Binding Study Advice at Leiden University

As a student of Leiden University you are entitled to good education and academic guidance. In return you are expected to meet certain requirements: the so-called BSA requirement. On this page you can learn about the criteria you are expected to meet in order to receive positive Binding Study Advice (BSA).

What is BSA?

BSA stands for Binding Study Advice. At Leiden University Regulations on Binding Study Advice (BSA regulations) are in force. These regulations form part of the Leiden Study System. The rights and obligations of both students and study programmes in terms of academic guidance and BSA at the end of the first year of registration on the study programme are laid down in the BSA regulations. These rights and obligations are explained in more detail below.  

Right to academic guidance

Every study programme is obliged to offer the following to its students:

  • meetings with study coordinators

  • mentorship

  • support in drawing up a study plan

For information concerning the so-called ‘student tutoring plan’ see article 3 in section A of the Regulations on Binding Study Advice.

Right to information concerning academic progress, (binding) study advice

During your first year of registration on a study programme the Board of Examiners of your department will send you an email concerning your academic progress on two occasions. These emails will state how far you have progressed in your studies and contain advice on the (dis)continuation of your studies on the basis of the progress made. The advice issued midway through the academic year is non-binding and for information purposes only. The advice issued at the end of the academic year is binding. 

How is study advice sent?

As of the academic year 2015-2016 Leiden University sends study advice to its students by email only. Study advice is always sent to a student’s university email address (uMail). Each student is provided with a Umail address upon registration with the university. Your Umail address is coupled to your ULCN account.

Copies of all BSA emails are saved in uSis. To access these mails log into uSis, click on ‘self service’, go to ‘notifications centre’ and select the ‘email’ tab.

Types of student

The BSA Regulations recognise three types of student: full-time, part-time and students on ‘collaboration’ study programmes. All students are issued with study advise on two occasions during their first academic year. The requirements to be met for the issuance of positive binding study advice vary per group and can be found in the table below.   

Summary table - BSA regulations: study advice, dates of issuance and BSA requirements

The table below provides a clear overview of the dates on which each type of student can expect to receive study advice and the requirements to be fulfilled in order for positive advice to be issued. An explanation of the terms used can be found later on this page.

Academic year

Type of  advice

Name of advice

When issued

Type of student

Requirements for positive advice

1st year





1st advice

31 January at the latest


Board of Examiners - after consultation with department




1st binding advice



15 August
at the latest



Full-time students

45 ec + (if applicable)additional requirements

Collaboration study    programmes

45 ec + (if applicable)additional requirements

Part-time students

30 ec + (if applicable)additional requirements


Explanation of possible outcomes of study advice

By issuing positive advice (binding or non-binding) your department states that it expects you to be able to successfully complete your study programme within four years.

By issuing non-binding negative advice your department is warning you midway through the academic year that you must improve your academic performance if you wish to avoid being issued with negative binding study advice at the end of the academic year.

By issuing negative binding study advice with refusal the Board of Examiners states that it does not believe that you can complete your study programme within a reasonable time-frame. ‘Refusal’ means that you are not permitted to register as student on the same study programme, or a programme with the same propaedeutic phase, at Leiden University for a period of four year. 

Negative binding study advice without refusal means that you have not met the formal requirements, but as you have been effected by exceptional (personal) circumstances the Board of Examiners has decided not to refuse permission to continue studying. This means you may continue your studies but under certain conditions. Please refer to the information on BSA and exceptional (personal) circumstances.

Collaboration study programmes

A number of study programmes are taught in collaboration with another institution. For these programmes different (less strict) BSA requirements may apply. These requirements are stated in the programme’s Course and Examination Regulations (OER). The programmes in question are:

  • Mathematics

  • Life Science and Technology (LST)

  • Molecular Science and Technology (MST)

  • Clinical Technology 

Academic delay due to exceptional (personal) circumstances

Sometimes your academic progress can be hindered by exceptional (personal) circumstances such as illness, disability, learning disorders, pregnancy, exceptional family circumstances, or membership of university/student boards. If you take the appropriate steps in time the Board of Examiners is obliged to take these circumstances into consideration when issuing binding study advice. For more information please see the webpage on Personal circumstances, study delay and BSA.

Any question?

Do you have a question about BSA and can’t find the answer on this page? Take a look in our FAQ section or speak to your Study Advisor.