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Binding study advice (BSA)

As a bachelor’s student at Leiden University, you will be issued with binding study advice (BSA). This means you must obtain sufficient study credits in the first year of your bachelor’s programme to be permitted to continue studying. Some programmes also have additional requirements.


To be issued with positive study advice, you must obtain sufficient study credits in the first year of your Bachelor’s programme.

  • Full time students: 45 EC
  • Part time students: 30 EC

Some programmes have additional requirements, for example passing a specific course. Look in your programme’s Course and Examination regulations to find out if any additional requirements are in place.

How does it work?

Study advice is issued by your study programme’s board of examiners. Your study advice will be sent to your uMail address and can also be found under the email tab in uSis Student Self Service.

You will receive your first advice half way through the academic year, by 31 January at the latest. This is non-binding. If you are falling behind, the board of examiners will warn you to improve your performance to avoid being issued with negative study advice.

If your results are insufficient in May/June, you will again be issued with advice, which serves as a final warning. This is also non-binding.

You will receive your binding study advice at the end of the academic year, by 15 August at the latest.

Did you register on your study programme later than 1 September and are therefore only following part of the academic year? In this case you can ask the board of examiners to postpone the issuance of binding study advice until the end of your second year. 

Negative binding study advice

If you receive negative binding study advice, you must stop your studies and may not register on the same programme at Leiden University for the coming four years.

If you do not agree with your binding study advice, you can appeal against it within six weeks of the issuance of your study advice. It can take up to 16 weeks to receive a decision on your appeal. You can reregister in Studielink and follow courses and do exams during the appeal process. However you will only receive your grades and study credits once it has been decided that you may continue studying.

How to appeal

  1. Draw up your letter of appeal, stating the following:
    • your name, address and telephone number;
    • the date of your appeal; 
    • that you are appealing against your binding study advice; 
    • why you believe your binding study advice is not warranted. 
  2. Sign your letter of appeal and send it, accompanied by a copy of your binding study advice, to:

    Leiden University
    Examination Appeals Board
    Postbus 9500
    2300 RA Leiden

    Or via email to 

Exceptional circumstances

Will you obtain too few study credits as the result of exceptional or personal circumstances, such as illness, a disability, or combining your studies with other responsibilities? If so, the board of examiners must take this into consideration when issuing study advise. However, you must first report your circumstances on time to your study adviser and request a statement of hindrance.

Have you not yet informed your study adviser about your circumstances? Do this right away!

Request a statement of hindrance

You can request a statement of hindrance from the BSA committee by following the steps below:

Ask your doctor, psychologist or another expert to issue a statement. In the case of family circumstances, you can also ask a student counsellor to issue a statement – see contact block on this page.

  • Are you unable to obtain a statement from your doctor? Instead, ask your doctor to provide a printout of your medical dossier - which you are always entitled to.
  • Have you already submitted an expert statement to Fenestra or a student counsellor?
    In that case, you are generally not required to submit an expert statement with your request. If it later transpires that another expert statement is required, you will be notified as soon as possible by email.

The university will handle your request strictly in accordance with the privacy regulations (GDPR). Your data will only be seen by members of the BSA committee and its secretariat.

Be on time

Your request for a statement of hindrance must be submitted no later than 15 July. Keep in mind that it can take some time to arrange an expert statement.

Do you have an appointment scheduled with a student counsellor after 15 July? You must still request your statement of hindrance by 15 July. Be assured that your conversation with the student counsellor will still be taken into consideration during the BSA committee's evaluation. 

What happens next?

  • The BSA committee will evaluate how and when your study performance was affected by exceptional circumstances.
  • The BSA committee will submit the statement of hindrance to the board of examiners. You will receive a copy by email.
  • The board of examiners will decide whether you can be permitted to continue studying. The board will take your exceptional circumstances into account, but may still conclude that you should have performed better despite the circumstances. Therefore, there is still a possibility that you may have to stop your studies.
  • In exceptional cases, the board of examiners may decide to postpone the issuance of binding study advice because they are not able to sufficiently assess your performance at present.  
  • You will receive the board of examiner’s decision by email by 15 August at the latest.


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