BSc student: Trigger your talent

Enrolling in a BSc degree programme at Wageningen University & Research means that you have chosen a programme with societally relevant topics in a dynamic, international context and within an academic community known for its diversity. At Wageningen University & Research, no two students complete their studies with the same set of courses. All students have room to configure their own BSc study programme, and to broaden it or make it more in-depth.

The degree programmes at Wageningen University & Research challenge students to think critically about relevant research themes and their ultimate impact on society. How far you decide to go and how much you accomplish depends primarily on your motivation to find opportunities and take advantage of them. This is something you can discuss with your lecturers and counsellors, senior students and alumni, as well as with your study advisor.

For teachers, nothing is more inspiring than curious students who show initiative! There are many possibilities to broaden or deepen your BSc programme.

From idea to concrete plan

You can broaden or deepen your BSc study programme in various ways. But the process always starts with your idea to add something extra to your studies at Wageningen University & Research and your reason for doing so. This is the time to reflect on what you really want. If this involves a modification of the regular programme, you can contact your study advisor.

Once you become familiar with a chair group in the context of a BSc thesis or other component, you may be inspired by a lecturer, thesis supervisor or examiner, who can provide ideas and tips and with whom you can discuss the possibilities.

Expanding your BSc examination subjects

If you want to expand your set of BSc examination subjects with additional courses or components with more credits, approval by the Examining Board is required, so you should discuss this with your study advisor. Additional credits earned above the mandatory 180 ECTS will be shown on the supplement to your BSc diploma.

  • Publication resulting from a course or thesis
  • Advanced electives in the 3rd year of your BSc programme (such as MSc courses)
  • Second major (if possible within your study programme)
  • More complex thesis subject
  • Additional minor
  • Additional courses (within the three years)

Capita Selecta

The chair groups of Wageningen University & Research offer various Capita Selecta (courses with a “5” code and a scope of 1-6 ECTS, see the Study Handbook). Capita courses are intended to facilitate experimentation with new educational content and/or new types of education. These courses provide excellent possibilities for students, in consultation with the Examiner of the Capita course, to study a topic that appeals to them and for chair groups to offer courses on highly specialised topics.

Taking extra subjects via Distance Learning / MOOCs

Much education is being developed for distance learning worldwide, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These are courses offered online by universities all over the world that you can take at your convenience. The MOOCs from Wageningen University & Research are provided for free on the edX platform. After successful completion of the course, you can request a certificate (a certificate fee is required).

Some of the Wageningen MOOCs are listed in the WUR Study Handbook. Also these MOOCs you take when it fits you best. But in the re-sit periods you can officially do an interim examination on campus. Provided the examination committee agrees, you can take a MOOC (and the credits) as part of the free choice part of your study programme.

International exchange programme

You can complete part of your Bachelor's degree programme at a university abroad. What's more, in consultation with the exchange coordinators or an examiner, you can look for courses or other components abroad that are substantively more difficult. Read more on the page Study Abroad and Exchange Students.

Flexible BSc programme

If you think that your Bachelor's degree programme is not entirely suitable for you, or if you have additional or broader interests, then you can also decide to compile your own ‘flexible programme’. To do so, first contact your study advisor and then the secretary of your degree programme’s Examining Board.

Participating in educational activities outside your regular BSc examination subjects

Broadening or deepening your programme outside your regular BSc examination subjects is possible in many ways. In Wageningen, for example, the Studium Generale and the Science Café provide substantive activities that are open to the public. Chair groups, lecturers and examiners are familiar with other initiatives.

  • Organising/attending a Studium Generale (SG) event on a substantive topic ('Open Mind Lab'). A certificate is sometimes awarded for participation in these activities.
  • Organising/attending a Science Café event on a substantive topic.
  • Participation in national or international scientific networks and competitions such as ELLS and GEM.
  • Taking part in the activities of the Wageningen Student Incubator: Starthub.
  • Student assistantship/working at a test facility, serious part-time job for example as a student consultant via the academic employment agency UniPartners Wageningen.
  • Participation in activities for students of the Wageningen alumni association Young KLV.
  • Improving your skills like for example debating, or your language proficiency via Wageningen in’to Languages.

Studium Generale

Studium Generale is embedded in each university throughout The Netherlands. It offers extra- curricular education contributing students’ academic development. Studium Generale Wageningen holds its activities in IMPULSE (Stippeneng 2 WUR campus building # 115) unless otherwise indicated. They are free and open to the public. Learn more about the background of Studium Generale.

I - Activities "Discover more about yourself and the world around you"

Broaden your horizons by attending Studium Generale’s public lectures, workshops, debates and events which present you with new perspectives on multitudes of topics throughout the academic year. At Studium Generale you will discover more about yourself, the world around you and the range and limitations of that knowledge. Join Studium Generale to challenge yourself beyond the limits of your discipline.

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II - Open Mind Lab "Follow your curiosity, develop a Studium Generale activity"

A unique opportunity within Studium Generale is the Open Mind Lab. Under the guidance of Studium Generale, you join a small group of students who together choose a topic and create a Studium Generale activity. From working and reflecting, to inviting speakers and moderating the activity, you shape the event.

III - Certificate "Practice academic reflection"

Attend thirty enriching activities within two calendar years and write short reports which reflect on science, society or yourself. You receive personal feedback from Studium Generale program designers on each one. Get in contact with Studium Generale for more details regarding this unique program where you earn a certificate demonstrating your curiosity, engagement and desire to explore the world beyond your niche expertise.

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Go the the Studium Generale website

Two Bachelor's degree programmes simultaneously

As an alternative to adding more breadth or depth to your current BSc programme, you can also take a second (or third) BSc programme, leading to two (or more) BSc diplomas. The regulations concerning possible exemptions are listed in the Education and Examination Regulations of Wageningen University & Research.

BSc Honours Programme, Hounours Programme Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS)

If you study quite easily and you are willing to spend extra time on your Wageningen BSc education during evenings, self-study weeks and summer holidays, the Wageningen BSc Honours Programme (information in Dutch) might be an interesting option for you. The number of places is limited and you have get selected for it.

Or do you, as one of the 100 most outstanding students across all disciplines and universities, want to experience the Netherlands - Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) in Asia? The NAHSS organises a national honours programme to allow students to experience the academic, cultural and business-related aspects of Asia for themselves during a summer school. If you are selected, you will have the chance to experience the dynamics of Asia and make the continent a focal point in the remainder of your academic/professional career. For more information, go to the website of NAHSS.

Anticipating a broader or deeper MSc programme

Student experiences

Lars van Galen: “My Capita Selecta course was about cloud physics. If you have a good idea, you can contact the designated lecturer and ask about possibilities for in-depth study; in my case this involved supervised literature study. The difference with standard courses is that you organise things yourself. You set your own schedule, so it is important to work in a disciplined way. I took the course with two other students, and we learned a lot from each other.

The Capita course was a good opportunity to fill a gap in my schedule with a topic that interested me. You can also take a research capita course, in which you conduct a mini-study into a topic you have chosen yourself, in consultation with your lecturer.”

Jacob Kaptein: “Once a week I attended a lecture by Matthijs Schouten. He taught the Capita Selecta course 'Perceptions of nature'. He is such a passionate teacher and it was such an interesting course that I looked forward to the lecture all week. These capita selecta courses gave me the opportunity to focus more deeply on a specific topic or to look beyond the borders of my own discipline and expand my knowledge.”

Martijn ten Have, Junior Consultant and MSc student Food Quality Management: “Engaging in a consultancy project at UniPartners provides great opportunies for development of your professional skills and expanding your network. At this moment I have had the pleasure to act as Junior Consultant on behalf of UniPartners in two different projects. Both projects were oriented in the field of food quality management. Therefore, they allowed me to apply the knowledge I have acquired during my studies directly within a company. Being a consultant at UniPartners requires you to be proactive, flexible and communicative. During my past two projects a partly independent and hands on approach was used. Proper guidance was conducted by Unipartners’ project managers but as a consultant I was given lots of space in terms of methodology and direct communication with the client. My experiences with Unipartners have really broadened my vision of future work fields and career possibilities.”

Joep Spean: "In the summer of 2016, I was one of the lucky students chosen to take part in the NAHSS, in the city of Chengdu. I got very excited at the information session before I actually applied, and was worried that I wouldn’t get through the selection process. But now, I’ve had the most amazing experience at the NAHSS 2016. I’d tell everyone just to go for it and don’t be afraid of the criteria and selection rounds; nothing ventured, nothing gained!

As part of the summer school, I took a course in Chinese history and politics. And in the second course, I learned the basics of Chinese, so I could order food at my local take-away. Quite handy! As well as these courses, we visited companies and went on cultural trips. Believe me: pandas are even cuter when you see them in real life! I got to know the country in a way that you can’t from reading books or backpacking; it really took on an identity. 

The project work part was particularly valuable. It started straight after the selection in the Netherlands and went on until the summer. My project group was working on a project for the Rabobank about cold chains in China. The group consisted of 10 people from totally different degree programmes: from Applied Physics to International Business to Health & Society (my own programme). I realised that without knowing, I tended to work with the same type of people at uni, and that real interdisciplinary project work can be pretty tough. Having said that, all the different angles and insights meant that we were able to take the project to a whole new level. Thanks to the diversity and enthusiasm of all those taking part, I never got bored; the group made my NAHSS experience everything I could have imagined."

Your experiences: tips & recommendations

Share your experiences with others about how you got the most out of your BSc programme. If you have any interesting tips or suggestions, please let us know via the contact button on this page. Thank you!