Elective space

Elective space

Students may request permission to follow a course from another faculty or university and let it count towards the Trimester 7 elective options for the bachelor programme (for more information see Appendix ‘Trimester 7’ of the IBA Teaching and Examination Regulations) or the 6 ECTS free elective for the master programmes.

Counting towards curriculum

The general policy of the Examination Board regarding elective courses from another faculty or university is as follows:

  1. The course must be part of an accredited programme at a Dutch university or a foreign research-driven university;
  2. The course must have a level equivalent to the RSM course, i.e. it cannot be a bachelor course as a master free elective;
  3. In terms of content, skills, attitude and testing, the course must sufficiently fit in with the specified exit qualifications for the programme;
  4. The course must have added value for the programme, which is why there should not be too much overlap with mandatory parts of the RSM programme concerned;
  5. The basic rule is that, as part of the RSM programmes offered in English, the external course may not be taught in Dutch. Courses in other languages are considered, provided that there is an assessable (online) manual available in English (or Dutch). The manuals are not required for the language course options offered by the IBA programme;
  6. The course is not used for another programme being taken by the student in question.
  7. The student must take the course and sit the examination while he or she is enrolled at RSM as a student.

Exemption elective space

The Examination Board may decide to (partially or fully) exempt the student from the required trimester 7 ECTS if the student has earned sufficient credits on account of a second bachelor programme. The above-mentioned point 4 is, however, still relevant; there should not be too much overlap. Items 6 and 7 do not apply to grant an exemption.

With regard to point 5 of the general policy above, IBA students only qualify for an exemption from the elective space if the language of the previously followed education was not Dutch. Education completed elsewhere is only considered for exemption when the course(s) (described in detail in English or Dutch) meet(s) the quality standards mentioned above.

Exemptions towards the master phase will not be granted. Thus, this also applies to the master free elective space.

An exemption will not affect the GPA, as it is recorded as a non-numeric result “VR” (in Dutch) or “EXEMPT” (in English).

Bachelor Minor

Taking a bachelor minor in accordance with the EUR minor admissions matrices does not, in principle, require separate approval from the Examination Board. This includes the LDE minors (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus). Explicit approval from the Examination Board is required if a student wishes to include a second minor in his/her bachelor programme. This approval must be requested in advance.

Partially completed minor programs are not automatically inserted into the curriculum. You can submit a request at the Examination Board for approval of separate electives.

Bachelor Projects

Board memberships at study or student associations are of great value to the students CV. However, due to the lack of academic character and guidance, students will not, in principle, gain ECTS for it. In order to include approved projects, such as IRP or BRP depending on the BA, IBA or master’s curriculum, explicit approval of the Examination Board is required prior to the start of the project.

Bachelor “free mover exchange” / electives abroad

If you would you like to follow elective courses at another institution abroad on your own initiative, you need explicit approval from the Examination Board. The Examination Board assesses the institution and the courses chosen according to the policy above. Once completed, the courses are not regarded as exchange courses on your transcript.

Requests to take external courses via an RSM Exchange Programme are handled by the International Office

Summer course

The Examination Board only considers permission for a summer course counting towards the elective space if it is offered by a research-driven accredited institution. The course should offer enough quality content and will be assessed according to the policy above. Note: it may be that the Examination Board grants less ECTS than the facilitating institution, due to the fact that the number of ECTS can sometimes be unrealistic in terms of hours spent on study (e.g. 6 ECTS = 128 hours in two weeks’ time).

Master free elective

Students that want to follow a master free elective outside faculty should submit a request at the Examination Board prior to the start of the course. The Academic Director must support your request. Please add an e-mail of approval to your request.

Exemptions in the master phase will not be considered.

In principle, it is possible to follow additional courses within the MSc curriculum, as long as this does not exceed the standard number of courses per block. If you have less scheduled education in a given period due to a second master year, you can sign up for additional programme or free electives. Explicit approval from the Examination Board is needed when a student wishes to participate in other programme components such as core courses. Additional components will be visible as free electives on the grade transcript and cannot be withdrawn by the student.

Please note: only MiM students may apply for a ‘postponement of issuing the degree’ in order to follow an additional master free elective and let it count towards their programme. Master students from other programmes may not request this postponement for including additional master free electives.

Two master programmes

Students following two master programmes concurrently might be eligible to take two electives in one block. 

Students must obtain official permission from the Examination Board in order to take more than one elective in a given block. Such requests must be submitted via MSc Programme Management. In order to request permission, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have started your first RSM MSc programme in September of the previouos academic year, and
  • You must have obtained 54 EC of your first RSM MSc programme and thus completed all required curricular components except for one elective of 6 EC, and
  • You must have started with your second RSM MSc programme in September of this academic year.

Submitting your request

A request should always be submitted via the Online Request Form. The request must be provided with all relevant documents (such as course description, list of literature, etc.). Keep in mind that the summer period might cause a delay in process time; file your request as soon as possible. Otherwise there is a chance that your request has not been processed before the start of the new academic year. 

Grade list

Once you have completed the approved external elective, the official grade given by the external institution will be recorded on your RSM transcript as well, unless the course is taken at a foreign (research driven) university. Foreign institutions usually apply different grading methods, therefore we will record a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ on the RSM transcript. This also applies to grades obtained for an Exchange programme.

For the bachelor, no more than 20 ECTS will count towards the elective space (and 180 credits for the entire curriculum), unless there is an indivisible course. Until the full 180 ECTS have been gained and the degree will be automatically issued, students may submit a request to change the elective course(s) they want to include in the curriculum and count towards the GPA. This request must be submitted at the Student Administration (located in Sanders Building, room L3-033) in good time: at least 6 weeks before the last remaining grade is published, on the basis of which the degree is to be issued.

Extra exam opportunities

Requests for an extra exam opportunity for a bachelor elective will not be considered, even if this is the last remaining bachelor course.