BA Preparatory Programme

Programme and curriculum

Our English-taught BA Preparatory Programme serves as a progressive transition from secondary school to higher education. Its objective is to educate, instruct and stimulate the development of a broad range of competencies, such as study skills and in-depth academic preparation that we deem necessary for academic success. Moreover, as a pre-bachelor programme it offers students the chance to be introduced to the Brussels School of Governance’s full degree programmes fostering a smooth progression onto the academic path.

To ensure the best possible academic performance, students will encounter small classes, dedicated professors, and career advice services. In addition, students will be assigned an academic advisor who will closely monitor their learning process and provide support in academic and administrative matters. The curriculum gives students a combination of theoretical and practical skills, in line with our STEP approach to teaching and learning excellence.

Our BA Preparatory Programme prepares students for higher education in a single semester. Upon successful completion, students can transfer to the BA programme of their choice.

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This BA Preparatory Programme is organised by Vesalius College.


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Academic Calendar

Students can start their studies in the Fall or in the Spring semester.  

  • The Fall 2023 semester starts on 17 August with the orientation and registration activities; the first day of classes is Monday 21 August.
  • The Spring 2024 semester starts on 11 January with the orientation and registration activities; the first day of classes is 15 January.

Click here for a detailed overview of the 2022-2023 academic calendar of our BA programmes.
Click here for a detailed overview of the 2023-2024 academic calendar of our BA programmes.


Learning Objectives

  • Strengthen academic English writing and reading skills
  • Strengthen skills in oral communication and to be able to address different kinds of audiences
  • Acquire basic understandings of methods for collecting and analysing data
  • Acquire core organizational skills on how to study effectively
  • Acquire foundational math skills
  • Strengthen skills to thrive in a multinational environment
  • Gain the subject-specific knowledge and skills required to embark onto degree-level course of studies

The Programme consists of 5 non-credit courses for one semester. The programme also incorporates a seminar component providing an overview of different majors students can take on during their BA studies.



STEP approach

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Course Schedule

  • Academic Readiness: Interpersonal Evaluation (3 hours per week for 15 weeks)
  • Interpersonal Communication (3 hours per week for 15 weeks)
  • Academic Writing (3 hours per week for 15 weeks)
  • Introduction to Research Methodology (3 hours per week for 15 weeks)
  • Foundations of Mathematics and Statistics (3 hours per week for 15 weeks)

All our courses are taught in English.


Click here for a full overview of BA courses and course descriptions offered by our School.


STEP approach

At the BSoG, we offer our students a unique educational experience, based on what we call the STEP approach to teaching and learning: our programmes are Student-centered, have a solid Theoretical knowledge base, their educational Excellence is guaranteed, and they are strongly Practice-oriented. It makes our School a prominent hub for the study of European and global challenges, from the BA right up to the PhD level. Find out what STEP can offer you.

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Programme Director

Success stories

  • "As someone who throughout secondary school relied on memory and never properly studied, I was in for a rude awakening with the transition into university! The foundation programme helped me develop a good work ethic and learn how to study and find which methods worked best for me. It also helped improve my academic writing skills and gave me the confidence to be at ease when presenting in front of people. In one semester, I learned many skills that I still use on a daily basis. Since it was a small class size, the teachers knew the students and their weaknesses and were able to adapt to what each student needed."

    Juliana Saunders (Portugal and Ireland)
    BA Prep student (2019)
Admission requirements

The entry requirements of the Preparatory Programme are directly related to the requirements of Brussels School of Governance's degree programmes listed below:

  • 3-year programme BA level acceptable tests and minimum scores
    English proficiency entrance requirements: non-native speakers of English must provide
    Proof of proficiency in English:
      – TOEFL IBT: 90/120
      – IELTS Academic Module: 6.5/9.0
      – Duolingo 110/160
  • Preparatory Programme Entry Requirements
    It is crucial that students obtain over sufficient competences that the foundation
    programme enables them to successfully complete a regular university programme:
     – TOEFL IBT: 66/120
     – IELTS Academic Module: 5.0/9.0
     – Duolingo 90/160


Exit requirements / Entry Requirements to the BA Programmes

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Pass each course of the curriculum with at least a 2.0 GPA
  • Meet all regular entry requirements
Deadlines and application process

Places are limited so we encourage students to apply well in advance to their semester of choice.  

  Fall semester Spring semester
EEA citizens 31 July 30 November
Non-EEA citizens 31 May 31 October


Students unable to meet the above-mentioned application deadlines, should contact us via the Contact Form

Tuition and scholarships

Full-time tuition is €7.500 for the Fall 2023 semester and €7.500 for the Spring 2024 semester.

The School's Academic Excellence Scholarship is not applicable to the Preparatory BA programme. 


How to apply for a visa?

What happens after I applied?

When do I get my VUB student card?

Is accommodation provided by the University or should it be arranged individually?

Where can I find more information about campus and facilities?

What are the cancellation terms?

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How to apply for a visa?

As you will undoubtedly want to travel during your stay in Brussels, we strongly recommend that you ask for a long-stay Schengen Visa, or ‘Type D’ Schengen Visa, which will allow you to travel hassle-free to any of the countries within the Schengen region and to make multiple entries into Belgium. This type of visa is not issued by all embassies/consulates. Please contact the Belgian embassy or consulate nearest to you for details on specific procedures and requirements. Click here for more information about visa regulations.


What happens after I applied?

We aim at providing you with a decision within three weeks from receiving your complete application AND your payment of the 50 EUR application fee.  You will receive our decision by e-mail. In case of acceptance to the programme, this e-mail will contain practical info about the next steps (pre-registration fee / tuition fee payment, cost of living, etc.).


When do I get my VUB student card?

Upon your registration with the academic administration, you will get a VUB student card.


Is accommodation provided by the University or should it be arranged individually?

Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. There are some private residencies close to our School, so it is definitely worth to check these out first. Key to these student rooms is to apply as much in advance as possible and if needed to register on their waiting list. Prices go from 330-900€ so there is a big variety. See below for a list of some private residencies:

Most of the contracts for student rooms or flats will be for at least one year. Contracts for apartments are usually three years. You will be required to pay two months of rent in advance as a “guarantee” (security deposit) and the first month of rent is due on the day you sign the contract. Make sure that the utilities are included in the rent (electricity, heating system, water, Wi-Fi connection). Please note you will often need to share the kitchen and bathroom. If you have questions and/or concerns about a contract, please ask the landlord for a copy and ask for a translation (or help) at the School.

We suggest that you arrive one week before Orientation, if at all possible. 


Where can I find more information about campus and facilities?

The School is located on the campus of the Vrije Univeriteit Brussel (VUB), a green campus in Etterbeek in Brussels. Modern sports facilities with sports halls, tennis and squash courts, and a swimming pool can all be found on site. Monthly gym subscriptions are available at Basic Fit, a modern and well-equipped gym right on campus. The student restaurant offers a large choice of meals and snacks at self-service counters. The campus is easy to reach by train, tram, bus or metro from the city centre or the outskirts of Brussels. Also the school offers the opportunity to attend career seminars and individual coaching sessions and psychological counselling (free of charge) as well. Click here for more informations about campus life, services & facilities and Living in Brussels


What are the cancellation terms?

In case of cancellation before the start of the academic year, any tuition fees already paid will be reimbursed, with the exception of the 1,000€ pre-registration fee. Cancellations after the start of the academic year but before 1 December will result in a reimbursement of 50% of the total tuition fee minus the 1,000€ pre-registration fee, unless the student has received a maximum waiver in which case no tuition fees will be reimbursed. Cancellations after 1 December will not be reimbursed.

The pre-registration fee (1.000€) on any Brussels School of Governance programme is non-refundable, unless cancellation in a programme is due to events beyond the control of the applicant, otherwise known as force majeure (for example, if the student applied for a visa but was unable to obtain it, or if due to medical reasons the required previous degree was not obtained). In those cases, the full pre-registration fee will be refunded.

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Have a question about this programme? Get in touch with us!

I have already applied and have a question about my application.


If you have not submitted an application yet, use the Contact Form on this page, or
one of the other contact options below.

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