"Harde Knip"

The “harde knip” means that you can only start with your master’s degree after you completed your bachelor’s degree. On this page, you can find information about the rules concerning the “harde knip” and the possible consequences for your study planning. If you would like more information on the consequences for your study planning, you can contact your study advisor.

Wageningen University & Research strictly applies this rule and it implies that students may only start taking master’s courses upon having completed their bachelor’s or linkage programme! Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

1. What does ‘harde knip’ mean?
The “harde knip” means that you are only allowed to start with a master’s degree after you successfully completed your bachelor’s degree. Your bachelor’s degree is completed once you have passed all courses of your approved bachelor’s exam programme, and this has been confirmed by the Examining Board.

The main rule of the “harde knip” is that all courses for which you were enrolled in the test via Osiris and for which the test date is before the examination date of your bachelor’s degree belong to your bachelor’s degree. During your bachelor’s, you should not follow courses from the master’s degree you want to follow afterwards; also not to ‘try it out’.

Your bachelor’s graduation date is:

- The date of your last test; or, the date on which your exam programme was approved if this date is later than the date of your last test.

- The date of approval of the bachelor’s exam programme.

By default, the test date for a course is the last Friday of the period in which the course is offered. However, if the exam takes place before the last Friday of the period, the actual date of the test can also be set as the test date. If the result of a course is made up of several partial grades (e.g. a report and a test), and you completed the last part after the standard test date, the day on which you complete the last part of the course will be the test date.

2. Who does the "harde knip" apply to?
The “harde knip” applies to all bachelor students at Wageningen University, even if they are following a pre-master programme, regardless of when they started their bachelor’s degree. Bachelor students from other universities can only follow a master’s degree at Wageningen University if they have a bachelor’s degree.

3.  Does the ‘harde knip’ also apply to students in a pre-master programme?
Yes. As a pre-master student, you can only take the courses from the agreed pre-master programme. You must complete the pre-master programme within one academic year. If you want to take other courses at WU in addition to your pre-master programme, you need to be registered as a regular bachelor student. See point 2. 

4. What does the ‘harde knip’ mean for the planning of my studies.
If you want to do a master’s after your bachelor’s, you need to make sure you do not take any courses during your bachelor’s degree that you would like to include in your master’s degree. Pay extra attention to the courses that are a compulsory part of the master’s degree you want to follow. If you take such a course before you have completed your bachelor’s degree, and the course therefore is part of the “harde knip”, you can no longer follow the course in the master’s degree and you can no longer complete the master’s degree!

Please carefully note the definition for “following a course”: If you enrol in a course (and thereby automatically for the exam), and do not disenrol from the test before the deregistration deadline for tests, this means that you have followed the course. So, the course is part of the “harde knip” if you were enrolled in the test after the deregistration deadline for tests.

If you complete your bachelor’s degree in the course of an academic year, you might have to wait a period (or more periods) before you can start your master’s degree. If you think you will be delayed in your studies, discuss this with your study advisor in time.  

5. How can I start with my master’s degree immediately after obtaining my bachelor’s degree without problems with the “harde knip”?
If you expect to complete the last bachelor course(s) before the deregistration deadline for tests in the first period of your master’s degree, you can already enrol in the courses from your master’s degree, even if you are not yet registered for that programme.

Please note: if you eventually did not complete the last bachelor course(s), you must disenrol from the tests for the master courses in time, and inform the course coordinator about this. You must disenrol from the test in time because otherwise, you would have been a definite participant in the course during your bachelor’s degree. In that case, you would not be able to include it in your master’s degree later.

6. When can I start with my master's?
If you are a WUR bachelor’s graduate, you can start your master’s degree at Wageningen University & Research in the month or study period following your bachelor’s graduation. For reasons of the study ability of the programme, it may be best however to start in September (period 1). For some WU master’s degrees, you can also start in February (period 4) or at other times during the academic year. For good planning of your master’s degree, please contact the study advisor of the WUR master's degree concerned.

7. When can I enrol for a Master’s programme?
You can enrol as a student for a master’s degree as of the first of the month following the month in which you passed your bachelor’s degree or the month in which you passed the last course of your pre-master programme.

When you have obtained 150 ECTS  in your individual bachelor programme you will receive an email with a link to the ‘study after bachelor’ form. On this form, you can indicate whether you want to continue your master’s degree at Wageningen University & Research or take a master’s degree elsewhere.

8. When can I enrol in master’s courses?
If you are registered as a student at Wageningen University and you have been found admissible for a master's degree, you can enrol in master courses. Please note the deadlines for course registration.

If you are about to graduate and have taken the last test or submitted your last report for your bachelor’s, you may not yet know whether you have passed your bachelor's degree before the registration deadline for courses in the following period. For example, because the teacher still has to mark your test and the grade is not yet known. In that case, you can already enrol in courses of your master's degree that will be taught in the following period(s).

Please note: If later it turns out that you have not passed your bachelor's course(s), you must disenrol from the interim examinations at the latest before the deregistration deadline for tests of the teaching period. If you do not do this, these courses are part of the “harde knip” rule and you can no longer include these courses in your master’s degree. This may mean that you cannot meet the mandatory components of that programme. See point 5.     

9. Is it permitted to follow master’s courses if I have not been admitted for the master’s course?
No, this is not permitted. You can only follow master’s courses if you have been admitted to the master’s degree and you are enrolled as a student at Wageningen University.

10. I will want to include a course that I am following as a bachelor’s student in a master’s programme, what should I do?
Only if you disenroll from the test before the deregistration deadline for tests during the teaching period of the course, you may later include the course in your master’s degree. See point 5.

If you do not disenroll from the test until after the deregistration deadline for tests, you can’t include the course in your master’s degree.

11. Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
Please contact your study advisor if you need more information about the “harde knip” and its possible consequences for your study planning.