The Honours Programme General Psychology takes two years. In the first honours year (B2 year of your study programme), you and a fellow student will conduct current scientific research within a research line of the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI) or the Donders Institute (DI). During the second honours year (B3 year of your study programme) you will choose your own favourite research topic and academic from BSI or DI who will supervise your research one on one.
Year 1: Research Internship with Fellow Students
Your honours internship is the core of your first honours year. Researchers from the BSI and DI provide research internships from their current research lines. Together with one or two fellow students you will complete an internship in one of those research projects on the basis of your own preferences. During the internship you will go through all research phases: processing literature, collecting and analysing data, and reporting results in an article and a presentation. Are you curious about the topics you can choose from? Please have a look at these examples (pdf, 327 kB).
Honours Course: Current Themes in Psychology
During this honours course, experts will introduce current debates and developments from the different areas of academic psychology. Under their guidance you will participate in discussions with your fellow students. You will actively contribute to each topic such as by giving an oral presentation or by writing an essay or research proposal.
The topics for the debate are from all areas of psychology. In previous years they varied from the possible applications of “fight-flight-freeze” response schemes from animal psychology in the treatment of human psychopathology to the demand for effective behavioural change techniques from social psychology for steering human behaviour into a more socially desirable direction such as more sustainable living.
During the two semesters of the first honours year you will choose one of the skills modules specially designed for honours students. In this module, you will focus on specific skills you wish to develop even further, such as presenting, debating, or essay writing. You will participate in these modules with honours students from different faculties. This means that it is not only a chance for personal development, but also a good opportunity to expand your network.
Excursions and Attending a Conference
During your first honours year you will visit different interesting work environments for psychologists. These could be the neuro-imaging facilities at the Donders Institute or the Pompekliniek for psychiatric patients in Nijmegen. Additionally, attending one or more academic conferences in the Netherlands is encouraged. You will be reimbursed for your registration costs.
Year 2: Your Own Research
The most important part of your second honours year is your own research. You choose the topic you want to delve into. This could be along the same lines as your topic from the first honours year, or you can choose something completely different. You will contact a supervisor that is well-suited to your topic. Together you will develop a research question. You will conduct the research independently, with personal guidance from your supervisor. You will report on this research in an English-language honours thesis. This honours thesis will replace the Bachelor’s thesis in the regular programme.
Was your research very successful, and was your report well written? Who knows, maybe your honours thesis may lead to publication in a serious academic journal. No guarantees, but you wouldn’t be the first honours student to achieve it, so go for it!
In addition to your honours thesis, you will write a review article, which will also be in English. It is completely up to you what topic you choose for this. You may want to use the review as a broader theoretical framework for your honours thesis. In that case, it is logical to work with the same supervisor for the review. However, you may decide to choose a completely different topic. In that case, you can also choose a different supervisor if it makes more sense. You are also free to choose the type of review. In consultation with your supervisor, you can choose a classic (“narrative”) literature review, a “systematic review”, or complete a meta-analysis.
Your review article and your honours thesis will be written in the form of an article that should be, in principle, suitable for submission to an English-language academic journal. To be completely prepared for this task, you will take the course “Academic Writing” by Radboud in’to Languages.
Internship or Conference Abroad
Would you like to gain a little work experience at a university abroad? Do you want to shadow researchers who are conducting research related to your own honours research? No problem! You will receive a scholarship that you can use for a laboratory visit to a different university. You can also use this scholarship to attend international conferences.
When you have successfully completed your honours thesis and the review article, and thus the Honours Programme Psychology, you will receive an honours certificate. This will be presented during a combined ceremony, with family and friends present, in which you and your fellow students will present your research results. It’s a great way to conclude your honours experience. And with a certificate that will open doors for you.