For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.
Exchange students enrolled in Social and Behavioural Sciences’ programmes at their home universities take part in the Exchange Programme Social and Behavioural Sciences at the UvA.

All courses in our English-taught programme are provided on an advanced undergraduate level in one of the bachelor’s programmes of the College of Social Sciences, the College of Communication, the College of Child Development and Education and the College of Psychology: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences; Cultural Anthropology; Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies; Political Science, Sociology, Computational Social Science, Communication Science; Child Development; Education; Psychology. For most courses a strong background in one of these disciplines is required. If necessary, this is indicated in the course descriptions, which can be found in the course catalogue

Thematic clusters

The programme offers courses in the following thematic clusters:

  • Child Development and Education
  • Anthropology of the Body
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Anthropology of Economy and Ecology
  • Courses about a wide variety of regions
  • Communication and Society
  • Economic and Financial Geography
  • Environmental Geography and Planning 
  • Political Geography
  • Urban Studies
  • International development Studies
  • Global Health, Care and Society
  • Global Migration
  • Urban Studies
  • Conflict Studies
  • Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • International Relations
  • Political Economy
  • Public Policy and Governance
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Work and Organisational Psychology
  • Brain and Cognition
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychological Methods
  • Clinical Developmental Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Intersectionalities (class, race, gender & sexualities)
  • Urban Places & Social Problems
  • Migration & Citizenship
  • Health & Society
  • Education & Work
  • Globalising Cultures
  • Social Interactions and Interdependencies
  • Power, Culture, Identity
  • Society, Social Action and Inequality
  • Culture and Structure
  • Sustainability
  • Computational Social Science

Placement in courses always depends on the educational background of students and available spots in courses. Some courses require a strong background in the specific field. Students pre-register for a maximum of 42 credits during the course registration period. 

Students may only be registered for courses they have sufficient background for. This is checked  before and during the course registration period. If you cannot pre-register for a course you are not eligible to take it.

After the course registration deadline, no further changes are possible.

Please note that we cannot guarantee placement in specific courses as the allocation in courses is done via a draw. If a student is required to take a specific course, the International Office can try to accommodate the student if the partner university confirms the necessity this course.

Please check the course catalogue regularly. Changes may still occur.

Academic Calendar 2024 - 2025

Below you can find the University of Amsterdam's academic calendar, including exam weeks and holidays.

Courseload and credits

Credit system

The University of Amsterdam uses the European Credit System (ECTS, EC’s). The standard workload for full-time students is 60 EC per academic year (1680 hours of study) or 30 EC per semester (840 hours of study). 


The credit system is based on student workload. Student workload does not only consist of lectures and seminars, but also of individual study activities. The workload is expressed in credit points based on the ECTS. 1 EC represents 28 hours of full-time study, including lecture attendance, hours spent on individual study and preparation of assignments.


Most courses are 6 ECTS (one block, 8 weeks) or 12 ECTS (two blocks, 16 weeks) and are mostly offered in the first two blocks of the semester. Courses last for one or two blocks. The length of a course is indicated in the course catalogue. When selecting courses please note that you should divide your study load equally. For example, when selecting a standard study load of 30 EC per semester, select 12 EC in block 1, 12 EC in block 2 and 6 EC in block 3 (as block 3 is the shortest period). Students are expected to take a minimum of 24 ECTS per semester. Students can register up to a maximum of 42 ECTS per semester but are only able to take 36 ECTS per semester. 

Students are recommended to take a maximum of two courses during one block. In case the student only takes courses in block 1 and 2, this usually means a workload of 24 credits. Students following more than two courses per block need to be prepared for a higher workload.

Academic climate

The UvA highly values independent and critical thinking. Students are expected to study independently. Former exchange students have expressed to find the academic climate challenging but rewarding.

Exams and assessments are not only scheduled at the end of a course, but also during the block. Students are often expected to hand in weekly assignments, such as small essays or reports, and most courses have both a mid-term and a final exam.

Professors expect exchange students to fully participate in courses. It is not common to be more lenient towards exchange students. There are no auditor-only options.

Links to UvA Course Catalogue 2023-24: