If you want to make your studies more challenging, and you are looking for that extra intellectual stimulus, you should consider an honours programme!

Descartes College

As a first-year student you can opt for the universitywide honours programme of the Descartes College. Here you will get the opportunity to view your field of study from the perspective of the whole scientific spectrum and debate with the best students and lecturers of other disciplines. 

Geosciences Honours College

In the faculty's Geosciences Honours College, you delve more deeply into the subjects in your own field of study and establish links with other geo-disciplines, while at the same time discovering and developing your own talents and ambitions.

Everyone was really enthusiastic, we had some very lively discussions, and I noticed that everyone was strongly motivated to dig deeper into the study matter.
Marieke Ekenhorst
An honours student is someone who wants to get more out of their studies. I learned more about myself, personally and professionally, and found out more about research during the Bachelor’s programme. That was very useful for my Bachelor’s thesis and my graduate follow-up programme.
Steven Weisscher

If you regard your studies as a way of expanding and deepening your own personal development, then the Geosciences Honours College is ideal for you.

  • The programme activities are small-scale and interactive. You have a great deal of individual contact with your lecturers. This means you are closely involved with the teaching and research. You are required to work together with others, so you will develop excellent collaborative and organisational skills.
  • You can set the honours programme to a high level, according to your own interests and needs. In the programme, you will learn how to use this freedom, show own initiative and gain self-knowledge. In other words, you develop your personal leadership, discover passions and link them to your studies, while setting your own learning objectives and drawing up your own schedule. Your ambition may initially lie in the area of research, or perhaps be more societal in nature. Whatever the case, the programme is a great way to pursue them.
Thanks to the honours programme, I have learned to think critically, to set up projects myself, and to think outside the traditional study paths. The experience is really useful now that I am working on my PhD research.
Myrna de Hoop

The honours programme gives you:

  • greater in-depth knowledge. You will learn more about the subjects of your Bachelor’s programme.
  • more broad-based knowledge. You will look beyond the boudaries of your own degree programme and therefore will be able to establish links with other disciplines.
  • extra development. You will have the chance to focus on and develop your own talents and ambitions.
The best part of the programme was the trip to Istanbul. Among the things we visited were a disaster coordination centre and a university. This helped to get to know not just the country, but also our fellow honours students better.
Florian, Nico en Margit

You take the honours programme throughout the time of your Bachelor’s programme. You will broaden your knowledge and skills, and you will work on your personal development and community formation. Part of this is drawing up and evaluating your own curriculum. You also initiate ways of developing and strengthening the academic community in the Faculty of Geosciences. You may be given an assignment to carry out a project, such as jointly writing a book, or organising a joint excursion, in the Netherlands or abroad.

Regular courses at honours level

You will take at least four courses (30 EC) at honours level in the regular Bachelor's programme. This means that the form these courses take differs (at least in part) from the standard level. Your lecturer determines how they differ (for example, an honours seminar, alternative honours assignment, etc.), or you set it down yourself in consultation with the lecturer in an honours subject contract. These teaching-specific components serve to substitute regular components in the (compulsory / optional) major or optional course profile of your study programme.

Honours profile courses

You will replace two optional course profile courses of your Bachelor’s programme with two special honours profile courses (15 EC in total). You can choose the following options:

Additional activities

For this compulsory part of the programme, you receive 15 EC in addition to those for your Bachelor’s programme. Its content covers the range of geosciences and consists of: 

  • GEO3-5001H GHC Seminar (15 EC)
  • International Honours Conference (0 EC)

Study trip abroad

You gain experience of being abroad by taking part in at least one honours study trip abroad. In certain situations, you can substitute this with an alternative form of experience abroad that has the same objectives.

Honours thesis

The honours thesis is an extensive and modified version of the Bachelor’s thesis. It substitutes the Bachelor’s thesis if this is 15 EC. If the Bachelor's thesis is 7,5 EC, it not only substitutes this, but also 7,5 EC of the relevant major option. 

To apply please fill out this application form, describe your motivation and upload your CV and transcript of records of your previous education (your marks should be at least 7.0, on average). The Geosciences Honours College admission committee makes its selection on the basis of this information and will inform you whether or not you are to be admitted.

Please note: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, it's not possible to enrol in the honours programme at the Faculty of Geosciences in September 2020. The first opportunity to enrol is February 2021. You're welcome to attend (online) end-of-term seminar sessions and Geohouse events in the meantime. Please send an email to honours.geo@uu.nl if you're interested!


If you have any questions, please contact the honours coordinators Heleen Mees and René Verburg (h.l.p.mees@uu.nl and r.w.verburg@uu.nl).