BSc in Global Responsibility & Leadership


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Are you looking for a comprehensive study in which you take a deep dive into topics such as politics, psychology, economics, global health, earth system and data science?

A programme in which you study global challenges and explore local solutions? Then the Bachelor in Science, Global Responsibility & Leadership of University College Fryslân is perfect for you!

The hands-on bachelor Global Responsibility & Leadership is a future-oriented programme inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is dedicated to training a new generation of leaders to address global challenges by finding innovative local solutions. As a student, you get the opportunity to foster your personal development in a small-scale, international learning community. During this bachelor, you will be taught and guided by ambitious researchers who strive to make the most of your potential. Experience it yourself!

In the first year, you create a solid knowledge foundation by following a variety of courses that will reveal the underlying interconnectedness of global challenges and local solutions. You will also get familiar with academic skills such as conducting and presenting research, academic and intercultural communication and work on your leadership skills. Next to your study, you can take part in extracurricular activities organised by fellow students or yourself.

In the second year, you further tailor the programme to your own needs, by specialising through one out of three Majors: Responsible Governance, Responsible Humanity or Responsible Planet. Additionally, you will follow courses in ethics and leadership, and you will have the opportunity to put learned theory into practise by completing a Living Lab (research internship) in collaboration with one of our non-academic partners.

In the third and final year, you continue following courses in your chosen Major. Furthermore, you have the option to participate in an exchange programme abroad, a minor at another faculty or university in the Netherlands, an internship or complete a pre-master in preparation for a Master's degree. You will complete the bachelor with your Capstone, which is a creative way to present the results of your academic research and written thesis.

Why study this programme in Leeuwarden?

  • Inspired by the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Small-scale and personal education
  • Residential university college
  • International community
  • Living Lab projects with local and global partners


Year 1

Year 1 consists of seven courses introducing students to the interdisciplinary educational concept of the programme and the majors. The Foundation consists of core courses in Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Earth & Energy, Global Health, Information Technology. Students must also complete the Skills Lab which provides a solid ground in academic communication, research methodology, intercultural communication and collaboration.

Throughout the three years, students have the opportunity to design their own programme based on the major and minor options as well as complementing it with extracurricular activities.


  • Academic Communication
  • Explaining Human Behaviour
  • Introduction to Global Health
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Language and Culture I
  • Major courses
  • Politics, Power & International Responsibility
  • Principles of Economics
  • Statistics I
  • The Earth System 
Year 2

You follow courses from one of the three majors of your choice:

  • Responsible Planet
  • Responsible Governance
  • Responsible Humanity

In addition, you conduct a Living Lab research internship with one of our regional or (inter)national partners.

Living Lab project: The Living Lab project is a unique feature of the GRL programme and provides you with the opportunity to apply your academic knowledge and skills in the real world. As such, the Living Lab Project creates a win-win situation: you learn how to apply your academic knowledge in actual, real-life contexts and develop related skills (communication, collaboration, problem-solving, research) whereas public and private stakeholders get to work with talented young people that are able to provide insight into questions important for the region.


  • Fries Social Planbureau: investigate how civilian initiatives can collaborate and co-create with institutions to promote social inclusion and economical change.
  • Amnesty International: conduct participatory research to enhance the social capital among youngsters in order to strengthen international human rights.
  • Elodea: look into climate-resilient food production in Friesland, specifically how pear soils can be repurposed to make them more resilient to change.


  • Ethics & Global Responsibility
  • Leadership Lab
  • Living Lab research internship
  • Major courses
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Statistics II
Year 3

Year 3 of the GRL programme consists of three parts:

  • Major Courses
  • Minor
  • Capstone final project

Major courses: In the final year, students can choose different interdisciplinary courses to complete their major.

Minor: The Year 3 minor gives students the opportunity to individualise their programme even further. Most students will choose to go for an exchange semester at a university abroad, but you could also do a minor at another university in The Netherlands or abroad, or you can use the minor space to fulfil pre-master requirements in preparation for a masters programme at the University of Groningen or another university. Last but not least it's also possible to do an internship.

Capstone final project: Students complete their third year with a Capstone project, which is the academic culmination of your degree. The Capstone meets the standards and requirements of (semi-independent) academic research but does not have to take the form of a traditional thesis. You're encouraged to decide for yourself how to complete your degree and to present the project in a creative way. For example, by developing an app, filming a public service announcement, designing a product, writing a policy paper or creating a theatre production. Students could also choose to do another Living Lab project for their Capstone Final Project.


  • Capstone
  • Major courses
  • Minor
Study abroad

Study abroad is optional and only possible in Year 3

Entry requirements

Admission requirements
Specific requirements More information
Additional subject As the GRL programme is fully taught and assessed in English, students are required to demonstrate their English skills by sitting an approved English test. Some exemptions are made for demonstrating English proficiency. Also, students are required to have achieved a passing grade in VWO Wiskunde A, B, C or an international equivalent.
Assessment interview After passing the first step of the selection procedure, you will be invited for an interview. This can take place either in person in Leeuwarden or via Skype. The interview is a chance for us to get to know you better and for you to ask any pending questions you may have.
Previous education Students are required to have successfully obtained a secondary school diploma which allows entry to an academic university. Therefore, students need to obtain a Dutch VWO diploma or international equivalent before gaining entry to the programme.
Reference letter Check the criteria on under Admissions and Finance--> Selection procedure
Curriculum Vitae (CV) Check the criteria on under Admissions and Finance--> Selection procedure
Written request Letter of Motivation or a Video Presentation
Registration procedure

Students have to apply via Studielink and the Online Application System (OAS) of the University of Groningen. After uploading all the required documents the Admissions Board will inform you if you're deemed admissible based on our admission criteria.

The applicant must pass a two-step selection procedure in order to be admitted to the programme. The selection procedure consists of two steps:

  • Selection Documents
  • Selection Interview

With your online application (Studielink & OAS) you’re also asked to upload the following documents as well:

  • Letter of Motivation or a Video Presentation
  • Reference Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae

If you’re deemed admissible to the GRL programme, the Admissions Board will then have a further look at your selection documents and decide if you are invited for the second part of the selection procedure: the selection interview.

The selection interview can take place either in person in Leeuwarden or via Skype. The interview is a chance for us to get to know you better and for you to ask any pending questions you might have.

Within approximately a week after the interview, you’ll be informed about the outcome of this second and final step of the selection procedure for the GRL programme.

Application deadlines

There are two application deadlines: 15/January and 1/May. The 15 January deadline is an early bird deadline. If we receive your complete application before this date then you will have first choice in the student housing registration which opens on 1 April.

After your studies

Job prospects

After getting your master's degree, you can choose to apply for a PhD position or start working as a policy advisor, a consultant, an entrepreneur or as a development specialist in both the private or public sector. Given the fact that your bachelor is internationally orientated and recognised, you will have outstanding career perspectives in an international working environment.

Job examples
  • Policy Advisor
  • Researcher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Consultant
  • Development Specialist


After Year 1, the programme offers many opportunities for students to put their knowledge in practice and participate in research projects that have a local impact. One of the main features of the GRL programme is the Living Lab projects, where students get to work with senior researchers, fellow students and private or public stakeholders on real-life issues affecting organisations, local governments or companies.

But the opportunities for developing research skills do not end there! Campus Fryslân offers the opportunity to become a student-researcher by participating in the ongoing research projects related to the Frisian Flagships and SDG’s:

  • Governance: local & global
  • Sustainable Economy
  • Culture, Language and Technology
  • Health and Food
  • Cross-cutting theme on Big Data and Innovation

When necessary, students get the opportunity to support senior researchers on their research projects. This allows students to develop networking and research skills and get involved in Campus Fryslân research outputs and contribution to social impact.

Lastly, during the last year, students can opt for a research internship at a local or international organisation. Students must look and apply for internship opportunities themselves, but GRL staff is helpful with sharing ideas and contacts.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen provides top-quality and highly ranked educational programmes to Bachelor, Master and PhD students from all over the world. Students of the University of Groningen contribu ... Read More

The University of Groningen provides top-quality and highly ranked educational programmes to Bachelor, Master and PhD students from all over the world. Students of the University of Groningen contribute to groundbreaking and societally relevant research. Our students feel right at home in the safe and vibrant city of Groningen. Campus Fryslân is a unique faculty based in Leeuwarden. Unique because multiple disciplines are represented within our faculty. This enables international students, PhD’s and world-class researchers to approach scientific questions from different perspectives. As a faculty, we are dedicated to finding local solutions for real-world global challenges. Join us and discover your different view! Read less