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Exemptions and petitions

Do you want to request a change to the academic requirements set by your study programme? Perhaps you want to be exempted from a particular course, because you think you have already acquired the knowledge elsewhere. Or do you want academic credits earned at another institution to be counted towards your studies in Leiden? If so you can submit a special request, known as a petition.

Speak to your study adviser or study coordinator about how to request an exemption or submit a petition of another nature. In most cases petitions must be submitted via uSis. However check first under the faculty or study programme tab whether any special procedures are in place.

The final decision on your petition will be made by your institute’s Board  of Examiners.

Petitions in uSis

In most cases, if you want to request a change to your academic requirements you can submit a petition via uSis. For example if you want to be exempted from certain academic requirements, have study credits earned abroad recognised as part of your Leiden studies, or receive a different amount of credits for part of your curriculum. There are five types of petition:  

  • Exemption
    Use this kind of petition if you want to request exemption from a particular part of your study programme. Sufficient materials must be submitted to support your request.
  • Different amount of study credits
    Use this kind of petition if you want to request an amount of study credits for an element of your study programme that differs from the amount stated in the prospectus. Sufficient materials must be submitted to support your request. If the study element does not have a pre-specified number of study credits there is no need to submit a petition. Instead you should make arrangements directly with your study programme.
  • Extra-curricular course
    Use this type of petition if you want to have an academic element from Leiden University’s prospectus included as one of your extra-curricular study elements.
  • Replacement
    Use this type of petition if you want to replace an element of your study programme with another element from Leiden University's prospectus. This type of petition can be used, for example, for electives courses.
  • External education
    Use this type of petition if you have taken a course at an institution other than Leiden University, and want it to count towards your study programme in Leiden. This type of petition could be used, for example, for elective credits or extra-curricular courses followed elsewhere. Petitions of this nature are always provisionally approved, then definitively evaluated upon receipt of documentary evidence.

You must submit a petition as soon as you realise that you want to change your academic requirements, which means as quickly as possible and preferably before you follow the academic element in question. For information relevant to your particular situation please contact your programme’s education administration office.

No petitions on top of petitions

Once you have submitted a petition you cannot submit another one for the same academic element, irrespective of the status of the petition. If you change your mind, or realise you have submitted the wrong type of petition, you must first withdraw the petition before you can submit a new one for that particular academic element.

Withdrawing a petition

To withdraw a petition you must send an email to the education administration office of your study programme with the subject ‘withdrawal of petition number xxx’, with xxx being the petition number as stated in the confirmation email you received. Make sure to state your student number in your email and the reason for withdrawing your petition. Await confirmation that your petition has been withdrawn before taking further action.

Supporting materials

All petitions must be clearly but briefly substantiated. In addition, petitions for exemptions, different amounts of study credits and external education, must also be accompanied by supporting materials. When requesting an exemption, your supporting materials must be submitted at the same time as your petition. For petitions concerning different amounts of study credits or external education, your supporting materials (usually a transcript of grades) can be submitted after the academic element in question. Make sure to submit the materials as soon as you can. If you wait too long you run the risk that your results will no longer be counted towards your academic requirements. The required documentation can vary from programme to programme, so always check with your programme administration what you need to submit, when, and in what format (hard copy or digital) well in advance.

Appeals

If you do not agree with the outcome of your petition you can formally appeal against the decision. You can do so by sending a letter to the Examination Appeals Board within six weeks of the date of issue of the decision in question. In this letter, your formal appeal, state why you disagree with the decision. Make sure to include supporting materials and examples.

General

The Board of Examiners processes individual requests from students regarding their studies. Students should approach the Board of Examiners with their request in writing.

The terms within which the Board of Examiners makes a decision are described in the Rules & Regulations for each situation. The Board of Examiners strives to process incoming requests within 20 working business days, but the deadline may be exceeded during certain busy periods. The Board of Examiners always makes a decision within the statutory decision period of eight weeks.

We distinguish between two types of requests for the Board of Examiners :

1. Individual queries from students for the Board of Examiners concerning their study program or other questions relating to the Course and Examination Regulations and/or the Rules & Regulations.
2Requests from students regarding exemptions, extracurricular courses or filling in the free electives. In this case, permission from the Board of Examiners is sometimes required before the OSC can process the changes in the study requirements in uSis. A uSis petition is always required for these types of requests.

A separate procedure applies for both types of requests. These procedures are described below.

Students can submit individual requests to the Board of Examiners regarding their study progress or other matters related to regulations from the CER and/or the Rules & Regulations. This must always be done via the digital request form. Fill out the request form as complete as possible and add any supporting documents as an attachment.

You can use the application 'Exemption' to request an exemption for a mandatory component of the MPA curriculum. The approval for the exemption must be given by the Board of Examiners, after which the OSC can register the exemption. Keep in mind that the chance that an exemption will be granted is small. If you think that the course you have already passed corresponds (almost) completely to a course you would have to take in the MPA curriculum, you can follow the steps below.

To request exemption for a mandatory component, you must provide supporting documentation that you have obtained an equivalent course elsewhere in terms of content and level.

  1. Submit a petition of the type 'Exemption' in uSis. This petition ensures that the OSC can register the exemption if you have obtained the approval of the Board of Examiners. In My study requirements, click on the course for which you want to request the exemption. Click on the green button in the subsequent screen to create the request. After filling in the necessary information, you submit the request.
  2. Write down the uSis number that appears on the screen. You now also have to submit a request to the Board of Examiners. For this you submit the digital request form and add the supporting documentation. You should also note the uSis application number on it
  3. Information and supporting documentation to be supplied: 

a) Course description(s) from the study guide of the study program where the courses were passed. The course description can consist of a link to the online study guide or a PDF document (from the study guide). NB:

  • The link or PDF must be from the academic year in which you passed this course.
  • The following information must be included: number of EC, literature used, subject content, when the course was taken. In general, the more specific the information is provided, the better and faster the Board of Examiners can form an opinion.

b) A certified transcript if the courses already passed were taken outside Leiden University. Ask the other university to email this transcript directly to the OSC. No transcript is required for courses passed at Leiden University.

  • Your petition will only be processed when it is complete (the processing period will only start then).
  • If you receive permission from the Board of Examiners and the OSC has received your official transcript, the OSC will register your exemption(s) in your study requirements in uSis. Afterwards, keep an eye on whether the exemptions are processed.

You can use the 'External Education' application if you want to use courses outside Leiden University for your extracurricular space; in other words, if it concerns external courses.

Extracurricular subjects are only shown on the diploma supplement, not on the list of subjects published on the diploma itself. They also don't count towards your grade point average.

To list an external course as an extracurricular component, permission from the Board of Examiners is required. The Board of Examiners assesses whether the subject in terms of content, skills and testing is sufficiently in line with the set learning outcomes of the programme. If you have already passed the courses, you must enclose a certified transcript as supporting documentation. If you have not yet passed the courses, the Board of Examiners can issue a letter of intent. This ensures that the courses to be followed meet the requirements and may be included in the extracurricular space after you have passed them.

1. Submit a petition of the type 'External Education' in uSis. You do this by opening the bar of the extracurricular space in your study requirements, and clicking on one of the parts 'Extracurricular component. Then click on the green button to create the application, choose the form 'External education' and fill in the required information. Then you submit the application. Write down the uSis number that appears on the screen.

2. For external courses, you must obtain permission from the Board of Examiners before they can be included in the extracurricular space. You should therefore now also submit a request to the Board of Examiners. For this you submit the digital request form and add the supporting documents. You should also note the uSis application number on it.

3. Information and supporting documents to be supplied:

a) Course description(s) from the study guide of the study program where the courses were passed. The course description can consist of a link to the online study guide or a PDF document (from the study guide). NB:

• The link or PDF must be from the academic year in which you passed this course.

• The following information must be included: number of EC, literature used, course content, when the course was taken. In general, the more specific the information is provided, the better and faster the Board of Examiners can form an opinion.

b) If applicable: a copy of the certified transcipt. This is not required when applying for a letter of intent.

4. Your petition will only be processed when it is complete (the processing period will only start then).

5. Once you have passed the external courses, ask the other university to email the official transcript directly to the OSC.

6. If you have passed the course(s), the OSC will process your grades in the study requirements in uSis based on your uSis petition, the approval of the Board of Examiners and the official transcript. Keep a close eye on whether your results have been processed afterwards!

You can use the 'Extracurricular' application if you want to have a course taken at Leiden University included in your extracurricular space. This means that you want to add courses and therefore credits on top of the minimum required number of credits for the diploma. Extracurricular subjects are only shown on the diploma supplement, not on the list of courses published on the diploma itself. They also don't count towards your grade point average. No permission from the Board of Examiners is required for listing extracurricular courses obtained at Leiden University. Please note: with a bachelor's programme, only courses of bachelor's level may be included in the extracurricular space. If you have taken master's level courses in addition to your bachelor's degree, these cannot be credited.

Do you want to use courses taken outside Leiden University? Then go to petition 'External Courses'!

1. Submit a petition of the type 'Extracurricular course' in uSis. You do this by opening the bar of the extracurricular space in your study requirements, and clicking on one of the parts 'Extracurricular study part'. Then click on the green button to create the application, choose the form 'Extracurricular course' and fill in the required information. Then you submit the application. Write down the uSis number that appears on the screen.

2. If you have passed the course(s), the OSC will process your grades in the study requirements in uSis based on your application and the study results. Keep a close eye on whether your results have been processed afterwards!

• Always use your uMail address for your petitions. Comments are also posted there. So check your uMail regularly!

• The Board of Examiners strives to process requests within 20 business days. In busy periods, this timeframe can increase to the statutory processing period of 8 weeks. Therefore, always submit petitions as soon as possible. Preferably at the beginning of the academic year, so that you know in good time where you stand.

• With a request for exemptions: if the course is about to start/has already started when you submitted the request, follow the course until you have received the decision from the Board of Examiners.

• The sequence: first you submit a uSis petition, then, if necessary, the digital request form from the Board of Examiners, stating the uSis number. On the digital form you explain exactly what your request is (e.g. that you want to request an exemption for courses X, Y and Z based on courses A, B and C). Do not refer to any messages you have put in uSis, these will not be read by the Board of Examiners.

• As soon as you have submitted a petition in uSis, a confirmation appears on the screen. You can always view the status of your petition in uSis.

Request form Board of Examiners.

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