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Binding study advice

As a student of Leiden University you are entitled to good education and academic guidance. In return you are expected to meet certain academic requirements: the so-called BSA requirements.

At Leiden University Regulations on Binding Study Advice (BSA regulations) are in place. These regulations form part of the Leiden Study System. The rights and obligations of both students and study programmes in terms of academic guidance are laid down in the BSA regulations. Every study programme is obliged to offer the following services to its students:   

  • Meetings with study coordinators
  • Mentorship
  • Support in drawing up a study plan

During your first year of registration on a study programme your programme's Board of Examiners will send you an email concerning your academic progress on two occasions. These emails will state how far you have progressed in your studies and contain advice on the (dis)continuation of your studies based on the progress made. The advice issued midway through the academic year is non-binding and for information purposes only. The advice issued at the end of the academic year is binding. 

Study advice

All correspondence about study advice is sent to your uMail address. Copies of all study advice emails are saved in uSis, under ‘notifications centre’ - ‘email’.

Three types of student

The BSA regulations recognise three types of student: full-time, part-time and students on ‘collaboration’ study programmes. All students are issued with study advice on two occasions during their first academic year. Here below you can find an overview of the types of student, types of advice and when advice is issued, as well as information on the requirements for the issuance of positive advice. 

Study advice

  1. Non-binding study advice 
    You will receive your first, non-binding, study advice by 31 January at the latest. This advice is drawn up by the board of examiners after consultation with your study programme. 
  2. Binding study advice 
    You will receive your binding study advice at the end of your first academic year, i.e. by 15 August at the latest. To be issued with positive advice full-time students must have obtained at least 45 ECs in their first academic year and have met any additional requirements set by their study programme. Part-time students must have obtained at least 30 ECs and also have met any additional requirements. 

Types of advice

  1. Positive advice (binding or non-binding)  
    By issuing this type of advice, your programme states that it expects you to be able to successfully complete your study programme within four years.
  2. Non-binding negative advice
    By issuing this type of advice, your programme is warning you midway through the academic year that you must improve your academic performance if you wish to avoid being issued with negative binding study advice at the end of the academic year.
  3. Negative binding advice with refusal
    By issuing this type of advice, the Board of Examiners states that it does not believe that you can complete your study programme within a reasonable time-frame. ‘Refusal’ means that you are not permitted to register as a student on the same study programme, or a programme with the same propaedeutic phase, at Leiden University for a period of four year.
  4. Negative binding advice without refusal
    This means that you have not met the formal requirements, but as you have been affected by exceptional (personal) circumstances the Board of Examiners has decided not to refuse you permission to continue studying. This means you may continue your studies but under certain conditions. Please refer to the information about academic delay due to exceptional (personal) circumstances.

Collaboration study programmes

A number of study programmes are taught in collaboration with another institution. For these programmes different (less strict) requirements may apply:

  • Mathematics
  • Life Science and Technology (LST)
  • Molecular Science and Technology (MST)
  • Clinical Technology 

The relevant BSA requirements are stated in the programme’s Course and Examination Regulations (OER). 

Academic delay due to exceptional (personal) circumstances

Sometimes your academic progress can be hindered by exceptional (personal) circumstances. If you take the appropriate steps in time the Board of Examiners is obliged to take these circumstances into consideration when issuing binding study advice. Read about the steps to be taken if exceptional (personal) circumstances are hindering your studies and you want to avoid being issued with negative binding study advice with refusal.

Exceptional circumstances 

The following types of exceptional (personal) circumstances can be taken into account by the Board of Examiners when issuing binding study advice:

  • Illness/dissability/learning disorders
  • Exceptional family circumstances
  • Pregnancy
  • Membership of university/student boards 

You can read more about these circumstances, and issues of a similar nature, in our section on exceptional circumstances

If you want the Board of Examiners to take your exceptional circumstances into consideration you must do the following before the (strict) 15 July deadline: 

  1. Inform your study advisor about your circumstances;
  2. Draw up an adapted study plan in collaboration with your study advisor;
  3. Submit official documentation - on the basis of which the seriousness and duration of your circumstances can be determined.

Adapted study plan 

In collaboration with your study advisor you should draw up a study plan containing agreements that are adapted to your circumstances. The Board of Examiners will use this new study plan as a basis when issuing positive or negative binding study advice. 

Important note: You must adhere to the agreements in your adapted study plan in order to be issued with positive BSA. It is essential that you contact your study advisor if your circumstances change and threaten to further hinder your academic progress. In this case you must draw up another adapted study plan to avoid the risk of being issued with negative study advice and refused permission to continue studying. 

Official documents

You must submit a personal statement accompanied by a statement from a professional, for example a doctor or psychologist. These documents must clearly state the period in which your academic progress was hindered and the severity of your exceptional (personal) circumstances. 

Your documentation must be submitted as early as possible and at least before 15 July by email to: secretariaat@sea.leidenuniv.nl

or else by post to:

Leiden University
Student and Educational Affairs/BSA
Student Centre Plexus
Kaiserstraat 25
2311 GN  Leiden

Upon receipt the Board of Examiners will be notified of your case. 

If your doctor/other professional will not issue a statement you can instead make an appointment with a staff member of Leiden University, for example: 

  • for medical issues: a doctor at the department of Health, Safety and Environment (VGM) at Poortgebouw, Rijnsburgerweg 10 in Leiden (tel: 071 – 527  8015)
  • for exceptional (family) circumstances: a student counsellor (tel: 071 – 527  8025/8026)

Remember to print out, complete and take along a Study delay and BSA form to your appointment. 


You can find more information about the procedures for exceptional (personal) circumstances in the Regulations on Binding Study Advice.