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Binding study advice (BSA)

Binding study advice (BSA)

Binding study advice (BSA)

At the end of the first year, you'll receive a Binding Study Advice (BSA). If you meet the BSA requirements of your programme you will receive a positive study advice and you may continue your programme. On this page you'll find more information about the BSA, your options when obtained a negative BSA and a Frequently Asked Questions section. The above information is based on the usual course of events. For the current guidelines for academic year 2019-2020, in times of the corona-virus, please check the fold-out below.

  • Current information regarding binding study advice academic year 2019-2020

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, certain decisions have been made regarding the binding study advice (BSA). Here you can find information about how these decisions affect you as a student at the UvA.

    No negative BSA in 2019-2020, but certainly a positive BSA

    The UvA Economics and Business will not issue any negative binding study advice (BSA) for the current academic year against first-year students. You will receive a deferred BSA instead, which gives you the opportunity to complete the required number of credits of first-year courses for the positive BSA in two academic years. If you, as a first-year student, pass enough first-year courses (48 credits or more) this year to receive a positive BSA, you will of course receive a positive BSA.

    If you have received a dispensation for your binding study advice from the Board of Examiners, this decision also affects you. To get a positive BSA you need to obtain 48 EC of first year courses from your programme by the end of next academic year (2020-2021). This is a different norm than the one that was set for you in your dispensation decision and that you received in August 2019. That decision is no longer applicable.

    To keep things simple, we have decided that the new norm is already valid for the current academic year. This means that if you obtain the required 48 EC of first year courses this year, you will already receive a positive BSA in the summer. If not, you have a whole extra year in 2020-2021 to meet the new norm. Please note that the norm refers to the cumulative amount of credits of first-year courses in your programme, not the credits obtained in one year.

    Try to obtain a positive BSA!

    It is hugely important that you continue with your studies, in order to secure a positive BSA this year. This way you also ensure that you have enough time next year to complete your second-year courses. The study advisers will be happy to help you with your planning.


    Students who are here on a visa have to obtain 30 credits per academic year to keep their visa. This is an IND regulation. This regulation has not been altered due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Do you have second thoughts about your study choice?

    Of course, it is also possible that you have second thoughts about your study choice, despite the fact that you will get dispensation for the BSA for this year. Please contact the UvA Student Careers Centre.if this is the case. They can help you find a degree programme that suits you better. Among other things, you’ll gain insight into your qualities and interests and gather information about other degree programmes. Read more about help when you’re having second thoughts.

    Do you have a question about the deferred BSA and the consequences it has for you? Please contact the Education Desk



For the current guidelines for academic year 2019-2020, in times of the coronavirus, please check the above fold-out.

The content below has been carefully compiled based on the current Teaching and Examinations Regulations of UvA Economics and Business. No rights can be derived from this content in the event that the text on this page deviates from the text in the above-mentioned articles.

The information below is based on the usual course of events and demonstrates how you can obtain a positive BSA in the next academic year.


Binding Study Advice academic year 2020-2021

  • BSA requirements

    To obtain a positive study advice at the end of the first year, students need to earn at least 48 EC in the current academic year for courses of the first year of their Bachelor’s programme. Any exemptions that you received previously don't count for meeting the BSA requirements.



  • When will you receive the study advice?
    • You will receive a number of preliminary study advices to provide you with insight in your study progress.
    • After all study results of the academic year have been registered (including the resits in July), a final positive study advice or an intended negative binding study advice will be sent to you by e-mail* no later than the first week of August. That's why it is very important that you (or someone else on your behalf) read your e-mail carefully, including spambox, during this period.
    • In case of an intended negative study advice, you will also receive an e-mail*. This e-mail indicates the date before which you can apply for dispensation from the Binding Study Advice Committee.

    * The BSA communication will be sent to the e-mail adress that is registered in Studielink. Therefore, if necessary, change this address in Studielink.

  • Positive study advice

    In case you meet the requirements of the BSA you will be given a positive study advice. You will not receive a BSA in the following years of your Bachelor's programme. Please beware that the validity of Bachelor's courses is six years.

  • Negative Binding Study Advice

    If you do not meet the BSA requirements a negative Binding Study Advice (NBSA) will be issued. In this case you are not allowed to enrol for the same programme at UvA Economics and Business for a period of three years, nor for a programme that has largely or exactly the same first year.

    If you obtained a NSBA for one of the following three Bachelor's degree programmes, you are not eligable for three years for one of the other programmes:

    • Actuarial Science
    • Econometrics (formerly Econometrics and Operations Research)
    • Business Analytics (conditional on final accreditation)


    This also applies to:

    • Economics and Business Economics
    • Fiscale Economie

    In case you want to start a Bachelor’s programme at UvA Economics and Business you're not excluded from, please make sure you meet the entry requirements of that particular Bachelor’s programme. You can find these requirements at the programme page of the Bachelor of your choice.

    In exceptional cases application for dispensation is approved. More information is to be found below at Apply for dispensation in case of a negative binding study advice.

  • Cases where the Binding Study Advice does not apply

    BSA will not be issued in the following two situations:

    • Your enrolment is terminated as of 1 February
      If you terminate your enrolment before 1 February, you'll not be given a BSA. In order to terminate your enrolment as of 1 February you must terminate your enrolment through Studielink no later then 31 January. In the subsequent academic year you can re-enrol for the same Bachelor's programme. At the end of the new academic year you will be given a BSA.
      To discuss your housing arrangements and Visa (if applicable), it is necessary to inform the Admissions Office immediately after the termination of your enrolment.

    • Recognised personal circumstances
      If you receive a Negative Binding Study Advice (NBSA), the Binding Study Advice Committee can grant dispensation in exceptional cases on grounds of recognized personal circumstances. An important condition in these cases is that you reported the personal circumstances to a Study Adviser. Personal circumstances involve matters such as illness, special circumstances involving family, pregnancy and medical functional disorders.

    When one of the above mentioned issues or other personal circumstances apply to you, report this immediately to a Study Adviser.

Apply for dispensation in case of a Negative Binding Study Advice

  • Application for dispensation by the Binding Study Advice Committee

    If you are given a negative BSA, you could in case of recognized personal circumstances apply for dispensation from the Binding Study Advice Committee (of the Faculty Economics and Business). In exceptional cases the Binding Study Advice Committee will approve the request for dispensation. An important condition is that the personal circumstances that influenced your study results were reported and discussed with a Study Adviser. You will be informed about the procedure at the end of the academic year.

    This is a short description of the procedure:

    • In order to request dispensation you need to submit a request to the Binding Study Advice Committee. You can do this by submitting an online request. The link to this request can be found on this website at the end of the academic year. In this request you should explain which personal circumstances withheld you from meeting the BSA requirements. If you do not have or have not had any personal circumstances effecting your study results this academic year or if there is no proven relationship between the personal circumstances and your study results, no dispensation will be granted to you and thus it is pointless to request dispensation. How and when you should request dispensation will be explained in the final BSA advice.  
    • The Binding Study Advice Committee will only take into account personal circumstances that are listed in Article 6.4 of the Teaching and Examination Regulations. One of the most important requirements for dispensation is that you have reported  and discussed your personal circumstances with a study adviser during the academic year. Also, bear in mind that you must hand in official documentation of your personal circumstances to the study advisers. The official documents must be in English or Dutch. Otherwise, a certified translation (from an official translator) of the documents is required.
  • Approved dispensation

    If you have been granted dispensation based on your personal circumstances at the end of your first-year of study, you are permitted to continue your programme of study. Depending on the number of credits obtained in the first-year study programme, in the following year you are required to:

    • complete all first-year courses, or
    • obtain a specified number of credits determined by the Binding Study Advice Committee.

    The dispensation letter you receive from the Binding Study Advice Committee states which conditions apply in your case. Please contact the study advisers if you want to discuss you study planning regarding the new requirements.