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Pre-University Honours Programme: Politics & Society

Pre-University Honours Programme: Politics & Society

Over the last few decades, the topic of identity has become central to many political debates and developments. The Black Lives Matter protests, Women's Marches, Brexit, the debates on multiculturalism and migration in Europe, and the resurgence of nationalist movements in Scotland and Catalonia are just a few examples that illustrate the growing importance of identity in politics. But how should we understand identity? How do different aspects of identity relate to each other and to phenomena such as globalisation? And can identity help explain recent political developments? Are identity politics here to stay, or just a temporary measure?

2019 Applications CLOSED

Admissions are closed for 2019. If you are interested in applying for this programme for summer 2020, please check back on our website in early-September for the latest information.


Quick Facts

Academic dates: 21 July - 1 August 2019
Housing dates: 20 July - 2 August 2019
Academic fee: € 1200
Housing fee: € 350 and € 75 refundable deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
Who is this programme for? For current high school students (must be 16-18 during the programme) interested in politics/political science, and the social and behavioural sciences in general.
Academic director: Luuc Brans
Early application deadline: 10 January 2019
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2019


Why join this programme?

Participants in this course will examine the various aspects of identity and how it is related to recent political developments. Our summer programme provides students with an international classroom: participants come from diverse backgrounds, creating an excellent space to explore the topic of identity and to develop intercultural skills. Benefiting from insights from political science, sociology, anthropology, this programme provides students with an interdisciplinary exploration of a timely topic in the social sciences. As our hyper-connected world draws closer together, it falls to present and future generations to understand how this affects the political climate. Every aspect of our lives is intertwined with political decisions, as is our identity. But how can something as fluid and changeable as identity be the basis for political debate? What implications does our own identity have on our political beliefs, and how does our identity have an impact on and change the interpretations of others?

In the first week of the programme, students will explore various aspects of "identity" itself, such as class, ethnicity, race, nation, gender and intersectionality. In the meantime, participants are encouraged to actively reflect on the way their own cultural background influences their perspectives on these matters, as well as on the diverse, intercultural environment in Amsterdam. This enables participants to develop valuable intercultural skills. In the second week of the programme, we will explore how identity feeds into politics by having a closer look at diverse topics such as resurgent nationalism, globalization, the rise of populist politics and new social movements revolving around ethnicity and gender.

Over the course of two weeks, students will undertake a series of lectures and excursions that will delve into the heart of the issues at hand. Students will encounter Amsterdam as a living laboratory with a history and present that are deeply entrenched in local and global debates about identity. From Amsterdam’s history as a global center of LGBTQI* movements and rights to the Dutch stance on the European migrant crisis, Amsterdam is a crucible for contemporary discussions of identity. Through guided excursions, students will make the most of their time as both tourists and locals, exploring Amsterdam and current events from a variety of viewpoints and lenses.

This programme is designed for high school students to experience studying in a competitive, international environment at the Graduate School of Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. The lectures and all course materials are in English. Participants in the course will develop study skills and become acquainted with learning methods that will give them an advantage as they continue their education at University.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture (2.5 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  
  • Afternoon workshop (2.5 hours; includes film screenings, debates, and city excursions).


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Get in touch with us at or call +31 (0)20 525 3776.

Pre-University Honours Programme: Politics & Society
Mode Short-term
Credits ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in July