Postgraduate Course in Community Service Engineering
Have you always been an engineer with affinity for the social sector? Are you convinced that technology has an important leverage for more independence and a better quality of life for vulnerable groups in society?
Do you think you can make a significant contribution to social profit organisations as an engineer?
Do you also believe that this sector can keep pace with the rapid technological and societal changes that our society is subject to thanks to innovations but also thanks to existing solutions and services on the market?
This postgraduate course bridges the worlds of technology, of the social profit and the profit sector. Above all as an engineer you solve problems for ... people. This programme helps you to extensively get into the social aspects of engineering problems. Once you really understand people and their challenges, you can change lives.
This course focuses on technology for social inclusion, empowerment, accessibility of public space, websites and media. It goes into the efficiency of social profit organisations and into the quality of their services.
Why take this course?
Engineers with the additional profile of ‘Community Service Engineering’ can play a role in:
- the social profit sector itself;
- companies in assistive technology;
- companies that seek market and/or product potential in the social profit sector.
Based on their projects’ end results, graduate engineers can start their own business in an international niche market or perform consultancy assignments for the social profit sector. Socially aware engineers are particularly widely employable in the labour market, because they have been trained at the crossroads between different disciplines and have interacted with a range of audiences and organisations. Thanks to these contacts with partners in the field, our graduates build an extensive network within the field of Community Service Engineering.
Organisation, location and timing
The course is an interdisciplinary programme. The bridge is made between engineering and social work. The organising partners are the faculties of Engineering Technology and Engineering Science at KU Leuven in collaboration with Thomas More’s group of Health, Wellbeing and Teacher Training. Face-to-face activities are alternately organised on the campuses of the Faculties of Engineering Technology and Engineering Science in Geel and Leuven.
The course starts in October 2014 and ends in May 2015. Classes are on Fridays and Saturdays. The curriculum is largely organised through the virtual learning environment.
The following criteria apply for this course:
- The course is open to:
- Masters of Engineering Technology,
- Masters of Engineering Science,
- Masters of Engineering Science: Architects,
- BioScience Engineers,
- Business Engineers.
- Candidates have to demonstrate a good command of English, CEFR B2 is advised.
Easy to combine work and study
Face-to-face contact time is kept to a minimum so the combination with a job is feasible. Classroom activities are organised on Fridays and Saturdays: a nice compromise for the investment of your personal time and that of your possible employer. About one third of the time you meet each other face-to-face. For the other two thirds learning is made possible thanks to an interactive online learning environment. On this platform you can find a lot of learning materials. Our classroom activities are largely recorded (video) so you can consult the presentations again or catch up. Group interaction and individual assignments (including feedback) are mainly organised virtually. You can make your own arrangements and work on a self-selected time, place and pace.
The ‘real life’ project that you choose will depend on your technical background and preference of a subsector in the social profit sector. You can select a project idea from the KU Leuven pool, but you can also start from a project idea of the organisation that you work for. In this way this postgraduate course offers an opportunity to examine the potential of products or services in the social profit sector or to get one-step further in their development or implementation. You get the chance to work on a project for your employer. Without this course time for such projects may not have been found.
The postgraduate course is fully taught in English. The interaction between actors in the curriculum will be in English. The programme is open to an international audience of graduate engineers. The pool of project ideas from the university has a number of project proposals from foreign organisations. This means you can work for an international employer if you wish.
Both KU Leuven and Thomas More are partners in a European consortium for Community Service Engineering. There is a close cooperation with the University of Porto (Portugal), The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and University West in Sweden. These partners work on projects in the same context. In the curriculum there is room to compare topics across country borders. As a student, you are invited to get to know each other, work together and learn from one another. The course has been developed in cooperation with the Olin College of Engineering (USA). International guest lecturers from the US and elsewhere will take part in the virtual environment.
Last updated July 2, 2015