Open Programme (fka Free Exam)

Open Programme concerning the Master’s Exam

Do note, the Board of Examiners of the SBE will only assess the proposed programme, therefore no rights can be derived from an approval with regard to registration after the deadline. The deadlines need to be respected.

Open Programme concerning the Bachelor’s Exam

If you are an International Business (IB) or Economics and Business Economics (EBE) Bachelor’s student and have passed your First-Year Bachelor’s Exam, you can apply for an Open Programme (previously known as Free Exam) concerning your Final Bachelor’s Exam in IB or EBE.

A BSc Open Programme is a cohesive programme made up partly of your own interests and preferences.

Note that every deviation from the requirements for the regular Bachelor’s Exam requirements (and the graduate options) will be designated as an Open Programme.

The regulation OEC 081.08I applies to students who have started their second year on 1 September 2009 or later.

PS: The regulations OEC 048.07I and OEC 049.07I apply to students who started their second year before 1 September 2008. Students who started their second year on 1 September 2008 can either choose the new or the old regulation.

If you want to apply for the Open Programme, you need to: 

  • check the minimum requirements for an Open Programme below;
  • make a motivated proposal outlining the subjects with which you wish to make up your BSc Open Programme;
  • submit a written and motivated request to the Board of Examiners that includes your ID number, study programme and the proposal;
  • hand in your request at the Information Desk or send it to:
The Board of Examiners of SBE
Maastricht University
P.O. Box 616
6200 AD Maastricht

Open Programme in International Business (OEC 081.08I)

If you are a student of the BSc in IB programme and have passed the First-Year Bachelor’s Exam you can apply for an Open Bachelor’s programme in IB.

The Open Programme in IB for year 2 and 3 IB consists of 120 ECTS credits and contains: 

78 ECTS        12 subjects

4 ECTS          QM III (skills training)

8 ECTS          2 elective skills trainings (maximum 1 of these skills trainings can be replaced by an internship or extra ECTS credits for study abroad)

4 ECTS          capstone assignment

26 ECTS        study abroad (in case you have 30 ECTS credits for study abroad you are allowed to replace one skills training)

The BSc Open Programme in IB has the following restrictions:

  • Deviation from the regular programme is only allowed within the 12 subjects.
  • At least 10 of the 12 subjects must be SBE bachelor subjects;
  • At least 9 subjects must come from the list of 8 compulsory second-year subjects and the list of 24 major subjects:
    • of which at least 7 subjects come from year 2,
    • and at least 1 comes from the major subjects from year 3;
  • The capstone assignment has to be chosen from a field from which at least one major subject was chosen;
  • Subjects that are not SBE bachelor subjects must be on an acceptable level.

The total amount of credits in the Final Bachelor’s Exam has to add up to 120 credits at least.

Note that every deviation from the requirements for the regular International Business Exam requirements will be designated as an Open Programme in International Business, for which approval from the Board of Examiners is needed.

Open Programme in Economics and Business Economics (OEC 081.08I)

If you are a student of the BSc in EBE programme and have passed the First-Year Bachelor’s Exam, and if you have chosen one of the three graduate options:

International Business Economics (IBE); or

Economics (ECS); or

Economics and Management of Information (EMI); or

you can apply for an Open Bachelor’s programme in EBE.

To obtain credits for the Open Programme, you must submit a proposal to the Board of Examiners and the programme needs to be approved by the Board of Examiners and the Programme Director.

The Open Programme for year 2 and 3 EBE consists of 120 ECTS credits and contains: 

78 ECTS        12 subjects

12 ECTS        3 elective skills trainings (maximum 1 of these skills trainings can be replaced by an internship or extra ECTS credits for study abroad)

4 ECTS          capstone assignment

26 ECTS        study abroad (in case you have 30 ECTS credits for study abroad you are allowed to replace one skills training)

The Open Programme in EBE has the following restrictions: 

  • Deviation from the regular bachelor programme is only allowed with the 12 subjects.
  • At least 10 of the 12 subjects must be SBE bachelor subjects;
  • At least 9 subjects come from the EBE curriculum and its second- and/or third-year EBE subjects *) **)
    • of which at least 7 second-year EBE subjects;
  • The chosen set of subjects contains at least the skills training QM III for IBE or the course QM III for ECS or a QE elective,
  • The capstone assignment has to be chosen from the field of which at least one major subject was chosen, or one 3rdyear ECS elective subject or a compulsory subject from the 3rd year EMI.

*) The second-year EBE subjects are:

The second-year compulsory IBE subjects and/or the second-year compulsory EMI subjects and/or the second-year compulsory ECS subjects and/or any motivated combination of these compulsory second-year subjects.

The third-year EBE subjects are:

The 24 business major subjects IBE and/or the 4 IES elective subjects from the third year IES and/or the compulsory subjects from the third year EMI and/or each random combination.

**) Maximum of 2 subjects may be chosen outside the curriculum of the faculty, and maximum 3 subjects may be chosen outside the curriculum of the EBE programme.

Note that every deviation from the requirements for the regular graduate options in Economics and Business Economics Exam requirements will be designated as an Open Programme in Economics and Business Economics, for which approval from the Board of Examiners is needed.


Open Programme concerning the Master’s Exam

An Open Programme concerning a Master’s Exam is a cohesive programme, built from as many courses as are necessary to obtain sufficient ECTS credits for the study programme.

You must obtain approval from the Board of Examiners before you start.

A Master’s Exam, including an Open Programme, represents a total study load of 60 ECTS credits if it fits a Master of Science programme, and 120 ECTS credits if it fits a Master of Science (Research Master) programme.

Note that every deviation from the requirements for the regular Master’s Exam requirements (and the graduate options) will be designated as an Open Programme.

If you want to apply for the Open Programme, you need to:

  • check the minimum requirements for an Open Programme:
  • make a motivated proposal outlining the cohesive subjects with which you wish to make up your MSc Open Programme;
  • submit a written and motivated request to the Board of Examiners that includes your ID number, study programme and the proposal;
  • hand in your request at the Information Desk or send it to:
The Board of Examiners of SBE
Maastricht University
P.O. Box 616
6200 AD Maastricht

Open Programme in International Business

The minimal requirements for the Open Programme in International Business (IB) are:

  1. One of the following master IB research courses has to be followed;
    • International Business Research;
    • Entrepreneurship and Research Methods;
    • Financial Research Methods;
    • Supply Chain Research Methods;
    • Research for Marketing Decision Making.
  2. A substantive part of the master courses should be followed in the track in which the final thesis will be written.
  3. The skills training related to the master thesis has to be followed in the concentration in which the thesis will be written (including Writing a Master Thesis in Service Science)

Open Programme in Financial Economics

The regulations applies to students who started the programme before September 2012.

The minimal requirements for the Open Programme in Financial Economics are:

  1. Choose one (1) quantitative economics course, one (1) finance course and one (1) general economics course from the list of compulsory courses offered under the three tracks of the master financial economics.
  2. Choose one (1) integration course from the list of integration courses offered under the three tracks of the master financial economics.
  3. Choose two (2) Electives from the list of compulsory courses, integration courses and electives offered under the three tracks of the master financial economics.
  4. A substantive part of the master courses should be followed in the track in which the final thesis will be written.
  5. The skills training related to the master thesis has to be followed in the concentration in which the thesis will be written.

Note that students started as of September 2012 can choose ‘No Specialization’ within the Financial Economics programme.

Open Programme in all other MSc programmes

The requests will be evaluated by the Board of Examiners and the director of Master Programmes in terms of consistency and meeting the objectives of the programme for which an Open Programme degree is requested.

Note that students within the following MSc programmes can choose ‘No Specialization’:

  • Econometrics and Operations Research
  • Economics

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