This not only enables you to make your studies even more interesting with extra courses together with exceptional students, but increases your chances of finding good internships and being accepted into the best Master’s programmes.
The following requirements apply to passing the Honours Bachelor’s programme in Psychology:
- Obtain your Bachelor’s degree in three years
- Earn at least 30 EC on top of the regular 180 EC (exemptions are not included)
- Take as part of the extra 30 EC:
- two interdisciplinary courses (at least 12 EC)
- the mandatory components of Breaking Borders
- Get a GPA higher than 7.5
- Complete your Bachelor’s project graded with at least 7.5
The department of Psychology offers Honours students a curriculum of 3-6 EC in the second and third year, called Breaking Borders (see below for more information).
Beside the Breaking Borders course(s), you can put together your own programme of extra courses that you would like to take (24-27 EC). Courses at your own choice are at least at second-year level and from your own or a related academic Bachelor's programme. Third-year current topics from the Psychology bachelor are open to second- and third-year Honours students. Extra courses from another discipline must be relevant to psychology in terms of content. An exception to this requirement is related to the interdisciplinary courses (see below) that you take. It is important that the extra courses do not overlap in content with courses from the regular Psychology Bachelor’s programme and/or with each other.
You can also earn credits for your Honours Bachelor’s programme in other ways. In the past, Honours students have done extra (research) internships (with a maximum of 6 EC) for example. Check the course catalogue for more information. University summer schools (abroad) can also be counted if these are of a sufficiently high level. Always contact the coordinator if you would like do one of these alternatives.
You are responsible for a programme that is logistically feasible. The study advisor and coordinator of the Honours programme can help you with that.
Breaking Borders focuses on the development of academic, creative and personal skills in an interdisciplinary context.
This enables students to become versatile and intellectually flexible psychologists, who are able to work critically and proactively on complex (individual or societal) problems in an interdisciplinary academic and/or social context.
In the first semester of your second year you can start with the non-mandatory course Breaking Borders 1 (3 EC). In the first semester of your third year you will follow the mandatory course Breaking Borders 2 (3 EC).
Breaking Borders 1 is dedicated to stress and resilience. Inspired by historical and modern articles about dynamic complex systems (on neuronal, psychological and social level) and discussions with guest lecturers students have to write an essay and develop an intervention to increase resilience and/or reduce stress.
In Breaking Borders 2 students will do a ‘pressure cooker’, a transdisciplinary learning activity aimed at connecting science and society. During the pressure cooker students work in small groups towards new (interdisciplinary) solutions for a societal problem from an external client (e.g. universities, TNO, ministries, cities, foundations).
Check the course catalogue for more information about these courses.
You must take interdisciplinary courses amounting to at least 12 EC. These courses are free from the requirement that it must be relevant to psychology in terms of content. You can take only one interdisciplinary course per semester beginning in the second semester of your second year. If you are going to study abroad in the second semester of your third year, you can take more than one interdisciplinary course per semester. In that case, contact the Honours coordinator.
For more information on interdisciplinary Honours courses, please see the website of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS). It is also possible to take other interdisciplinary (non-Honours) courses at the IIS.
Please note: the registration periods for interdisciplinary courses differ from the regular registration periods. Keep an eye on the IIS website for the precise registration deadlines.
The Psychology department encourages students to study at a university abroad.
If you want to study abroad, it is best to do so in the second semester of your third year.
If you have plans to go abroad, contact the coordinator of the Honours programme.
Enrolment and admission
You are eligible for admission to the Honours programme Psychology if you have completed the propaedeutic year (60 EC) within one year and with a GPA of at least 7.5. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of possible places in our Honours Programme, we will draw lots. Students with a GPA of at least 8.5 are always placed.
Students who have passed all the courses examined up to mid-May with a GPA of at least 7.5 will receive an email with more information about the selection procedure of the Honours programme.
The deadline for your application for the academic year 2022-2023 is 13 June, 9 AM, 2022. Late applications are not taken into consideration. You can submit your application here.
Requesting your honours certificate
After you have completed your Bachelor, you have to do two things to request your Honours certificate:
- Tick the box on the online form for applying for the Bachelor’s degree in Psychology indicating that you wish to apply for an Honours Bachelor’s degree. This informs the educational desk about your Honours certificate request.
- Fill in this short questionnaire to give the Examinations Board the necessary information to assess your application. You can also upload your justification here.
The Examinations Board will assess whether your study track satisfies the requirements for the Honours Bachelor’s degree. If it does, you will be awarded an Honours certificate along with your Bachelor’s degree certificate.
Before the Bachelor’s degree certificate is awarded, the Examinations Board will notify you by email of whether you have satisfied the requirements for an Honours Bachelor’s degree.
There can be several reasons for a justification to the Examinations Board (please see above: ‘Requesting an Honours certificate’). You should write a justification if:
- your Bachelor took you longer than three years. If you have not been able to complete the Honours bachelor within the nominal duration of the study programme (3 years), you must show the examination board why that was not possible for you and that you have done everything in your power to limit the delay as much as possible. If after three years of study you have fulfilled all the requirements of the Honours bachelor, but used (part of) the fourth year to follow extra education (minors, internships, courses), you will have to let the examination board know that you have fulfilled the requirements of the Honours bachelor, even though your bachelor's programme lasted longer than the nominal study duration.
- you have not satisfied any other requirement of the Honours programme for other reasons, but are of the opinion that you are still entitled to an Honours Bachelor’s degree
1. What courses, apart from the interdisciplinary courses and the Breaking Borders course(s), can I choose from?
You can choose from many courses inside and outside psychology. These courses at your own choice must be at least at second-year level. Third-year current topics from the Psychology bachelor are also open to second-year Honours students. Extra courses from another discipline must be relevant to psychology in terms of content. Language courses are not considered relevant. It is important that the extra courses do not overlap in content with courses from the regular Psychology Bachelor’s programme and/or with each other. You can also earn credits for your Honours Bachelor’s programme in other ways. In the past, Honours students have done extra (research) internships for example (check the course catalogue for more information). University summer schools (abroad) can also be counted if these are of a sufficiently high level. Always contact the coordinator if you would like do one of these alternatives.
2. Can I still do an exchange of one semester if I am an Honours student?
Yes. As most students go abroad in the second semester of the third year, it means that they have to complete their 30 ec for the Honours programme before they go abroad. Always contact the coordinator if you are planning to study abroad for a semester.
3. Can I obtain ECs for the Honours requirement during an exchange?
In principle yes, but we advice to do a maximum of 30 ec during a semester abroad, so that you can have time to accommodate, socialize and enjoy. See question 2.
4. Can I do a resit for the normal programme courses? Can I do a resit for the Honours courses?
Resits for courses from the regular and/or Honours programme are no problem for the Honours programme. If you want to combine your Honours programme with an annotation ('with merit' or 'cum laude'), there are requirements for resits for the regular programme, not for the Honours programme.
5. Will the Honours distinction appear on my bachelor diploma?
No, you will receive a separate Honours certificate.
6. How do I register for interdisciplinary Honours courses at UvA, VU or AUC?
The Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies organizes the registration for the interdisciplinary courses at the UvA, VU and AUC separately from the ‘normal’ registration procedure. You receive more information every semester via the coordinator.
7. Is the Honours Programme manageable in terms of the extra working hours I need to put in each week?
It depends on how easy you study and if the logistics of the extra course(s) are well aligned in terms of workload with the regular programme. It is the personal responsibility of the student to organize the study programme in such a way that is it manageable (no lectures or exams at the same time or three courses in one period, for example). You can always ask the coordinator to help you organizing the next semester.
8. What benefits does the Honours programme give for my career?
In the Netherlands Honours programmes are diverse in terms of content and learning goals (from personal leadership to specialization and broadening of view) and you choose a significant part of the courses yourself. If you pursue an academic career the benefits are more obvious and they are really helpful. Employers outside academy do not always exactly know what the specific knowledge and skills are learned in an Honours programme. But they acknowledge the general skills of Honours students: discipline, motivation, etc. It could be helpful to show what you’ve done in your Honours programme to highlight your learned knowledge and skills.
9. Do I need to apply for obtaining the Honours distinction? How does this work?
You can indicate on the online form for applying for the Bachelor’s degree in Psychology that you wish to apply for an Honours Bachelor’s degree. This informs the educational desk about your Honours certificate request. If you need to give the Examinations Board extra information to assess your application, please check ‘Requesting your Honours certificate’.
10. Which Honors students may take longer to complete their bachelor's degree because of corona?
Due to the Corona crisis the requirements have been changed for some batches of Honours students. Students who started the Honours programme in the academic year 2020-2021 must complete 150 ec in their 2nd and 3rd year in a period of two years. If in the second semester of their first year (2019-2020) they have some delay due to corona, they get an extra semester to clear this delay.
For questions about the Honours programme in Psychology, please contact the coordinator, Max van der Linden (M.A.vanderLinden@uva.nl).