Student information

Planning & Selection of courses

Wageningen University & Research has an excellent international reputation. More than 50% of the BSc courses (usually from year 2 and onwards) and all MSc courses are taught in English. On this page you can find information about planning and selecting courses.

Explanation for exchange students

General information

Courses at Wageningen University are taught in six periods. The academic year starts in September.

  • Period 1, 2, 5 & 6 consists of eight weeks
  • Period 3 & 4 consist of four weeks.

Have a look at the academic calendar for the exact date.

  • As a rule each course is only offered once a year.
  • At the end of each period, the student takes examinations of the courses of that period.
  • In general, courses in period 1 (September - October) and 2 (November -December), are introductory or methodological courses. Nevertheless, these courses assume background knowledge on 3rd year BSc level within the same field of study.
  • In most cases courses in period 3 (January) and period 4 (February) continue on those offered during previous periods).
  • In general, courses in period 5 and period 6 (March - July) are more advanced courses and assume that the student has also attended the WU courses mentioned in the assumed knowledge section that is specified in each course description.
  • Courses often involve group-work.
  • Also fieldwork and excursions are frequently planned in the 6th period.
  • No courses are offered during summer.
  • All the subjects from the MSc programmes are given in English, as well as most of the 3rd year BSc courses.
  • The language of instruction can be found in the course description of the Study handbook on the website.
  • Different types of teaching methods are used. The most commonly used teaching methods are lectures and practicals. (Group) assignments, presentations, literature studies and case studies are often involved. The final mark is based on the different elements.

    Students can select two courses per period.

    In period 3 and 4 one course of 6 credits or two courses of three credits. Two courses, 12 ECTS credits, per period may not seem very much, but this is a quite considerable workload of 42 hrs/week. This includes lectures and “practicals” (computer work or working in the laboratory), additional work like individual or group assignments, presentations, and preparation work (reading) for classes. Please note that in general you can follow one course during morning hours and one in the afternoon. Plan your subjects well with help of the Scheduling site.

    Every course has its own subject-code, e.g. ‘AEP 20306 Economics of Agribusiness’. The three letters in this code indicate the Chair group offering the course. The next part of the code indicates the level of the course. Digits 1 and 2 indicate introductory (bachelor) level and digit 3 and above a more advanced level. Courses with a first digit of 1 are sometimes offered in Dutch only. The last two digits indicate the number of ECTS credits.

    Excluded courses

    Exchange students are not allowed to follow Advanced MSc courses and Academic Master Cluster courses including MOS-modules (1.5 ECTS). These courses have a course code with starting digit 4 or 6 after the first three letters, e.g. FTE40306 or ELS65500.

    Courses starting with the letter X-- are not allowed for exchange students because these courses are not given in Wageningen, but somewhere else.

    Maximum number of participants

    Some courses have a maximum number of participants (this is indicated in the Study Handbook). We never advise exchange students to take these courses as they do not get priority to participate. Nevertheless, you can select these MAX-courses but you must consider that students from the regular programme get priority, since these courses are often compulsory or restricted optional courses for their programme. You always need to select an alternative course for each MAX-course in case you are not admitted in the MAX-course.

    Instructions on how to select courses

    In the Study Handbook you can find 'Course schedule'. Here you can find out which courses are part of which Bachelor or Master programme. The courses are also sorted by department. When you have selected a specific course, not only can you see the time table, you can also see the location. You can also view the courses per period.

    If you want to have a quick overview of which courses are given in a certain period, you should consult the online 'Course Planning'. This is an Excel file, with in the first row the possibilities to make certain selections. You can select on courses given in English.

    Generally speaking you can choose any course you like, as long as it fits your level and background. Please note that some Bachelor courses are taught in Dutch, primarly some of the first year courses. Check the language of instruction!

    Below are the steps on how to make your study plan.

    Create your study plan

    1. In period 1, 2, 5 and 6 you can select a total of 12 credits. In period 3 and 4 you can select a total of 6 credits. You can select two courses per period (select one in the morning and one in the afternoon).
    2. When selecting two courses in a period, make sure to select one in the morning and one in the afternoon. (To know if the classes are during the morning or the afternoon, look at: MO (=Morning)/AF (afternoon) in the schedule.) In period 6 there are also courses that are scheduled for a whole day. You can select two 'whole days courses', but make sure that you select one course that is given in the first few weeks and an other course at the end of the period.
    3. Check if the language of instruction is English.
    4. Most of the courses are 6 ECTS. The last two digits of the course code identify the number of credits. EXAMPLE.
    5. All courses from MSc level are advanced level and they require background knowledge on the topic on a BSc level. We strongly recommend you to choose courses from your own field. Always check the required assumed background knowledge.
    6. We recommend to select courses from one specific programme.
    7. If you want advise about the courses you have selected, contact the exchange coordinator and send her/him your application form with your study plan.
    8. It is very important that you register yourself for the courses before the registration deadline. Registration for courses is mandatory and failing to register will result in no admittance to the course. For instruction see chapter 'Registration for courses'.


    Finding courses in the Study Handbook

    The best way to search for courses is to look at the courses of a particular BSc or MSc programme in the Study Handbook. Click on the programme you are interested in and you will get a list of all the courses involved. By clicking on a particular subject you will see a description of the course, including textbook titles, if any are used, names of lecturers, a course schedule, and an examination schedule. Please also check the ‘assumed knowledge’, to see whether your background is sufficient to follow the selected course.

    We strongly recommend you to select courses within one field of study, fitting your preference and background. This guarantees a coherent and well-balanced selection. Moreover, if you choose courses exclusively from one of the MSc programmes, you leave the option open to decide later to obtain the Masters degree at Wageningen University. By including the courses you passed during your stay at Wageningen University as an exchange student, you will obviously save considerable time.

    If you are interested in courses from a particular Chair Group you should select Subjects by Department.

    Feel free to contact your specialisation coordinator at WU or your WU exchange coordinator (depending on your field of study) and discuss your study plan with her/him.

    Please note that your supervisor from your home university should approve your selection in order to be sure about the academic recognition of your courses.


    Many students are interested in a wide range of topics. Choosing a minor provides you with the chance to learn to think outside the box. It can also allow you to deepen your knowledge and competencies within your own field of knowledge. Exchange students from partner universities have the possibility to follow a minor at Wageningen University & Research. Minors consist of sets of courses of 24 ECTS with coherence and profundity. Minors are scheduled in either the first or the second semester of the academic year. If you need more ECTS than the minor offers, you can add single courses to a minor.

    For more information about minors see here (check the language table to see if your preferred minor will be taught in English)

    Please note: some minors include 'max courses' (courses with a maximum amount of students) meaning students taking the course in their regular programme have priority over exchange students and other students taking the course in their free choice.

    Registration for courses

    Registration for courses is mandatory and failing to register will result in no admittance to the course.

    When you have sent in your registration form and received your username and password from our registration office, it means have been enrolled as an exchange student. You can then register yourself for courses on internet via Osiris.

    You can only register for courses if you have been enrolled as an exchange student!

    How to register for courses when you have not been enrolled, yet? If you are a student from outside the EU or if there is no time left for the enrolment procedure, it isn’t possible to register officially, yet. Therefore, after approval of you study programme, you have to send an e-mail to the professor (contact person) mentioned in the course description in the Study Handbook. When you select the person, you will get the e-mail address.

    Tell the professor that you are a new exchange student and that you are not able to registerlectronically yet. Add your full name, date of birth and the selected course (+ code) to your message.

    This way the professor is informed that you want to join the course, even though he/she cannot register you. Make sure that you give the professor your registration number as soon as possible, so he/she can officially register for the course and the exam.


    To avoid changes at the last moment you should only register for the courses after your study programme has been approved by the exchange coordinator at Wageningen University. If you change your mind about a course, do not forget to inform the professor of that course.

    You should only send e-mails for the courses you have selected for the first period of your study at Wageningen University. Please send your exchange coordinator a copy of the e-mails you send to the university lecturers.

    For your next period(s) you should register yourself via Osiris.

    Registration for (resit) exams

    If you have registered for a course through Osiris, you are automatically registered for the exams of that course.

    You can register for an exam (test) in case you have to make a resit exam.