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Study planning

Below you will find an overview of what to expect during each year of your studies at PPLE and the actions you may need to take in order to maintain a successful study plan. If you have any questions about your study plan, please contact the Study Advisers or other relevant staff members.

Year 1


  • Binding study advice

    In Year 1, you must obtain 54 out of 60 EC of your PPLE courses in order to obtain a positive Binding Study Advice (BSA) and continue your studies at PPLE in Year 2. The Binding Study Advice is part of a series of measures that increase your chances of studying successfully.

    Read more about the BSA

  • Major choice

    At the end of the first year, you will choose one of the four PPLE disciplines as a specialisation. You will meet and discuss with your mentor which discipline fits best with your interests and future goals. More in-depth questions about each major can be put to the relevant major mentor and Head of Studies. The major choices include the following (with entry requirements):

    • Politics: Pass Politics, Power & Governance I
    • Psychology: Pass Mind, Behaviour & Society I (fmr. Decision Making I)
    • Law: Pass Law Justice & Morality I
    • Economics and Business: Pass Economics, Markets & Organisations I and Mathematics Proficiency Test

    Find more information about the Majors

  • Registering for courses and course planning

    At the end of the first year, Year 1 students will register for their Year 2 courses themselves. Please note that anytime you will retake a course from a previous year, you will have to approach the PPLE Education Desk to register you for the course. You can email them in the registration week letting them know which course you still have to do. In other words, if you need to retake PPG I in Year 2, you will need to contact the PPLE Education Desk to register for it.

    Students with questions or concerns surrounding their future course planning are encouraged to contact the Study Advisers in May (for Semester 1 course registration in June) and in November (for Semester 2 course registration in December).

  • Academic core course requirements

    Some PPLE academic core courses require that you complete another course first. Students must pass the first course listed in order to start the 2nd course:

    • Politics, Power & Governance I -> Politics, Power & Governance II
    • Mind, Behaviour & Society I -> Mind, Behaviour & Society II (former Decision Making I -> Decision Making II)
    • Law Justice & Morality I -> Law Justice & Morality II
    • Economics, Markets & Organisations I -> Economics, Markets & Organisations II

    Please note that failing LJM I and/or EMO I will lead to an adjusted Year 2 course planning. Students in this position are encouraged to contact the Study Advisers in May.

    Read more on the Rules and Regulations

Year 2


  • 114 ECs

    We expect students to reach 114 EC (out of 120 EC) by the end of their 2nd year at PPLE. The 114 ECs does not include any electives or extracurricular courses students may have done next to their PPLE academic core and major courses. Students that do not reach 114 EC are required to complete a Study Plan Form and/or schedule a meeting with a Study Adviser to discuss an adjusted study plan. Students should submit their Study Plan Form before the end of May to ensure course registration in June goes smoothly.

Year 3


  • Thesis requirements

    Students must obtain 120 EC from PPLE academic core  and major courses in order to start their thesis in Year 3. Only credits obtained through courses from  Year 1, 2 and semester 1 of Year 3 will be counted towards the 120 EC. Electives and extracurricular courses will not be taken into account.

    Read more about the sequence of courses and admission requirements in the Teaching and Examination Regulations.

  • Adding a fourth year

    Students may stay on for a fourth year at PPLE for a variety reasons, e.g. Board Year, spread out courses to ease a compacted schedule, exchange, complete a minor, extracurricular courses, internship, take courses not yet completed. If you would like to take advantage of a fourth year, we strongly encourage you to consult with a Study Adviser well in advance.

  • Exchange

    PPLE students may attend a semester exchange in either the first semester of the third year or in fourth year (either semester). In the first semester of year three, 2 elective courses are scheduled. This offers the possibility to take these elective courses abroad and spend a semester at a partner university. However, in all 4 majors there will also be 3 compulsory major courses (18 EC). In order to avoid a study delay, students will need to take the equivalent of these courses abroad, which can be difficult to arrange. In order to have the courses taken abroad recognised by PPLE, the courses must be approved by the Examinations Board in order to validate the credits.

    PPLE students are eligible for a semester exchange abroad if they:

    • do not have a credit deficit at the beginning of their exchange (i.e. 120 ECTS of PPLE courses upon departure if you want to go away during the first semester of your third year)
    • have a 7.0 GPA at the time of application

    Read for more information and requirements to go on exchange

  • Extra exam opportunity

    Students who have successfully completed the Bachelor’s programme with the exception of one course from the three-year curriculum may be eligible for an extra examination opportunity for that final course (not including the Bachelor’s thesis), if obtaining a passing grade for the course in question would allow the student to graduate in the same academic year in which the extra exam opportunity is offered.

    Students should apply as soon as all requirements are met. This usually occurs at the end of the academic year. However, it can also occur throughout the year for students in their 4th year (or any year thereafter).

    This request must be made via the Examinations Board.

    Students applying at the end of academic year 

    This exam re-sit opportunity is offered annually and takes place in August (usually in the 3rd week).

    The Examinations Board requires end of year requests to come in by Monday, 12 July.  If you do not yet have all your results in by that time, you may already apply for the extra re-sit opportunity albeit under the condition that you will successfully pass all other courses including your thesis.

    If you need an extra exam opportunity in August, you should re-enroll for the next academic year in Studielink. You can request graduation immediately following the completion of the extra exam while you are awaiting the results.    

    Students applying during Year 4+

    If you want to take advantage of an extra exam re-sit opportunity during the academic year, because you have already met all requirements, then you may be able to do the extra re-sit earlier in the year instead of waiting until August.

    For example, if you only need to retake a Block 1 and Block 4 course in your 4th year in order to graduate, you can apply for an extra re-sit opportunity as soon as you have completed the Block 1 course and the grade is registered in SIS. This extra re-sit exam can then potentially take place before Block 4.

    If you are in doubt about whether you are eligible for this opportunity or what steps to take, you are encouraged to reach out to the Study Advisers.

    Please check the full list of requirements in the Teaching and Examination Regulations.

  • Graduation ceremony requirements

    Students must be able to complete all PPLE graduation requirements in that academic year in order to take part in the graduation ceremony. After taking part in the graduation ceremony, students can still choose to do a fourth year to go on exchange, to complete a minor or do extracurricular courses. However, they need to reenroll in UvA and not request their degree certificate before completing their last assessment.

  • Applying for your degree certificate (diploma)

    Students can apply for their degree certificate as soon as they have completed their final assessment. In order for a diploma to be issued, a student needs to obtain 180 EC of which 12 EC come from approved electives.

    Students need to be sure they follow the instructions carefully, in particular that they need to remain enrolled until their application for their degree certificate is processed.

    Read more about the specific instructions

Students lacking a sufficient number of credits should complete the Study Plan Form and submit it to PPLE Study Advisers.

  • Study Plan Form

    The purpose of the form is to keep a clear overview of the upcoming course planning and help with course registration preparations. The Study Adviser will discuss with you whether your planning is feasible and will be able to point out possible pitfalls in terms of scheduling, sequence of courses or workload.

    Per year a student can obtain 60 credits. Please submit the Study Plan Form in case you expect to obtain:

    • Year 1: less than 54 credits based on Year 1 academic core courses
    • Year 2: less than 114 credits based on Year 1 and Year 2 academic core and major courses
    • Year 3: less than 120 credits based on academic core and major courses by the start of Semester 2 / less than 180 credits based on academic core and major courses and electives by the end of Year 3.

    Study plan forms should be submitted to the PPLE Study Advisers:

Additional relevant links: