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Electives during your Bachelor's - CS

The Communication Science Bachelor’s programme contains 30 ECTS credits for electives. The choice of electives in the programme is up to the student. In this way, students have the opportunity to broaden (or deepen) their knowledge. Depending on individual interests and academic planning, students have several options in composing their electives semester.

This information is meant to give you an impression of your options. A complete overview is available in the Course Catalogue. If you chose your elective(s) already, you can ask for permission in SIS. 

  • What are the preconditions for the CS electives space?

    While orientating to electives you should keep in mind the following conditions:

    • The electives cover a total of 30 ECTS credits.
    • You are allowed to take up a maximum of 12 ECTS credits at first year/skill level. Please note that language-learning courses are considered skills courses. In other words, you must take up a minimum of 18 ECTS credits at advanced level.
    • Please read the Course Catologue for the complete list of conditions.
  • What is a minor?

    A minor is a cohesive programme of electives within a certain field of study. Students receive a certificate upon completion of a minor. The minor will be recorded separately on the student’s list of marks in the diploma supplement. Usually, students can start with a minor after completion of all first-year courses (60 ECTS credits).

  • What to choose: seperate electives or a minor?

    What to choose: seperate electives or a minor?

    Students are free to choose whether they want to take up seperate electives or take up a minor. Many students are under the impression that one option must be better than the other, but this is not the case. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options.

    Pro's and cons of seperate electives

    Opting for seperate electives gives students the opportunity to choose courses from many different disciplines. In this way, students learn to study interdisciplinarily, which is one of the goals of the electives semester. As a result, knowledge is broadened and students look at relevant issues from many different angles. Furthermore, separate electives are often easier to fit into the academic plan. A disadvantage may be that sorting out several individual electives from different study programmes can be quite a bit of work. Different programmes may have different application procedures and official approval is needed for every individual elective course. An advantage is that the students have the freedom to choose courses that are most interesting to them.

    Pro's and cons of a Minor

    During a minor, one particular theme is explored in depth. If you, for example, know exactly which direction you want to take within Communication Science, it would be a good option to choose a minor that is closely related to that direction. In addition, a minor can be used to switch to another Master’s programme. This can be an advantage if you have already developed interest in another Master’s programme. Furthermore, it is often easier to choose a minor as opposed to several individual electives, because a minor is offered in its entirety. Some minors have flexibility in planning, but most minors have a fixed schedule that is determined by the study programme that they belong to. This is a substantial drawback as this schedule does not always sit well with the course scheduling of Communication Science, and as a result, you may take longer over your studies. Sometimes courses in a minor are even spread over two semesters. Thus, although students are free to choose a minor, it is recommended that students choose a minor that fits within the study schedule of Communication Science in order to avoid such delays.

  • Do electives and minors have entry requirements?

    Electives and minors of different programmes have their own admission and entry requirements. They are listed in the Course Catalogue. You should also keep in mind that you need to apply for a minor. You will find the respective application form in the Course Catalogue.

  • How to determine the level of an elective course?

    Please note: there is a maximum of 10 ECTS credits (for students in the old programme) or a maximum of 12 ECTS credits (for students in the new programme) to attend courses with a propaedeutic level or comparable entry level. The content of a course may not overlap with the content of another course, or with the content of the compulsory courses of Communication Science.

    The various ways to determine the level of a course are described below.

    Look at the entry requirements

    An elective course that has a propaedeutic year as entry requirement is usually an advanced level course. Some courses, however, do not have such an entry requirement. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the study programme that offers the elective course for more information. Upon submitting official written request to this effect, the Examination Board will indicate on which level the course will be approved.

    Look at the Course Catalogue number

    Within the UvA, a level 1 course can be identified by the fourth number in the ‘Course Catalogue number’. For a course in the propaedeutic year this is a 1. This rule does not apply to UvA minors that have some ECTS credits on propaedeutic level.

    When do programme students take the course

    If the course is included in the planning of a Bachelor’s programme, its timing in the planning can provide valuable information. If it is a first year course, it is at a propaedeutic level. If it is second year or third year course, the course is at an advanced level. 

    Determine if the course is a ‘Skills’ course

    Some courses in the advanced phase focus on learning certain skills (for example language skills or journalistic skills). These courses may be designated as being at ‘skills level’ even though they are taught in the advanced phase. Make sure to carefully read the course description to determine if your course is a ‘skills’ course.

    Still confused?

    Contact the study adviser.

  • Can I do electives within Communication Science?

    It is preferred that students choose electives that are not part of the Communication Science Bachelor's in order to gain knowledge from different disciplines. If students do want to choose some electives within Communication Science, they can do additional Topics. It is not possible to choose regular courses (e.g. from the old bachelor’s programme Communication Science) as electives.


Do you want to make sure you didn't miss anything whilst choosing your electives? Use the checklist below.