List of courses: Bachelor, 1st year
BA2 Propedeutic, Spring: Tuesday 5.15 pm-7 pm
All first-year students choose one of the Global Issues courses on offer. These are focused around six thematic tracks, all of them major global issues: climate, communication, energy, food, health, mobility.
The course takes place in the spring semester, and carries 2 credits. It has a strong interdisciplinary approach, drawing on one hand on engineering and natural science perspectives, and on the other on social and human sciences perspectives: each thematic track is co-taught by two lecturers, one from a scientific/engineering background, and one from a human and social sciences one.
The students also engage in interdisciplinary group work, as they complete a project on a topic of their choosing and produce a poster in the second half of the semester. The best posters from each group get an award.
The United Nations define global issues as “issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone”. For today’s engineers, finding solutions to the world’s main problems requires an interdisciplinary approach: both technical knowledge and inputs from social and human sciences are required to achieve technical solutions that take into account societal impact. The Global Issues course at EPFL helps future engineers and architects to develop the skills needed to take such an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving.