Master students looking for an intellectual challenge can participate in a new, extracurricular honours programme called Graduate Honours Interdisciplinary Seminars (GHIS). These seminars can be attended next to any master programme of Utrecht University. Via close discussions with researchers, students will get a closer understanding of what it means to carry out interdisciplinary research, what obstacles researchers face, how to set-up an interdisciplinary research and how to communicate about research with researchers from other disciplines and laymen. You will also learn how to optimize your writing and presenting of an interdisciplinary research proposal.

Themes

GHIS consists of a series of small-scale seminars about the focus areas of UU research. The topics will be diverse, ranging from global health issues and transition towards sustainability, to trends in youth culture, and the philosophy of science.

More information

Are you curious about the admission requirements or would you like to get more information on the Graduate Honours Interdisciplinary Seminars? Visit the Master website for more information.

Student experiences
Victoria McIntyre. Bachelor: History (University of Queensland); Master: Cultural History of Modern Europe

Victoria: “In my Master’s I wanted to look for a little extra. In Australia, where I did my undergraduate degree, we don’t really have anything like an extra-curricular honours programme.
When I found out about GHIS, the interdisciplinary aspect caught my attention. As a History student I have only associated with other Humanities students, so I thought it would be a nice challenge to work together with students of for instance Science or Psychology.
In preparation for the seminars we read articles from disciplines I knew nothing about. I didn’t expect that I would like the topics as much as I did. There was a lot of variation and there were many options to choose from.
There were interesting parts in each one of the lectures that I’ve done. The last seminar I had was by Rosemarie Buikema about Transitional Justice and the Arts and we had to create an artwork. We got to meet together and discuss it and we all compiled our ideas. This was probably the best thing: to get together with classmates in each different seminar and prepare assignments together, and at the end to present it as a group.
Moreover, what I’ve learned about speaking in public is really useful. You will notice you have to know a subject inside out to be able to speak about it in front of an audience that is not familiar with your field of research. This is something I wouldn’t have learned in my own courses.”

 

Ruward Mulder. Bachelor: Natural Sciences and Astronomy; Master: Theoretical Physics & History and Philosophy of Science

Ruward: “When I heard about the possibility of following honours education in the Master’s, I really wanted to join. Because GHIS is selective, everyone is motivated and well prepared which enables in-depth discussions that often lack in regular work groups. This is exactly what I was looking for.
The seminars challenge you to form an opinion on various societal issues. Some of these turned out to be more complex than I knew before, like the difficulty for consumers to make smart food decisions. Discussing this from an interdisciplinary perspective, you will find that there is no simple solution: you need your fellow students.
A lot of things are called interdisciplinary nowadays, but these seminars truly are. The students have very different backgrounds. This is why we all listen carefully to each other, because your fellow students have insights that you have never had time to obtain. You can learn a lot from each other. 
Much attention is paid to the way in which you present your knowledge or opinion. You learn to say exactly what you mean and how important it is to speak in a way that is convincing. This is one of the most important skills that I learned in GHIS: to make myself clear.”