In addition to compulsory elements, most degree programmes also have elective credits. These are credits you can earn in a variety of ways, for example by taking elective courses, studying abroad or doing a minor.
How many elective credits do I have?
The number of elective credits varies from programme to programme. Take a look at the programme-specific information in the Prospectus for exact details.
A minor is a cohesive set of courses that has been pre-approved by the university. A minor can allow you to explore subjects outside the boundaries of your own study programme. You can choose to follow a minor in Leiden or another university. There are special arrangements in place for Leiden students who would like to do a minor at Delft University of Technology or the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Read more about minors.
You can also choose to put together your own set of courses, selected from those offered by Leiden University or another institute of higher education. Make sure to request permission from your study programme’s Board of Examiners before doing so.
You can earn elective credits by studying or doing an internship abroad for a few months. Read more on our study abroad webpages or contact your international exchange coordinator or study adviser to find out about the options within your study programme.
Electives credits can also be earned through internships or research projects, either in the Netherlands or abroad. Ask your internship or research coordinator for more information. The Career Service can also assist you in looking for an internship place
Permission from the board of examiners
If you choose to follow a complete minor in Leiden, Delft or Rotterdam you do not need to request advance permission. For all other ways of earning your elective credits you must always request permission from your programme’s board of examiners. More information can be found in the Prospectus or your study programme’s Course and Examination Regulations (OER).
Courses you can choose (60 ec)
In the 2nd half of the second academic year and in the third academic year you can choose most of the courses you take.
Of the 60 ec of courses you can choose; in principle, the courses can be chosen according to interest. But there are two conditions:
1. You must complete 30 ec of psychology specialization courses.
2. Of the remaining 30 ec, at least 5 ec at level 300 or higher must be achieved.
Specialisation Courses (30ec)
Students must complete 30 ec of specialisation courses. Completion of the first year diploma (propedeuse) is required for entry into all specialisation courses. Note: uSis must indicate the propedeuse is completed at the time of registration. Students should make sure to take the specialisation course for their intended master's specialisation.
Elective Courses (The remaining 30 ec)
You can choose the remaining 30 ec of courses at your own discretion on courses within or outside psychology. This could be:
- extra specialization courses
- elective courses within psychology
- electives outside of psychology
- minor (in your third year)
- study abroad (in your third year)
- virtual exchange vakken
You are allowed to take courses from all university programmes, as long as the subjects are offered at an academic level and do not overlap with the topics that are covered as a part of the Leiden psychology programme. Request permission to take electives in uSis.
Elective courses do not need to be related in subject matter to each other and they do not have to be related to psychology. View a list of elective courses that Leiden University offers in the e-Prospectus. Courses that teach English language proficiency may not be included.
You can also fulfil the elective requirement by completing a minor. A minor is a coherent package of courses from another programme. Minors in Psychology add no value if you are studying psychology and are not allowed.
If you are interested in an international experience, you can also choose to fill the elective requirement at a university abroad. You can take electives within or outside of psychology during this study abroad experience. However, you may not take Specialisation courses abroad. Studying abroad
You are allowed to take courses from all university programmes, as long as the subjects are offered at an academic level and do not overlap with the topics that are covered as a part of the psychology programme. These courses do not need to be related in subject matter to each other and they do not have to be related to psychology. You can find a list of elective courses that Leiden University offers, in the e-Prospectus.
Note: Courses that teach English language proficiency may not be included.
Also: You have to request this in uSis
It is also possible to take elective courses at another Dutch university if Leiden University does not offer these courses. As you have already paid tuition at the University of Leiden, you will not need to pay tuition to take these courses. This policy is applicable for elective courses within and outside of psychology. Request this in uSis. You will of course also need to have the permission of the other University.
For university-level coursework previously
Are you orienting on a master's programme MSc in Psychology and want to know about the electives? An overview of elective courses MSc in Psychology are found on the Master page.