VU Honours programme

Are you curious?
Are you interested in broadening and deepening your regular studies?
Would you like to make new contacts with like-minded people?

Then the Honours Programme is for you!

What is the Honours Programme?

The Honours Programme is designed for students who have passed all of their first-year Bachelor's subjects by the end of that year, who have achieved an average mark of at least 7.5 and who have the motivation to take extra subjects in the second and third year of their programme. 

You will be able to earn an extra 30 credits in addition to the 180 credits of the standard Bachelor’s programme with extra faculty courses (12 credits) and interdisciplinary courses (18 credits) without extra tuition fees.

The 12 credits at the Faculty of Law can be earned in the following courses: 

New departmental courses (2021-2022): 

  • Science-based methods for interviewing suspects (semester 1 (period 2); 6 EC) 
  • Law and Governance in Today’s China (semester 2 (period 4); 6 EC) 
  • Emerging Risks and Regulation (semester 2 (period 4-5); 6 EC) 

In addition, you can earn 3 credits by participating in the Amsterdam Law Trials (moot court competition against UvA, AUC and PPLE teams) or by writing a lengthier Bachelor’s thesis.

Would you like more details about the courses you could follow? Take a look at the Honoursprogramme descriptions in the study guide.

The interdisciplinary courses are taught by top lecturers from the VU, UvA, Amsterdam University College and by (international) guest lecturers. The groups are small and you will be expected to give presentations, write papers and make an active contribution to discussions.

Some examples of these courses are: Brain and Behavior, Retorica, New Anatomy, Climate Change, The Future Entrepreneur, International Development and Human Rights and Globalisation, Biosocial Aspects of Antisocial behavior, Robot Law.

More information about the interdisciplinary honours courses can be found on the general web pages of the  VU Honours Programme

The reasons for participating can vary: academic curiosity, intellectual challenge, broadening and deepening of your regular studies, contacts with like-minded students (also from other faculties), the creative and interdisciplinary learning environment or the honours rating on your Bachelor degree.

Since most of the courses are in English, this will benefit your English speaking, listening and writing skills.

The Honours programme is about more than just taking extra courses. Every year we are allowed to select students for participation in the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School where you visit China for seven weeks. You will be informed about prestigious scholarships such as studying for a Master’s degree abroad. You can also become a member of Extensus, the study association of Honours students. They organize a study trip abroad, Master classes and social activities.

When you have completed everything, you will be invited to the festive Graduation Event. These are some of the extras that participation in the programmeentails.

How did students experience the VU Honours programme?

Adam CatbasAdam Çatbas
Finalist in the Amsterdam Law Trials 2017

The VU Honours Programme gives you an opportunity to operate on the highest academic level, the Champions League of the university! You will be triggered to excel in your own field of study, while working with a group of highly ambitious students from various disciplines on challenging projects. In addition, the Honours Programme provides an excellent training for students who pursue a wide variety of careers.

In my view, it is the best way to orient yourself on your career. The Honours Programme enabled me to participate in the Amsterdam Law Trials, where I took the role of judge and lawyer. I was coached by the best lawyers and judges in Amsterdam. The Honours Programme gave me better insight in the variety of careers I can pursue, shaped me as a person, and made it possible to excel in my own field of study. The Honours Programme was definitely an enrichment for me. I encourage others to join the programme, shoot for the stars and be part of the winning team in the university's own Champions League!

Anna KostioukAnna Kostiouk
President, honours programme association Extensus; graduated cum laude

Signing up for the Honours Programme was an excellent way to participate in courses beyond my own faculty and broaden my knowledge in other disciplines. By following the course ‘Brain and Behavior’, I discovered my interest in psychology, for example. I was also very enthusiastic about the course ‘Illness, Image, Metaphor: Cancer in public discourse’, because the teaching method applied in the course was the opposite of what I was used to in my own faculty: we studied literature and analyzed movies and documentaries to discover what kinds of metaphors people use to describe diseases; it was a unique educational experience.

Thanks to the Honours Programme, I met tons of interesting people. I became an active member of the Honours Association Extensus, as I really wanted to be part of the Honours community of Amsterdam. Besides the fact that participating in the Honours Programme contributed to my personal development and social environment, it is also a good addition to my resume. Although this was not the main reason for me to sign up for the Programme, the Honours degree will always show (future) employers that you are highly motivated and talented, and enables you to distinguish yourself.

Sign Up

Register directly on the central web pages of the VU Honours Programme where you can also find more general information about the content and admission requirements of the programme.


Walk-in hours
Have you missed the information meetings or have any questions? Please feel free to use our the walk-in office hours!

Jan Hallebeek
Hylkje de Jong (
Honours coordinator Faculty of Law

Caroline Holleman
Caroline Holleman (
VU Honours coordinator