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Elective courses Faculty of Law

Last updated on 22 November 2022
As a master's student within the Faculty of Law, you can choose one or more individual courses. This is not possible in the bachelor's programs.

Always check beforehand if there are requirements for the elective component of your programme and whether permission of the Examination Board is mandatory.

Requesting permission

To request permission to pursue an elective subject outside your programme, use the Examination Board webform. You must submit the following information:

  • Name of the elective subject, 
  • Number of ec of the subject,
  • Faculty / university where you wish to pursue the subject,
  • Content of the subject, including information about the number of contact and study hours, if need be by a link to a public digital study guide. 

Please pay attention to the following:  

  • Ensure that you complete the request diligently. An incomplete requests cannot be processed by the Examination Board.  
  • If the chosen subject is for 5 ec only, you will need to complete an additional subject.  
  • If you complete the elective subject at a university other than the VU, you are responsible for ensuring that the VU receives an official transcript of your result with the number of credits obtained. You can contact the faculty administration at  

Overview of electives

  • Elective subjects in the Bachelor

    The elective part of the Bachelor’s programmes is usually referred to as the minor.  In the Bachelor’s programmes of the faculty, this elective component can be filled with a minor or with subjects which have been completed during an exchange. In our Bachelor’s programmes it is not possible to include a number of random elective subjects.  

    For more details see under Minors.

  • Elective subjects in the Master

    In most Master’s programmes of the faculty, it is possible to choose one or two subjects at your own discretion for the elective component of the programme. The TER specifies what is possible for your programme. Following are the various options and the procedure for pursuing an elective outside of your programme.

    Elective subjects which you wish to include for your exam must always be completed at an academic Master’s level. It is not possible to include subjects on Bachelor’s level.

    Pursuing electives in your own programme

    Every Master’s programme lists which electives can be chosen (see Study guide). Students can choose any of the listed subjects as an elective, provided they meet the admission requirements of the subject and the subject isn’t already included as a compulsory course.  

    Pursuing electives of another VU programme or at a different university

    If you wish to pursue an elective subject of another VU programme or at a different university, you must obtain prior permission from the Examination Board. The elective subject must be pursued at an accredited Dutch academic university and must be at Master’s level and of the same scope as subjects offered at VU Amsterdam. For subjects outside the faculty, the subject cannot be identical in content to a subject offered at the faculty.

  • Elective subjects abroad

    If you complete subjects abroad during a faculty exchange programme, they can be included in the elective component of your programme, both in the Bachelor’s programmes (including Criminologie) and the Master’s programmes.

    To include the subject(s) you need prior permission from the Examination Board. The Board must check if the subject(s) comply with the level requirements specified in the TER.

    To include subjects in the minor component, the following applies:

    • Of the subjects (6 EC) included, at least two must be at level 300; 
    • Of the subjects (6 EC) included, no more than one may be at level 100.

    To include subjects in the elective part of the Master’s programme, the subject must be completed at at least academic Master’s level.

    For practical information on studying abroad consult the page on Exchange.

  • Pursuing Extracurricular subjects

    If you are studying at the VU Faculty of Law and you wish to pursue extra (extracurricular) subjects of a different VU programme or at another university (abroad), you can do so.

    • To pursue extracurricular courses you do not need to obtain permission from the Examination Board.
    • You will need to obtain permission to pursue the course from the faculty/university where the subject is offered. The faculty/university concerned will be able to inform you how permission can be obtained.
    • If you are applying for a scholarship, always check the conditions for getting approval. 
    • If you wish to pursue a subject of another VU programme, consult Secondary subjects (or a minor) at VU Amsterdam.
    • If you wish to pursue a course at another Dutch university, you will most likely have to register with them as a secondary student. You will probably also have to submit a proof of paid tuition fees (BBC). The VU Student Desk can help you with that.  Ask the university concerned about the procedure. 
    • When you have completed an extra subject at a different VU faculty, the result will be shown as extracurricular in your VU Dashboard.
    • Extracurricular Bachelor’s subjects will not be included in the diploma supplement of a Master’s programme.