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Binding study advice

As a Bachelor student at Leiden University, you will be issued with binding study advice (BSA). This means you must obtain sufficient study credits in your first year of study to be permitted to continue your Bachelor’s programme.

How does it work?

  • Study advice is issued by your study programme’s board of examiners.
  • You will receive initial advice halfway through the academic year (31 January at the latest). This is not binding. If you are falling behind, the board of examiners will warn you to improve your performance to avoid being issued with negative advice.
  • If your results are insufficient in May/June, you will again be issued with (non-binding) advice, which serves as a final warning.
  • At the end of the academic year (15 August at the latest), you will receive binding study advice. If you have insufficient study credits (ECs), the advice will be negative. This means you must discontinue your study programme and won’t be allowed to register on the same programme for the coming four years.
  • Did you registered on your programme later than 1 September and will you only follow part of the academic year? If so, the board of examiners may postpone the issuance of  binding study advice until the end of your second year.
  • Your study advice will be sent to your uMail address and can also be found under the email tab in uSis Student Self Service.


  • Full time students: 45 EC
  • Part time students: 30 EC

Some programmes have additional requirements, for example passing a specific course. Look in your programme’s Course and Examination regulations to find out if any additional requirements are in place.

Exceptional circumstances

If you have obtained insufficient study credits due to exceptional circumstances, such as illness, exceptional family circumstances, pregnancy or student board membership duties, the board of examiners must take this into consideration when issuing study advice. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will be permitted to continue studying. The board of examiners may still decide that you must discontinue your studies, if your results are found to be insufficient after taking into account your capacities, attitude to study and motivation.

Report your circumstances

If you would like the board of examiners to take your exceptional circumstances into consideration, you must report them. When doing so, you will need a statement from a professional, for example a doctor or psychologist.
To report your circumstances, make an appointment with your study adviser. Together you can draw up an adapted study plan. Your study adviser will also explain how you must present your situation to the board of examiners.

The earlier, the better

The earlier you report your circumstances, the greater the chance that the board of examiners will take them into consideration. Make an appointment with your study adviser as soon as you think that your studies might be impacted by your circumstances. Reports of exceptional circumstances must be received by 15 July at the very latest.


If, despite having reported your situation, the board of examiners finds that it does not have sufficient information about your exceptional circumstances at the end of your first year to decide whether you may continue studying,  it may postpone the issuance of binding study advice until the end of your second year.

Binding Study Advice (BSA)

The academic progress of students is monitored in the first year of study. Initial (non-binding) study advice is given in January. Students who are not doing well are encouraged to meet with their Study Adviser. 

At the end of the first academic year, you will receive binding study advice.  This advice must be positive to be allowed to remain in the programme.  To receive positive BSA you need to earn at least 45 ec of the 60ec of first year courses; including one of the statistics courses: Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics, Inferential Statistics or Experimental and Correlational Research.  For complete policy: Binding Study Advice (BSA)

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