What is the Honours Programme?

Are you a highly talented and motivated Humanities student? Do you have a grade point average of 7.5 for the first year, and did you complete all your first year courses within the first year? Then you are eligible for the Honours Programme of the Vrije Universiteit. This programme is designed to offer excelling students extra challenges on top of their regular curriculum. After succesfully completing the programme, you obtain an honours degree.

The Honours programme will be at least partially in English and consists of 30EC. You will obtain these 30EC within the second and third years of your bachelor, on top of your regular courses.

Outline of the programme

Honours students of the Humanities faculty will be trained to become critical and versatile researchers with a broad background. The programme offers the possibility to deepend and broaden your knowledge and skills on a variety of topics. In short, this programme will allow you to make the most of your student years.

At least 12 and at most 18 of the total of 30EC will be obtained within the faculty. The remainder will be obtained outside the faculty, with interdepartmental courses. For prerequisites and further details see the VU Honours Programme.

The Humanities Faculty has a unique Honours Programme, which consists of a 12EC research project and eventually an additional 6EC research module:

  • Humanities research project (12EC)

The honours students of the Humanities Faculty are each paired with a researcher and contribute to ongoing research projects. The research may be directly related to your major, or instead something you have not worked on before. At the end of their individual projects, the students organize a symposium together, presenting their results.

Participating in this project gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of ongoing humanities research and the unique opportunity of developing all kinds of skills concerning your own or an adjacent discipline, while really contributing to the advancement of our knowledge.
For questions regarding the project, please contact the project coordinator, B. (Babs) Boter, b.boter@vu.nl, or the faculty’s honours coordinator.

For this year’s honours symposium, see the faculty events.

  • Extra Humanities research module (6EC)
    If you choose to obtain 18EC within the faculty, there is the possibility to develop an extra research module, on the basis of the following options:
    • an additional, smaller research project;
    • preparing a literature review;
    • attending a conference and writing a report;
    • working in an archive and writing a report;
    • contributing to the organisation of a conference or graduate seminar and writing a report;
    • other, to be developed by the student, and fine tuned with a researcher and the coordinator.

These modules allow you to practise the different aspects of preparing a publication and/or organising a research meeting, preferably, but not necessarily, in connection with ongoing research projects of the faculty. Choice for one of these modules always after consultation with the faculty coordinator and a researcher.

Student experience

“For our departmental honours courses we could choose from a variety of research projects, ranging from ‘Slow Art’ to the ‘Experience of Value’. I wanted to broaden my horizon by working in a completely different field of inquiry, so I chose a project regarding psycholinguistics.
During this project I learned among other things how to develop a stimulus set, how to set up a scientific research and how to analyse the data we gathered. I experienced it as a very valuable addition to my academic skills to learn more about doing research and to enhance my critical and analytical thinking.
By carrying out your own research project, you encounter problems you have not faced before and under the guidance of your tutor you are really challenged to be innovative and creative.”

Cas van der Lee, History


You will work with and be tutored by excellent teachers and scholars from within and outside the Vrije Universiteit.


If you wish to be admitted to the Honours Programme and start in September, fill out the application form before May 1 – please note that you will also have to upload a letter of motivation and a current overview of your grades.

More information

The Vrije Universiteit Honours coordinator can tell you more about the honours programme in general. For questions relating to the Humanities side of the programme, contact the faculty coordinator, dr. Philip Verhagen (j.w.h.p.verhagen@vu.nl).