Universiteit Leiden

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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.

Elective courses

You can earn elective credits by putting together your own set of elective 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 also 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.


You can earn elective credits by doing a minor. A minor consists of a cohesive set of courses on one theme which can help you to broaden your horizons and develop new knowledge, insight and skills. Learn more about minors


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.

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).

Discretionary space during your Bachelor

For your discretionary space during your Bachelor you can choose from the following options: 

  • An approved minor offered by Leiden University
  • An approved minor offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • An approved minor offered by Delft University of Technology
  • An internship combined with courses offered by Leiden University and/or another educational institution
  • An individually compiled set of courses offered by Leiden University and/or another educational institution

If you wish to select another option than an approved minor offered by Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam or Delft University of Technology, you need to obtain approval from the Board of Examiners


In your third year in the BA International Studies programme there is the elective space worth of 30 EC. You will use this electives space in your programme with one of the following three options:

Elective Approval

Courses must be approved by the BA International Studies board of examiners prior to the semester. 

Students can submit their courses for approval by filling in the electives form,
accompanied by a short course descriptions/syllabi, in English (or links to online descriptions). 

Check that your courses meet the requirements before submitting your form.

The Board aspires to answer your request within 15 working days. Students who have chosen a set minor of Leiden University do not need to receive an approval of the Board. All minors of Leiden University are in principle acceptable. See the chapter about minors for the exceptions to this rule.

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