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I'm a Master's student

In exceptional cases, permission for an adjusted Master's curriculum can be granted by the Examinations Board. You should always make an appointment with the study adviser well ahead of the start of any alternative courses in order to ask for the required permission and to discuss the effects of this change on your study progress. The Master's programmes of the Graduate School of Communication offer specialization options in the curriculum, which enable you to simultaneously broaden and deepen your knowledge of Communication Science in a major that matches your career plans. However, in order to guarantee the quality of the Master's and sufficient study progress within the designated time frame, there is only a limited amount of options open to adjust the standard study programme. Once the study adviser has reviewed your request, you can use this manual to submit a petition in SIS, in order to have the alternative courses approved by the Examination Board and to have the request processed administratively in your academic plan. There are five different options.

  • Option 1: Replacing electives with courses of the UvA

    In case a student has obtained the permission of the study adviser to replace two electives for one extra specialisation seminar of a different track, or to replace one or two electives for other courses of the University of Amsterdam that are not provided by the study programme of Communication Science, the student is required to submit a petition in SIS according to the following steps:

    NOTE: this instruction is only for courses that are provided by the University of Amsterdam. If you wish to follow courses of another university, follow the steps provided under the heading "Substituting an elective for a course of another university".

    1. Go to your academic plan in SIS and click on any of the courses listed underneath the heading “Electives”.
    2. Click on the green button “Submit petition”.
    3. Choose the option “4 Replacement” in the drop-down list next to “Petition type” and click on “Continue”.
    4. Fill in a brief description of your request in the text box next to “Description”.
    5. Click on the icon of a lens underneath the heading “Replace by” and the subheading “Course ID”. Fill in the Catalogue number of the course in the field next to “Catalog Nbr” and click on “Look up” (you can find the Catalogue number in the “Course Catalogue” of the UvA when you search by the name of the course). Click on the name of the course that subsequently appears.
    6. If you wish to ask permission for more than one course of the University of Amsterdam outside of your current study programme, click on the button “Add course”. If you wish to follow only one course outside of your programme, you can ignore this button.
    7. Submit a direct hyperlink to the online Catalogue description of the course and a brief summary of your request in the text box underneath “Explanation student”.
    8. Click on “Submit” and subsequently on “Yes” if you are certain you filled in every field correctly.
  • Option 2: Replacing electives with courses of another university

    In exceptional cases a student is able to replace one or two electives by courses offered by another university.

    In order to obtain the required prior permission for this alternative study trajectory, the student is obliged to make an appointment with the study adviser six weeks before the start of the external course to discuss the impact on his or her study progress and the conditions that need to be fulfilled by the student. If the student obtained permission from the study adviser, he or she is required to submit a petition within the same week to the Examinations Board in SIS according to the steps below.

    NOTE:  Courses of universities outside of the Netherlands will be added to the supplement of the Master certificate, provided a student received the required permission and has met all the conditions set by the study adviser and Examinations Board. However the original grade will not be adopted on the supplement. Instead the student will receive an “AVV”, which means the student has met the requirements of this course. Courses of other Dutch universities, on the other hand, will be added to the supplement with their original grade.

    1. Go to your academic plan in SIS and click on any of the courses listed underneath the heading “Electives”. (or "Keuzeseminars")
    2. Click on the green button “Submit petition”. (or "Indienen verzoekschrift")
    3. Choose the option “5 External Education” (or "5 Extern onderwijs") in the drop-down list next to “Petition type” and click on “Continue” (or "Doorgaan").
    4. Give a brief description of your request in the text box next to “Description”. (or "Omschrijving")
    5. Write down in the field next to “External Organization” the official name of the academic institution that provides the course(s) you wish to attend.
    6. Do NOT click on the button “Add Courses To Be Replaced”.
    7. Give the original title of the course in the fields next to “Short Description” and “Long Description”, below the heading “Substituted by (Dutch)”. Use the language the course was given in - a Dutch translation of the title is not necessary. In the field below the heading “Substituted by (Translation)” you subsequently fill in the (translated) English title of the course in the fields next to “Short Description” and  “Long Description”.
    8. If you wish to attend only a single external course, skip this step and go to step 9. In case wish to attend several courses of the same external academic institution, then click on the button “Add External Education”, and repeat the instructions of step 7 for each course.
    9. Submit a direct hyperlink to the online course description provided by the external academic institution and give a brief summary of your request in the text box underneath “Explanation student”.
    10. Click on “Submit” (or "Doorgaan") and subsequently on “Yes” if you are certain you filled in every field correctly.
    11. Provide the Education Desk Communication Science with the official grade list or certificate immediately after you have passed the course. Important: The education desk only accepts official certified grade lists if they are sent (by post or e-mail) directly to Communication Science: educationdesk-cs@uva.nl by the other university.  Another way to submit a certified grade list is to submit it by postal mail (in person is not possible at the moment due to Corona measures) to the Education Desk of Communication Science: PO Box 15796, 1001 NG Amsterdam. To overcome fraud, grade lists submitted through other means than described earlier are not accepted and your study results will not be processed. Important: The education desk does not accept grade lists sent by the student him or herself. 
  • Option 3: Replacing a specialisation seminar with a seminar from a different track

    In exceptional cases it is allowed for a student of the Graduate School of Communication Science to replace one specialisation seminar with another specialisation seminar from a different track.

    Both the Examinations Board and the study adviser need to provide their permission well before the course registration period has started (for the subsequent semester). In order to obtain approval, the student needs to schedule an appointment with the study adviser. If the latter has granted permission, the student subsequently submits a formal petition to the Examinations Board. 

    This petition needs to include: 

    • Motivation for changing their specialisation seminar
    • An overview of preferred courses: 
      • two specialisation seminars
      • the track the student wants to write their thesis in. 
    • a check courses don't overlap in the timetable

    The petition can be filed via the link below. 

  • Option 4: Adding extracurricular courses

    In exceptional cases it is allowed for a student of the Graduate School of Communication Science to attend extra courses in addition to the standard programme and to have these extracurricular courses recorded on the supplement of the Master certificate.

    Both the Examinations Board and the study adviser need to provide their permission well before the extracurricular courses start. In order to obtain approval, the student needs to schedule an appointment with the study adviser. If the latter has granted permission, the student subsequently submits a formal petition in SIS to the Examinations Board according to the steps below.

    NOTE: Extracurricular courses will not be included in the GPA of the Master certificate, on which the awarding of the Latin honours title Cum Laude co-depends. Nevertheless these courses will have to be passed for a student to be able to graduate. After all, by the approval of the Examinations Board these extracurricular courses become an integral part of the official academic plan of the student.

    1. Go to your academic plan in SIS and search for the separate section “Master Communication Science (MSc) - Extracurricular Courses”.
    2. Open this section by clicking on the green triangle before the text “Master Communication Science (MSc) - Extracurricular Courses”, and then on the green triangle before "Exracurricular courses" (or "Extracurriculaire vakken").
    3. Click on any of the “Extracurricular activity” hyperlinks that appear.
    4. Click on the green button “Submit petition” (or "Indienen verzoekschrift").
    5. If the course is provided by the UvA, then follow steps 3-8  described under the heading  "Option 1:  Substituting  two electives for an extra specialisation seminar”. NB: Do NOT use the option "3 Extra curricular course" (or "3 Extracurriculair vak"), as this type of petition cannot be processes for technical reasons.
    6. If the course is provided by another university, then follow steps 3-11 described under the heading “Option 2: Substituting an elective for a course of another university”. NB: Do NOT use the option "3 Extra curricular course" (or "3 Extracurriculair vak"), as this type of petition cannot be processes for technical reasons.
  • Option 5: Exemption for mandatory courses

    Exemption from a mandatory course of the master programme may be granted by the Examinations Board if a student can prove mastery of the required curriculum prior to the start of the mandatory course.

    Exemptions will never be granted based on work experience or self-study. Only certificates of a master degree course of another accredited university may qualify as sufficient proof.  However, no rights can be derived from previous arrangements. The Examinations Board will decide on a case-to-case base whether a student sufficiently masters the curriculum to be granted dispensation from the mandatory course.

    In order to file a request for course exemptions, the student has to schedule an appointment with the study adviser. If the latter approves the request, the student will have to submit a formal petition to the Examinations Board in SIS according to the steps below:

    1. Go to your academic plan in SIS and click on the course you wish to ask dispensation from.
    2. Click on the green button “Submit petition”. (or "Indienen verzoekschrift").
    3. Choose the option “1 Exemption” (or "1 Vrijstelling") in the drop-down list next to “Petition type” and click on “Continue” (or "Doorgaan").
    4. Fill in a brief description of your request in the text box next to “Description” (or "Omschrijving").
    5. Write your request to the Examinations Board in a concise manner and with clear arguments in the text box underneath “Explanation student”. Do not forget to add a direct hyperlink in this text box to the online course description provided by the study programme of the external academic institution.
    6. Click on “Submit” (or "Indienen") and subsequently on “Yes” if you are certain you filled in every field correctly.
    7. Provide the Education Desk Communication Science with the official grade list or certificate of the course and a hard copy (print-out) of your submitted petition in SIS.