nl en

Flourishing. The Science and Practice of Wellbeing


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Please note: For this class there will be additional costs (about €50,-) for the excursion

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

PLEASE NOTE: Are you a third-year student and will you graduate this summer? Please check with the education information centre of your bachelor ’s programme what the deadline is for registering your bachelor and honours grades in uSis? If this does not conflict with the schedule of the summer school, you can apply for the summer school.

Key words:

Skills: Personal reflection, self insight, personal leadership, storytelling, awareness, connection.

Topics: Personal reflection, self insight, personal leadership, storytelling, awareness, authenticity, positive psychology, connection, positive impact, fun.

Disciplines: Positive Psychology.


Many people aspire happiness and a positive impact on the world. But what is happiness? And what can we do to experience it more often, both within ourselves as in our interaction with others? Academic research in the field of human well-being has provided a great number of insights and practical interventions which can be used to increase our well-being on an individual, organisational and social level.

In this intensive summercourse, you will learn how to increase your resilience, how to experience more optimism and meaning in your life and how to have a positive impact on your environment. So, would you like to bring out the best in yourself and others, not only as a student but also as a human being? Would you like to get to know yourself even more? This summercourse provides you with plenty scientifically based techniques that will help you to achieve these goals concretely.

This summercourse consists of a 40 hour online course on positive psychology which provides you with the theoretical background and a 2-week intensive course facilitated by Pieternel Boer and different guests.

The course covers three levels:

  • I – Personal insight: What do I love? What am I good at? What is meaningful to me?

  • WE – Interpersonal insight: How do I relate to others?

  • ALL – What is my contribution to the greater good?

The meetings are largely devoted to mental, emotional and physical exercises, both individually and in groups, such as reflection and insight exercises, sharing experiences, visualization, meditation, martial arts and storytelling.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Be able to reflect on his/her personal development

  • Have knowledge of scientific theory in positive psychology

  • Have experience with and knowledge of practical interventions to increase his/her wellbeing

  • Have experience with and knowledge of ways to deal with stress and adversity

  • Share and present his/her own personal story authentically

  • Formulate his/her own values and mission in life

  • Be able to work constructively and respectfully as a team

Programme and timetable:

The programme consists of a summerschool from 17 up to and including 28 August 2020. You have to complete the MOOC The Science of Happiness on EdX to prepare for this course. In due time, you will receive an email from the Honours Academy with your EdX logins and information about the starting date of the MOOC.

Week 1-8
Online course in positive psychology: The Science of Happiness, MOOC by Berkeley University
Time: 5 Hours a week. Total of 40 hours.
Examination: certificate

Summercourse week 1 17-21 August 2020


  • 10 – 12h. : Introduction and getting to know each other

  • 13 – 15h. : What do you love?


  • 10 – 12h. : What are you good at?

  • 13 – 15h. : Teambuilding for positive impact – Spencer Heijnen


  • Teamwork on group assignment


  • 10 – 13h. : What is meaningful to you?

  • Afternoon: Teamwork on group assignment


  • 10 – 12h. : Dealing with adversity

  • 13 – 15h. : Storytelling

Summercourse week 2 24-28 August 2020

Monday – 2 day Retreat in Schoorl

  • Martial Arts – Workshop

Tuesday – 2 day Retreat in Schoorl

  • Individual presentations


  • Teamwork on group assignment


  • Teamwork on group assignment


  • 13 – 16 - Closing ceremony

  • Drinks


The workshops take place in the Old Observatory, home base of the Honours Academy, room c005.
In week 2 there is a 2 day retreat in an external location in Schoorl.

Reading list:

Happier – Tal ben-Shahar
Scientific articles, videos and lectures available in online course: separate syllabus is available.

Course load and teaching method:

Teaching method

  • Blended learning: the course is a combination of online lectures and real time workshops

  • Experiential learning: all exercises are experiential-based, so learning takes place through experiencing and sharing. Theoretical background is supplied in the online course.

  • Applied approach: the course is practical and hands-on with a group assignment focusing on societal issues

  • Integral approach: we look at human flourishing from a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual perspective

Course load
This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Online lectures and assignments: 40 hours

  • Workshops: 40 hours (attendance is mandatory)

  • Individual written reflection: 10 hours

  • Personal presentation: 10 hours

  • Group assignment: 40 hours

Assessment methods:

The assessment methods will look as follows (The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the Class):

  • 10% Participation assessed continually through participation in seminars

  • 30 % Examination MOOC Science of happiness

  • 20% (10% each) Two individual written reflections on your personal process (pass / fail)

  • 10% Personal presentation during retreat (pass/fail)

  • 30% Positive impact group assignment (grade)

Students could only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.


Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard page one weeks prior to the start of the course.

Registration process:

Please note: For this class there will be additional costs (about €50,-) for the excursion.

Enrolling in this course is possible from 4 November up to and including 14 November until 23:59 hrs through the Honours Academy. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the Bachelor Honours Class.


Pieternel Boer: