Previously Acquired Qualifications

You can apply for an exemption based on Previously Acquired Qualifications for a course unit if you obtained a credit certificate for a course unit with the same or similar content (whether or not at Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Previously acquired competences

You can also be exempted on the basis of previously acquired competences. This means that you can prove through experience that you have acquired the learning results of a certain course unit. The application goes through the UAB and has different deadlines. Be sure to read this information thoroughly if you want to make such an application. (Only in Dutch)

A request for exemption(s) involves you submitting a file to prove that you have mastered the competences of one or more course units. As a student, you have to prove this yourself.

Tip: go to classes until your exemption is approved.

Deadline for your exemption request:

  • 15 October: course units from the first semester and year-long courses
  • 15 February: course units from the second semester

The faculties have their own guidelines for applying for exemptions. Check the rules for your faculty to avoid disappointment.

Tip: the earlier your application is received, the sooner you can expect the result.

Course registration in case of an exemption 

Transfer from another university

Did you start your education elsewhere and wish to transfer to VUB? Welcome!

Which courses count at VUB?

Have you already passed a number of courses at another institution and would you like to know whether you can obtain an exemption for these in your VUB programme? You can view all course outlines online. You will find more information on course content, course materials used, and the number of credits. When you have checked this, you can find all info on how to apply for an exemption below. 

From first to second bachelor’s

If you have completed all your courses of the first bachelor’s elsewhere, can you immediately start on your second bachelor’s at VUB?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. For each successful subject, we check to what extent the subject correlates with subjects from our programme. If there are sufficient correlations, this may entitle you to one or more exemptions. Follow the same exemption procedure as below.

Remember: there is rarely 100% correlation. So you often lose a little when you switch. It may be, for example, that the 60 credits you obtained elsewhere are only good for 51 credits at VUB.

Social Sciences and Solvay Business School

If you have already obtained credit certificates in academic higher education, you can apply for exemptions.

If you have a professional bachelor's degree, you cannot apply for an exemption for course units from an academic programme because the academic, research-oriented component is insufficiently present. 

A request for exemptions means that you submit a file to prove that you have already mastered the competencies of one or more course units. As a student, you will have to demonstrate this yourself.


You need to mail your file (1 complete document as an attachment) to before the deadline. Use the following subject for your mail 'Application for exemption | FAMILY NAME & First name | academic year'. 

You will receive a confirmation (automatic reply) as proof of submission. Only timely submitted and complete files will be processed. Expect a processing time of maximum 3 to 4 weeks.


Before you start your application, carefully read the guidelines.

Guidelines for exemption request 2022-2023

Finally, register for the subjects for which you request an exemption and attend the classes. This way you can be sure that you will not miss any deadlines or compulsory classes if you are not granted the exemption. If you do get the exemption, we will deregister you and you will not have to pay the tuition fee for this course. If you have already paid the tuition fee, it will be reimbursed.

Forms for academic year 2022-2023: request the forms via

Don't forget to include your programme in the e-mail you send.

Social Sciences

Master in Communication Studies: Digital Media in Europe 
Master in Communication Studies: Journalism and Media in Europe

Master in Political Science: European and International Governance 

Bachelor in Social Sciences

Solvay Business School

Bachelor in Business Economics 
Master in International Business 
Master in Management

You find the exemption forms for our Dutch-language programmes here.

Medicine and Pharmacy

If you think you qualify for an exemption, please contact In your e-mail, please include any diplomas you have already obtained and your official nomination list.

Educational Master

You can be eligible for an exemption when:

  • your previously followed courses show similarities in content with our courses within the Educational Master.
  • you come from another university and want to continue your studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

A request for exemption is made on file and consists of

  • application form exemptions
  • an official list of all relevant courses
  • a copy of the course subdivision sheets (= brief description of the content of the relevant courses)
  • Please send the completed file by e-mail to the Department of Educational Masters


You can apply  for an exemption based on previously acquired competencies or previously acquired qualifications.

How to apply for exemptions based on previously acquired qualifications?

Composition of your file

You can use this form to request exemptions within the programmes of the Faculty of Engineering at the VUB. Always read the question very carefully. Since a large part of this form is processed automatically, it is important that you provide the correct information. The faculty isn't responsible for mistakes based on incorrect information. Requests with wrong or missing information will not be processed. Fill in a new form for each course you wish to apply for an exemption.

Then, you should submit the following documents digitally via before the deadline (15th of October for the first semester, 15th of February for the second semester):

  • Course unit description : A Course Unit Despription is attached to each course unit that describes the objectives, content, working methods and learning and evaluation activities. You only need to submit this on paper if you could not provide a hyperlink to the ECTS sheet when filling in the form! Please keep in mind that submitting on paper can cause a delay in the procedure. Your application can only be processed after you have submitted the ECTS sheet and also can't be processed digitally.
  • Transcipt of records: an overview of your passed credits and the mark of the course(s)

 Your application can only be processed after you have submitted these documents.

 If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to .


Physical Education and Physiotherapy

To apply for an exemption, fill in one form per programme, in which you request all your exemptions. You can only fill in the form once per semester. So think carefully which exemptions you want to apply for!

Fill in this form to apply for exemptions 

Here you can find an overview of which exemptions we previously did or did not grant on the basis of credits you obtained in certain preparatory programmes.
Overview previously granted exemptions (Dutch only)

Prepare yourself in advance so you're sure your application is valid and complete. More information about how to prepare can be found on the form itself.

Register for the courses you are asking an exemption for and go to the classes. That way, you don't miss any deadlines or required lessons if you are not granted an exemption. If you are granted the exemption, we will deregister this course for you.

Linguistics and Philosophy

Using this form you can apply for exemptions within the programmes of the Faculty of Linguistics and Philosophy at VUB. Exemptions for the new academic year can be applied for from 1 July.

  • Fill in a new form for each course unit for which you want to apply for an exemption.
  • Always read the question. Since we process a large part of this form automatically, it is important that you enter the correct information. The faculty does not accept responsibility for errors made on the basis of incorrect information. Applications with incorrect or missing information will not be processed.
  • You can apply for an exemption for 1 course unit based on 4 course units you obtained elsewhere, but quality is more important than quantity.¬†A targeted application with fewer course units that better match the course unit you are applying for is better than an application based on 4 course units that are only partly related to it. Therefore, always compare the contents of these course units, not just the title! Don‚Äôt add course units to your application unnecessarily. This won‚Äôt help your application.

Please send the following documents digitally via¬†before the deadline (15 October for the first semester, 15 February for the second semester). We will only process your application once you have sent us these documents.¬†In the subject of your email, mention ‚Äėapplication for exemption‚Äô.

  • Credit certificate: this is the official proof of passing the course unit. We accept credit certificates issued by your previous institution, official marks lists (no screenshots!) or a copy of the diploma supplement showing the course units obtained.
    • Give this document a clear name:¬†Creditcertificate_NAME_(no.)
  • ECTS sheet: each course unit has an ECTS sheet that describes the objectives, content, working methods and learning and assessment activities. You only need to mail it if you were unable to provide a hyperlink to the sheet when filling in the form.¬†Please note that sending in a scan of a sheet will cause a delay in the procedure. We will only process your application after you have submitted the ECTS sheet, which cannot be processed automatically.
    • Give this document a clear name:¬†ECTS_NAME_Coursetitle

If you have any questions, please send an email to

Be sure to attend all classes as long as no decision has been made.

Psychology & Educational Sciences

  1. Complete this digital exemption form. You must fill in a separate form for each exemption you are applying for.
  2. Then send the following documents by email to Please clearly state your name and the course unit for which you are requesting an exemption:
  • an official marks-list indicating all relevant course units
  • a copy of the course unit sheets for the course unit you passed (the sheet must refer to the year in which you passed the course unit).

EXCEPTION: are you transferring from the psychology programme at KUL? Then all you have to do is send your official marks sheet by email to In this case, you do not have to fill in the digital application form. Attention: we only offer a Dutch taught psychology programme. 

You will be informed of the decision by email.

Law and Criminology

You can submit your exemption application as of 5 July and at the latest by 15 October. 
If the application only relates to course units of the second semester, the application deadline is 15 February. Only 1 application file per academic year can be submitted, in which you include all your exemption applications.

The complete application file consists of 3 parts, bundled into 1 pdf file:

  1. The electronically completed application form. Manually completed or incomplete forms will not be processed.
  2. Diploma plus diploma supplement and/or official credit certificates. On these documents you should mark the external course units, the result obtained and the number of credits on which you are basing your application for exemption. With the result, mention the number of the VUB course unit for which you are requesting an exemption (e.g. VUB OO|01).
  3. ECTS sheets or official description of the course units on the basis of which you are requesting an exemption.

Please send the application file electronically to We will only process complete files.

  • We will inform you of the decision by email to the email address provided.
  • The exemptions granted are entered in SelfService by the faculty administration. The student should definitely check this before the start of the examination period. In case of doubt, contact the faculty secretariat.
  • As a student, you register for all course units within the set deadlines, including those for which an exemption has been requested.
  • If you want to go over your study programme, please contact the¬†study path counselor. Please note: the study path counselor cannot give advice on exemptions and/or precedents, but only on the composition of your programme. You can, of course, contact them to review your programme after you have received a decision on the exemption application.
Exemption application forms

Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences

You can only submit 1 file, per programme, per academic year. You must submit the complete application file digitally. Only fully and correctly completed applications, accompanied by the necessary supporting documents, will be processed. More information on applying for exemptions at the Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering can be found here:
Procedure exemptions (Dutch only)

Submit your application 

Programme outlines

Looking for VUB programme or course outlines?

These include the credits, lecturers and content of each course, required study materials, intended learning outcomes, final competences and assessment information.

Programme outlines