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Every semester, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies offers a wide variety of interdisciplinary elective courses. IIS electives are open to a variety of audiences: students and staff from any UvA faculty, students from other Dutch higher education institutions ('bijvak' students) and any other interested parties who can take part as 'contract students'.
  • UvA students

    UvA students can find the IIS Electives in the UvA Course catalogue.

    The education of the IIS is constantly evolving and we would like your input on which themes are interesting in an elective course and how we can organise this the best way possible. Please let us know by completing this form - it only takes 5 minutes.

  • Other interested parties (contract students & 'bijvak' students)

    Contract students

    You can register as a contract student if you are interested in following one of our IIS electives. By contract students, we mean all those who are not registered at an educational institution.

    UvA staff members and other interested parties are invited to participate as 'contract students' alongside UvA students and students from other education institutions (guest students). Please register here for the course that you would like to take. 

    Please note: contract students cannot enrol for every elective course. Please read the course-specific information carefully to see if contract students can enrol, if contract students can attend the course on-campus or online, and which rates apply. 

    After completing the form, uploading a copy of your passport (you can use the CopyID app for this) and payment by credit card or iDeal, you will receive a confirmation email. You will be registered as a contract student at the UvA and you will receive proof of enrolment from the Central Student Administration with a student number. You do not need to take any further action on this email.

    You can find the costs of the course below under 'Costs'.

    Once your registration at the UvA is complete, you will have access to the Canvas learning environment. All the course material, as well as homework assignments, literature, messages from the lecturer, etc., will be available here.

    If you take part in the assessment, you will receive a certified list of marks at the end of the lecture series. If you do not take part in the assessment, you can request a certificate for participation. Note that we only provide this upon request.

    If you have any questions, please contact us by email:

    Secondary subject student/ 'Bijvak' students

    If you are a student from another Dutch university or higher education institution and you would like to register for an IIS minor or elective course, you will need to register as a secondary subject student (‘bijvak' student) at the UvA.

    Step 1: Studielink

    The registration procedure for secondary subject students proceeds through Studielink: During the application process in Studielink, you will need to select the Bachelor's programme Beta-gamma Bachelor (Bijvak). In case you would like to apply for more than one IIS elective, you will only have to register once as a UvA secondary subject student.

    Step 2: Tuition Fees

    UvA tuition fees are waived through a so-called Bewijs Betaald Collegegeld (BCC) - proof of payment of tuition fees. You will have to request this document at the Dutch university or higher education institution where you have paid your tuition fees. After receiving this document, please send the original to or deliver the document to the Student Service Desk.

    Step 3: Admissability

    To register as a ‘bijvak' student, you need to adhere to the central admission requirements of the UvA. You need to have successfully completed high school education that meets the Dutch ‘VWO’-level or you need to have successfully completed higher education that meets the Dutch ‘HBO-propedeuse’ level. The Central Student Administration of the UvA will check this automatically and will contact you when necessary.

    Step 4: Registration

    Please register here for the course that you would like to take. 

    The application process stated above is mandatory. Your application will not be successful without these three steps. If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Student Service Desk.

  • High school students

    As a high school student, it is also possible to follow one of our IIS electives in the 1st semester of the academic year 2023-2024.

    Big History

    Would you like to know how everything around you has become the way it is now? 'Big History’ provides you with an answer, by offering an integrated overview of all known history, from the big bang until the development of societies today. In 14 masterclasses, a variety of experts - ranging from astrophysicists to social scientists - will take you on a journey that explains how the most elementary particles, stars, planets, life and human societies around the world have developed.

  • Costs

    Please note: As a contract student, please read the course-specific information carefully for course-specific details, since the courses vary in possibilities for contract students (e.g. with or without assessment). 

    Payment for contract students is made per credit (ECTS). The fees are listed below:

    UvA students


    Students from other Dutch universities or higher education institutions


    Employees on UvA payroll and UvA-PhD candidates


    Employees on HvA payroll excl assessment (50 euro per ECTS)

    € 300

    Employees on HvA payroll incl assessment (100 euro per ECTS)

    € 600

    AUV cardholders excl assessment (50 euro per ECTS)

    € 300

    AUV cardholders incl assessment (100 euro per ECTS)

    € 600

    Contract students excl assessment (75 euro per ECTS)

    € 420

    Contract students incl assessment (150 euro per ECTS)

    € 900

    * Applies if the student pays the statutory tuition fee ('wettelijk collegegeld') at their educational institution.

  • Cancellation policy

    It is possible to cancel until four weeks prior to the start of the first lecture. We charge an administration fee of 20 euros in case of cancellation. Within four weeks prior to the start of the first lecture, we can only process refunds in exceptional cases. If we could not place you for the course for which you have registered, we will refund you the full amount.

  • Board of Examiners

    Board of Examiners:

    IIS Electives is part of the examination committee and the OER of the Bachelor Bèta programme.

    The OER contains the general rules on examinations, resits, access and debriefing rights that the IIS Electives strive for. The OER can be found on Students and contract students who are enrolled for an IIS elective course are entitled to appeal to the Examination Appeals Board (COBEX).

  • Evaluation committee IIS Electives

    Evaluation committee IIS Electives:

    An evaluation committee has been set up to ensure the quality of elective courses. The committee, which consists of students and lecturers, meets at least four times a year to formulate solicited and unsolicited advice on all educational matters of IIS elective courses.

    To do this, she uses the education evaluations and actively seeks contact with students who follow IIS electives.The evaluation committee is very curious about remarks, comments, recommendations and other suggestions about the content, output and offer of IIS elective education. Students can contact via

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

    The key to a sustainable future lies in education. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in its educational offer and endorses the importance of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
    The urgency of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) remains high. We, therefore, find it important that our students can use their scientific knowledge and skills by bringing together scientific perspectives and searching for solutions and impact in a creative manner. We can address all SDGs in IIS elective courses, depending on the chosen course or topic. For each course, it is stated which goals are contributed to within the course.