Universiteit Leiden

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Study plan

Some study programmes help you monitor your own academic progress by assisting you in drawing up a study plan at the end of your first year.

The study plan is intended to help you remain focused and motivated for the rest of your programme. You will draw up a study plan for your second and third years at the end of your first and second year respectively.

Study plan for your bachelor's

All second year and more advanced Leiden students are required to formulate a study plan for their next year of study. The study plan was introduced in order to encourage students to keep up their study tempo after the first year.

Which study components when?

Students have to indicate in the study plan which programme components they plan to complete within a given period of time (generally the next academic year). There are a number of things that have to be taken into consideration when drawing up the plan, such as whether there are still courses from the previous year(s) that have to be completed, whether the student already wants to – and is able to - choose a specific direction within the study programme, which elective courses he or she is planning to follow, and what is the best way to plan all of the above in such a way that the student will be able to finish within a reasonable time.

Submitting the plan

The study plan has to be submitted to the study adviser of the department, preferably before the start of every new academic year (August or September). The study adviser will either approve the plan or recommend changes. 

If a student falls behind the study plan during the year, for instance due to personal circumstances, he or she should discuss this with the study adviser and the plan may be adjusted.

What does the study plan mean for students?

For students, the study plan represents:

  • An incentive to create a realistic and well thought-out study plan that takes into account relevant additional activities and/or personal circumstances;

  • An overview of the courses to follow including a time path;

  • A good way of guaranteeing study progress because, as well as the individual student, the study adviser/supervisor can also compare the actual study progress with the plan, so that delays can be identified on time.

Why make a study plan?

Leiden University firmly believes it is important for students to complete their studies successfully and on time. For students it is important to do the best they can and to get the most out of their study programme, and, of course, to graduate on time. The goal is for students to complete their bachelor’s programme in the three years allocated for the programme. 

The Leiden study system (including the BSA) helps first-year students to discover whether the subject they have chosen suits them, in other words, whether they are in the right programme. In the subsequent years, the study plan supports students in successfully progressing in their studies and completing the programme on time.

Planning your studies and beyond

As a student in the Research MA programme, you are granted great freedom in formulating a study program, which for some of you works well, but for others can prove a challenge. The Study Advisor, Dr. Nicole van Os can provide practical advice and guidance about putting together your own programme. Once you begin your studies and are assigned an academic supervisor, you will also have the opportunity to consult with them on choosing the right courses, following particular research directions and your plans beyond the Research MA degree.

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