minor (current minor: all faculties and thus ranging from law to geosciences to medicine; Youth studies: social sciences). Note that you can select two courses from the minor ‘Youth studies’ as electives in the current minor. If you’d like advice on which minor to select, please contact the minor coordinator.

Minor declaration

If you’ve met all requirements, you can request a minor declaration in Osiris Case. This will allow you to demonstrate that you have successfully completed the minor. To apply for a declaration, you must be enrolled in the minor.

Contact person

For questions on content or the electives, please contact Dr. Carlijn van den Boomen, For all other questions, please contact the Educational Support Office from Psychology,