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Honours Programme Faculty of Medicine

Are you an excellent Medical Sciences student? Take on an extra challenge by joining the Honours Programme!

Are you performing well during the first semester of the first year of Medical Sciences and are you looking for an extra challenge? Do you want to broaden your horizons and are you interested in scientific research? Then you can apply for a place in the Honours Programme (HP). If you have successfully completed all parts of the programme, you will receive a Bachelor Honours Degree.

You follow this extra program during years two and three of your bachelor's degree. The program consists of taking extra courses at other faculties and a deepening in science that will prepare you for conducting scientific research within the faculty of Medical Sciences. In terms of research, VUmc ranks first of all university medical centers in the Netherlands. It is therefore the place to delve into scientific research. About 10 percent of first-year students have a place in the Honours Programme of Medical Sciences.

More about the programme

  • For whom?

    The Honours Programme is meant for ambitious students who would like to take on an extra challenge. There are approximately 35 places for the Honours Programme in Medical Sciences each year.

    Do you want to do more besides your Medical Science courses? Did you achieve good results in the first semester of the first bachelor year and can you maintain that level for both Medical Sciences and the Honours Programme? Are you interested in meeting students from other faculties and taking courses with them? Are you curious and does science fascinate you? Then this program is definitely for you.

    The Honours Programme enriches your medical education.

  • Structure and content of the Honours Programme

    You follow the Honours Programme (HP) in addition to regular education. During HP, you invest more in your studies and broaden your horizons outside of Medical Sciences. During the Honours Programme in bachelor years two and three you collect a total of thirty extra credits (30 EC), see:

    Bachelor year 1 semester 1
    Bachelor year 1 semester 2: Application HP, Possibly start with HP broadening course

    Bachelor year 2 semester 1: Broadening HP course (6 EC), Advanced Medical Sciences HP education (3 EC)
    Bachelor year 2 semester 2: Broadening HP course (6 EC), Advanced Medical Sciences HP education (3 EC)

    Bachelor year 3 semester 1: In-depth Bachelor's thesis including orientation research, protocol and presentations (6 EC)
    Bachelor year 3 semester 2: Broadening HP course (6 EC)

    Choice of two tracks

    • Maatschappelijk/bestuurlijke track: this track offers depth to the development as a doctor with a social responsibility. Medical Sciences is a dynamic profession that is part of society. As a doctor to be, you want to develop into a fully-fledged discussion partner. Read more below
    • Research track: this track is the ideal prelude to an MD / PhD trajectory and / or a career as a medical researcher. As a doctor to be, you are looking for more academic training and experience than offered in the regular Medical Sciences pathway. HP offers the opportunity to do your own research during your bachelor and perhaps even write a scientific article. Read more below
  • Maatschappelijk/bestuurlijke track

    The HP maatschappelijk/bestuurlijk track strives for the development of doctors with a constructive critical attitude and a clear vision of the social debate. It is therefore an excellent prelude to a career as a doctor in a dynamic society.

    The deepening Medical Sciences education consists of a course part: 1) ‘Medical Business ‘, a course in administrative, organizational and financial challenges of healthcare are discussed and they are developed into a final assignment (3EC); 2) journalistic writing & debating; the first part concerns journalistic writing, in which the students receive intensive feedback from teachers and work on a column or opinion piece and the second part concerns debating, in which the students become proficient in argumentation and argument, which is concluded with a debate during the final symposium ( 3EC).

    The second part of the maatschappelijk/bestuurlijk track includes active participation in meeting organization and participation in scientific and social events including (3EC):

    1. Masterclasses, a total of 8 masterclasses per year, which are mandatory to attend. The HP students organize these masterclasses themselves under the guidance of the mentor within the mentor group. The students themselves are responsible for inviting a speaker and preparing for the masterclass (language of instruction English). The students discuss with the speaker what will be learned and discussed, and write a plan in advance and a report of the meeting afterwards. The 8th masterclass will be the end of the year by the students of the maatschappelijk/bestuurlijk track organized. This concluding master class is on a larger scale and the subject is broader (more about social debate). De maatschappelijk/bestuurlijk masterclasses are open to all medical students and the HP students are responsible for all communication and organization regarding these masterclasses. 
    2. Active participation in symposia, conferences or working visits. The student performs manual services such as registration, handing out badges, supervising speakers, and also attends the conference. Attending these conferences is based on availability and registration and the student attends at least 3 half-days of various symposia. Afterwards, the student makes a report, which is published whenever possible (for example via the conference organization website).
    3. Final symposium (language English): The organization is in the hands of the students of the maatschappelijk/bestuurlijk track and they also actively participate in the debate session and / or present their opinion piece. Presence and active participation is mandatory.

    The third part of the social / administrative track comprises personal development (3 EC). The student can complete this part at his own discretion based on approved courses: for example presentation skills, personal effectiveness, time management, sociology, political science or management. A socially relevant internship or summer course can also be chosen for this part. De maatschappelijk/bestuurlijk track is not linked to a minor. This track therefore offers the perfect opportunity to combine HP with a minor abroad.

  • Research track

    The research track focuses on personal development as a researcher by conducting research yourself, rounded off with a report in the form of a scientific article. It is therefore the ideal prelude to an MD / PhD trajectory and / or a career as a medical researcher.

    The first part of the HP research track consists of conducting research. To participate in the HP research track it is a condition that the student chooses the research minor in the third year. The HP student will make extra HP hours for the research minor, by writing the research proposal before the start of the minor, by doing more research before and during the minor, by receiving extra hours of supervision from the HP, with the aim of an English-language , publishable, scientific article at the end of the minor (3 EC). To achieve this goal, the student will also be supported by an intensive course in writing and pitching your research in English, in which the student learns writing and speaking techniques and receives feedback from teachers (3 EC).

    The second part of the research track includes active participation in science (3EC). Students in the research track actively participate in scientific meetings including:

    1. Masterclasses, which take place 8 times a year and are organized by the students themselves and are mandatory to attend. The audience consists of the HP students and other invited guests. The students are also present at all HP masterclasses.
    2. Active participation in symposia or conferences of your choice. The student performs manual services such as registration, handing out badges, supervising speakers, and also attends the conference. Attending conferences is based on availability and registration. The student attends at least 3 half-days of a conference. Afterwards, the student makes a reflection report.
    3. Final symposium (language English): all students of the HP research track present their own research results. Presence and active participation is mandatory.

    The third part of the research track includes personal development (3 EC). Students can complete this part at their own discretion on the basis of approved courses: for example in-depth scientific discipline, presentation skills, personal effectiveness, time management.

  • Completion of the honours programme

    After successful completion of all components of the Honours bachelor programme (30 EC) you will receive a Bachelor Honours Degree.

    The completion of your process will be extensively celebrated during a festive ceremony. You will receive a recognized Honours Programme certificate. This certificate shows the extra courses that you have passed in addition to your studies, with a total extra study load of thirty credits. With this excellent Honours Programme Certificate you can profile and distinguish yourself.

  • Sign up

    Would you like to participate in the Honours Programme?

    • Then write a letter of application briefly describing why you are interested in scientific research and what your motivation is for this programme. Add your CV and make one combined pdf of both files. 
    • In addition, we would like to receive a document (also pdf) with your obtained VWO grades, VWO diploma, your medical results and a passport photo.

    Sign up via the registration form, add the TWO pdf files. Please start the name of the pdf files with your last name.

    Conditions
    In order to participate in a VU Honours Programme, you must have obtained all 60 credits of the first academic year with a mark average of at least 7.5. If you have not achieved this average mark but you still think you qualify for a place in this program, then apply and describe the arguments in your letter.

    Deadline 
    You can apply until 1 May of your first academic year. After mid-May you will hear whether you have been conditionally admitted. Final admission takes place after the results of bachelor year one and the first semester of year two are known.

    Want to know more?

    Read all the information on www.vu.nl to find out more about the courses you can take in HP at other faculties.

    Contact

    Would you like more information about the Honours Programme of Medical Sciences? Please contact the secretariat of the Honours Programme:

Do you want to know more about the Faculty of Medicine honours programme?

Please contact Wiesje van der Flier.

honourscommittee.sciences@vu.nl