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The Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies offers a wide variety of interdisciplinary electives every semester. IIS electives are open to a variety of target audiences: students and staff from any UvA faculty, students from other education institutions (guest students) and any other interested parties who can take part as 'contract students'.

The courses on offer vary for different target audiences:

  • UvA students can find IIS electives in the course catalogue
  • UvA staff, students from other education institutions and all other interested parties can check the IIS website to find out what is on offer. The full range of electives offered by the UvA is listed under Open UvA Electives.

For questions you can email to:

Course Listing Term 1 - 2019-2020

Course Listing Term 2 - 2018-2019

  • UvA students

    UvA students can find the IIS Electives in the UvA Studyguide.

    The educational offer of the IIS is constantly evolving and we would like to find out which themes students find interesting in an elective course and how we can organize this the best way possible. Please let us know by filling in the form, it only takes 5 minutes.

  • Other interested parties (contract & bijvakstudents)


    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.
    Through this link you can register for the course that you would like to follow.

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

    You will also receive an invoice based on your registration. The costs of the lecture can be found under the heading 'costs'.
    If the invoice has been paid and your registration at the UvA is complete, you will have access to the Canvas learning environment. Here you will find all the course material that you will be following. Also homework assignments, literature, messages from the teacher 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 participate in the assessment, you can request a certificate for participation. Note that these are only provided by us on request.

    More information about the course can be found in 'course listing' term 1 or 2.
    If you have any questions, you can send an email to: 

    Secondary subject student/ Bijvakstudents

    When you are a student from another university or higher education institution than the UvA and want to register for an IIS minor or elective you need to register as a secondary subject student (‘bijvakstudent’) at the UvA (University of Amsterdam.

    Step 1: Studielink

    The registration procedure for secondary subject students proceeds through Studielink, During the application process in Studielink you will need to choose the bachelor programme of which the IIS elective is a part. You will choose: Beta-Gamma Bachelor (Bijvak). When you want to apply for more than one IIS elective, you will only have to register yourself as a UvA secondary subject student once.

    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 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 at the Student Service Desk

    Step 3: Admissability

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

    The above stated application process is mandatory. Your application will not be succesfull without going through the 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.

    Below you can find the courses of the 1st semester 2019-2020:


    Big History (English)

    Want to know how everything has become the way it is now? The Big History course offers an integrated overview of history, from the beginning of the universe up until life on Earth today. In various lectures experts varying from astrophysicists to social scientists, will jointly explain about the exciting history of the universe, our solar system, earth, life, and humanity, ending with a projection of what the future may bring.

    • Free for students, supervisor for free
    • 6 EC, first lecture 3 September, always on Tuesday between 15.00-17.00.
    • See the timetable: This link will be published as soon as the timetable is known, beginning of June.
    • For registration you can contact:
    • Up to 6 participants per school ( a maximum of 6 schools) 


    Brandhaarden (Dutch)

    De consensus lijkt te zijn – gezien de uitlatingen van politici en commentatoren, maar ook aan de borreltafel – dat de wereld niet alleen steeds complexer, maar vooral ook onveiliger en met name gewelddadiger wordt. Maar is dat ook zo?

    In deze cursus ‘Brandhaarden’ nemen we belangrijke hotspots onder de loep. Dat kunnen geografische brandhaarden zijn of juist meer theoretische en filosofische vraagstukken. Dat doen we bottom up: door de lens van een bepaalde conflicthaard, een specifiek persoon of gericht fenomeen gaan we zoeken naar bredere inbedding en verklaring. Is Poetin slechts de laatste uiting van een al veel langer levende expansieve Grootrussische Gedachte? Is jihadistisch terrorisme weer een nieuw bewijs voor de stelling dat religie de aanjager van geweld is? Is Trump een uit de heup schietende cowboy of toch een rationele deal maker? Uiteraard staan we stil bij de meest actuele ontwikkelingen.

    • Scholen betalen 300 euro per deelnemer, begeleider gratis mee
    • 6 EC, eerste college 3 september, altijd op dinsdag tussen 18.00-20.00.
    • Zie hele rooster: Deze link wordt gepubliceerd zodra het rooster bekend is, begin juni.
    • Voor meer informatie over de aanmeldprocedure kan contact opgenomen worden via
    • Maximaal 6 deelnemers per school (maximaal 6 scholen)
  • Costs

    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). Payment for contract students is made per credit.

    Type of student



    UvA students

    no costs, registration required


    Students from other institutions

    no costs, registration as a secondary subject student*


    Type of contract student (not enrolled as a student)

    Examination included

    Examination excluded

    For employees on UvA payroll

    Free up to 30 EC per academic year

    Free up to 30 EC per academic year

    For employees on HvA payroll 100 euro per EC 50 Euro per EC

    AUV-cardholders and non-UvA PhD's

    100 euro per EC

    50 euro per EC


    150 euro per EC

    70 euro per EC


    Contractstudents participating in the IIS minor programmes

    Examination included

    Examination excluded

    For employees on UvA payroll

    Free up to 30 EC

    Free up to 30 EC

    For employees on HvA payroll 70 euro per EC 50 euro per EC

    AUV-cardholders and non-UvA PhD's 

    70 euro per EC

    50 euro per EC


    100 euro per EC

    70 euro per EC


    * No costs for students from other universities, provided that the full time tuition fee is paid. Registration as secondary subject student is required.

    Note that it differs for each course which type of students can participate. Read the course specific information carefully to see which rates are applicable.

    Cancellation policy

    Cancelling a course is only possible before the start of a course. After we receive a written cancellation request, your entree fee will be returned to you as soon as possible, minus €75,00 administration. 
    If you could not be placed for a course for which you have registered, you will receive the complete entree fee.

  • Board of Examiners

    Board of Examiners:

    IIS Electives falls under the examination committee and the OER of the Bachelor Bèta program.

    The OER contains the general rules on examinations, resits, access and debriefing rights that the IIS Electives strives for. The OER can be found via Students and contractstudents who are enrolled for a course at the IIS Electives 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