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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.

Exemptions

If you think you qualify for an exemption for 1 particular Political Science course, you must take the following steps:


1. In uSis, go to your study requirements and click on the course for which you want to apply for an exemption. Then click on "submit petition" and choose the type of petition: 1 exemption. Click on continue. Do not forget to fill in the fields "description" and "explanation" and finally click on submit.


2. Submit the correct supporting documents (such as a course description, certified list of marks, possibly a certified diploma) to the SSC. This can be done by email, stating the petition number (depending on the type of document). 

The SSC will forward you request to the Board of Examiners. The Board of Examiners will consider the request and make a recommendation. The student will receive a written confirmation of the decision. 

Please note: Exemptions requested must be submitted no later than 2 weeks after the start of the course.

Please note: Exemption will not be granted for the following first year courses: Introduction to International Organisations, Introduction to International Relations, Actors in World Politics, Global History, Introduction to Comparative Politics, Introduction to Political Science. These courses are core courses and for these courses it is not possible to get an exemption.

In uSis, you can apply for an exemption for the entire electives based on courses from a second or previous degree programme in the following way: 


1. Open uSis and navigate to your “Study Requirements”. These can be reached by:

- Clicking on the white schedule on the left (Units taken / Units required)
- Clicking on “Enroll” and then on “Enroll by My requirements”

2. Click on one of the empty “dummy courses”: Bachelor International Relations and Organisations year 3 elective component: 6443HKR1Y / 6443HKR2Y / 6443HKR3Y.

3. Click on the “submit request”-button, choose the “Exemption”-type in the drop-down menu and click on “Continue”.

4. Fill out the information needed: “Description”: fill out “Exemption” and “Explanation student”: describe the reason for filing the petition (i.e. you would like to be exempted for the electives / amount of ECTS based on …)

5. Submit the petition.

6. Submit a certified copy of your diploma (or a certified transcript, in case you did not receive a diploma) to the Student Services Centre. 

Your request and diploma will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. If the request is approved, the exemption will be listed in your Study Requirements in uSis.
 

If you would like to use courses given from another programme towards your 30ec of elective requirement you must always request permission in uSis to do so. This request must be completed at least three weeks before the course begins so that you will know if the request is approved before the start of the course. 

All elective courses must be applied for and registered in uSis. If the request is approved, the course will be added to your elective course requirements. Requests to take electives which have course content which overlaps with the content of courses given by the Institute of Political Science will not be approved. Please carefully review the course description before submitting a request. 

Please note

-    Courses taken at the Academic Language Centre cannot count towards your 30 ec elective requirement nor can they be added as extracurricular courses. 
-    Course taken at an Honours College or a Summer school can never be part of the elective space. These are activities outside the curriculum of Political Science. 
-    Courses attended at Leiden University or another university should always award credits. 
 

Instructions on how to request permission to take elective courses offered by another institution of Leiden University:

1. Open uSis and navigate to your “Academic Requirements”. These can be reached by:
- Clicking on the white schedule on the left (Units taken / Units required)
- Clicking on “Enroll” and then on “Enroll by My requirements”

2. Click on one of the empty “dummy courses”: Bachelor International Relations and Organisations year 3 elective component: 6443HKR1Y / 6443HKR2Y / 6443HKR3Y.

3. Click on the “submit request”-button and choose the “Replacement”-type in the drop-down menu. 

4. Fill out the information needed:
- “Course”: click on the magnifying glass and search for the course providing the Catalog Number from the Prospectus. Press the “search”-button. Choose the code ending with a “Y”.
- “Explanation student”: describe the reason for filing the petition (i.e. you would like to add this course as an elective).

5. Click on “Add course” to add more electives (if applicable).

6. For this type of petition it is not necessary to upload documents supporting your request.

7. Provide a weblink to the description of the course(s) in the Prospectus.

8. Submit the petition.

If the petition is approved, the elective course(s) will automatically be included in your study requirements. Please note: in order to take the course, you should also register for the elective course in uSis. 
 

Instructions on how to request permission to take elective courses offered by other Dutch or foreign universities:

1. Open uSis and navigate to your “Academic Requirements”. These can be reached by:
- Clicking on the white schedule on the left (Units taken / Units required)
- Clicking on “Enroll” and then on “Enroll by My requirements”

2. Click on one of the empty “dummy courses”: Bachelor International Relations and Organisations year 3 elective component: 6443HKR1Y / 6443HKR2Y / 6443HKR3Y.

3. Click on the “submit request”-button and choose the “External Education”-type in the drop-down menu.

4. Fill out the information needed:
- ”External organization”: fill out the name of the university you’ll be taking the course at
- “Original course name”: fill out the full name of the course name.
- “English translation course name”: fill out the full name of the course. Please note: Do not translate the course title yourself, but use the official English course title. If the official English course title is not available, please copy the original course title in the English field.
- “Requested units”: fill out the amount of ECTS
- “Explanation student”: describe the reason for filing the petition (i.e. you would like to add this course as an elective).

5. Click on “Add external education” to add more electives (if applicable).

6. Upload the documents supporting your request, if applicable (i.e. course description, a certified transcript in case the course was taken at a university outside of Leiden University, etc.). Please note: while it is possible to upload a transcript of record in your petition, such a transcript is not sufficient to process your petition. Please provide the SSC with an original certified transcript of the courses you’ve taken outside of Leiden University. If you took courses abroad, please provide your exchange coordinator with the original transcript.

7. Provide a weblink to a description of the course(s), if applicable.

8. Submit the petition.

If the petition is approved, the elective course will be included in your study requirements. After completing the elective course you must request written proof of the course and exam grade which is signed and certified by the university where you have followed the course. This must be submitted to the Student Services Centre.

Please note: For a correct entry on your degree, you must provide the English (and Dutch, if applicable) titles of the relevant electives!

 

Decision on petitions and exemptions

The Board of Examiners will reach a reasoned decision within twenty working days after the submission of the request, as stated in the Rules and Regulations art. 4.11.2. 

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