Honours Programme ESSB

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Honours Programme Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

ESSB Honours Programme (ESSB-HP) is an extracurricular educational programme of 15 credits. The programme is intended for excellent students in Sociology, Public Administration, Psychology, International Bachelor in Psychology, Management of International Social Challenges, and Pedagogical Sciences. Students who finish their first year with a grade point average of 7.5 or higher are invited to apply. Each year about 75 students are eligible to apply, and about 20 to 25 students are selected for the programme.

The selected students meet each other in monthly sessions during the second year of their bachelors. Most sessions are interactive lectures conducted by prominent scientists of ESSB and other faculties/universities. The subjects covered are not generally contained in the regular bachelor curricula. The honours students acquire a broad perspective on the field of the social sciences, and are able to place their own discipline in it. In addition, students will gain experience with conducting research under supervision of a ESSB staff member, and will collaborate with ambitious students from other ESSB bachelor programmes, for example by jointly organizing the last lecture of the programme themselves. Participation in ESSB-HP therefore contributes to your academic training in multiple ways, and is a great addition to your regular bachelor’s programme.

Young Erasmus Research Grant – ESSB Honours Programme

The ESSB honour’s programme has started a research grant for its honour students. This small research grant (€500) will support one ESSB honour student each year. The aim of this grant is to support the student in presenting their work in an academic setting. Since all of the ESSB honour students perform a research internship as part of the programme, often ESSB honour students have the chance co-present their work with their academic supervisor at a conference. This grant can be  used to cover travel and conference costs.

In 2019,  Lola Lautenschlaeger (Ba-Int-Psy) presented with  prof.dr. Geske Dijkstra (DPAS) their research on “Gender equality and economic growth: results from a new Comprehensive Index of Gender Equality” at The International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) conference “Solidarities and Challenges at the Intersection of Inequalities” in Glasgow Scotland.


To complete and receive your certificate as well as the 15 ECTS, students need to attend all monthly meetings, complete the required amount of research hours, get a positive assessment from your research supervisor, actively participate in group assignments, as well as, complete the required amount of community service hours. Generally, the ECTS will be awarded at the end of the academic year. A certificate ceremony is usually arranged in the third year of your Bachelor's due to many students being away at their exchange university.

The programme consists of 15 credits (ECs), which will come on top of your regular education. After successful completion of the Honours Programme, you will receive an official certificate. Please note that the extra ECs will not be shown on your grade list.

One credit represents 28 hours of study, so in theory you will spend 420 hours on the programme. In practice, we notice that participating students are often well able to actively participate in the honours programme and successfully complete it, while still obtaining good results in their regular education. We understand that the regular education has highest priority, and we have taken this into consideration by making students themselves largely responsible for the planning of the large assignments (the research internship, final essay, and organisation of the final session). Still, ESSB-HP requires a serious extra effort which you should only engage in if you are intrinsically motivated and if your regular study programme does not already demand all your time.

That is not only possible, it is also highly encouraged. We have planned the whole programme in the second year of the bachelors, so that it is finished at the start of the third year, which is the period most frequently used for exchange. 

No, you do not have to pay for participation. The programme including guest speakers, possible excursions, and joint meals are funded by the faculty.

Firstly, we look at the grade point average, which has to be at least a 7.5, but the students with the highest averages are most likely to be selected. Next to that we ask you to write a motivation letter in which you can explain why you want to participate, and why you think you can contribute to the programme. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the programme we will look into your past experience with and/or shown interest in other disciplines. Committee or voluntary work as part of our study association Cedo Nulli or, for example, NMUN participation might be beneficial, but is not a requisite. Lastly, we try to achieve a good mix of disciplines in the programme, which is quite hard considering the variations in size of our bachelor programmes.

The main difference is that ESSB Honours Programme is only available for students of the previously mentioned ESSB bachelors, while eligible students from all EUR bachelors can apply for the Erasmus Honours Programme. The latter is also a multidisciplinary programme and takes place from January to the summer. It has weekly meetings. The Erasmus Honours Programme does not include a research internship. Due to the limited amount of places in the honours programmes, some students choose to apply for both programmes. Some are also selected for both programmes and there have been students who have successfully completed them simultaneously.

The whole programme is in English, and it is open for both Dutch and international students.

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