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Elective credits

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.

Elective courses

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.

Going abroad

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).

Electives Psychology (research) (MSc)

An overview of elective courses can be found in the Prospectus.

Please note that some electives can be followed by students of certain specialisations only. If there are prerequisite courses they will be stated in the Prospectus section ‘Entry requirements’.

Electives in profile Brain and Cognition (research)

Students in the 2-year programme MSc Psychology (research) may further expand their expertise in the domain of brain and cognition by choosing from a wide range of relevant courses offered in other master’s programmes at Leiden University, outside the Institute of Psychology.


For the courses listed below, research-master students are exempt from the normal requirement to ask approval from the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Psychology to take elective courses from other master’s programmes.

Students who wish to take one or more of these elective courses are advised to discuss this with their mentor. The next step is to contact the course coordinator to request admission to the course. Admission requests will typically be considered on an individual basis and take into account whether there is sufficient space and whether the student has sufficient prior knowledge to successfully complete the course.

Overview of electives

Master's programme Education and Child Studies

Master's programme Linguistics

Master's programme Biomedical Sciences

Email a request for elective courses offered by Biomedical Sciences (see below):

Master's programme Computer Science

Master’s programme Philosophy of Psychology

Research master students who have relevant background knowledge in philosophy may contact the course coordinator to request admission to this course. Admission requests will be considered on an individual basis.


The research master course schedule has not been adjusted to the timetables of these elective courses. Students are responsible for verifying whether a course fits into their schedule of compulsory coursework. Enrolment in these elective courses is not possible in uSis; students should enrol according to the customs and rules of the institute that offers the course. Do not forget to submit a petition as soon as you have completed a course in order to change your academic requirements. 

Email a request for elective courses offered by Biomedical Sciences

Students who would like to take part in one of the elective courses offered by Biomedical Sciences should email a request to enrol to masterbw-courses@lumc.nl. They need to confirm that they meet the admission requirements for this course, which are indicated (if there are any) in the e-Prospectus. There is a strict limit to the number of students who may enrol in these courses, and students of the master in Biomedical Sciences have priority. If the student is admissible to the course, he will be placed on a waitlist. If there are sufficient spaces, the student administration will enrol the student on uSis and email the student further information about the course. Be aware that admission to the course can only be granted 1-2 months before the start of the course.

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