BA Preparatory Programme

Programme and curriculum

Our English-taught BA Preparatory Programme serves as a proper 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 to succeed. Moreover, as a pre-bachelor programme it offers students the chance to navigate within 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.

Most students finish this BA Preparatory Programme in one semester, although we do offer the opportunity to students to take a 2-semester Preparatory Programme as well.

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.


Academic Calendar

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

  • The Fall 2021 semester starts on 18 August with the orientation and registration activities; the first day of classes is 23 August.
  • The Spring 2022 semester starts on 12 January with the orientation and registration activities; the first day of classes is 17 January.  


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 4 non-credit courses for one semester or 8 non-credit courses for two semesters. The programme also incorporates a 21-hour seminar component for a fundamental review of mathematics. All students admitted into the programme are required to follow all courses and seminars.



STEP approach

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Course Schedule – First Semester (Fall Term)

  • English for Academic Purposes – Oral & Presentation Skills I (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)
  • English for Academic Purposes – Writing & Reading I (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)
  • Introduction to Research, Methods & Thesis Writing I (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)
  • Academic Readiness: Social and Cultural Immersion (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)


Course Schedule – Second Semester (Spring Term)

  • English for Academic Purposes – Oral & Presentation Skills II (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)
  • English for Academic Purposes – Writing & Reading II (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)
  • Introduction to Research, Methods & Thesis Writing II (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)
  • Practical Business Communication (3 hours per week for 15-weeks)


Seminar (Fall & Spring Semester)

  • Foundation Mathematics (3 hours per week for 14 weeks)

*Subject to change

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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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)

News about the programme

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:

  • 3YP 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
  • Foundation 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

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
  • TOEFL / IELTS is waived after two semesters.
Deadlines and application process

Students first need to apply for one of our BA programmes. It is the Admissions Office who decides whether students shall start with the Preparatory Programme or not. If students would prefer to start with the Preparatory Programme before they start BA programme, please mention that to the Admission Office when you apply.

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

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


Students unable to meet the above-mentioned application deadlines, should contact the Admissions Office.  

Tuition and scholarships

Full-time tuition is €6.500 per semester.


Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) – BA programmes

The Brussels School of Governance will award Academic Excellence Scholarships to students in its BA programmes who have outstanding academic records in secondary school and whose extra-curricular achievements show evidence of leadership in today’s global society. Other factors include one letter of recommendation from their secondary school and, in certain cases, standardised test scores.

The School’s merit-based scholarship system can provide a reduction of up to 50 % in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of his/her 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees.

>> Click here for more information on Academic Excellence Scholarship eligibility and minimum requirements.


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?

Due to a limited number of rooms on campus, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel cannot provide housing for all international students and scholars. Hence they are advised to find other means of accommodation in Belgium, preferably prior to departure.
The Br(ik organisation aims to create a network of safe, reliable housing. The landlords and the accommodations linked to Br(ik, must meet criteria set by Br(ik and in case of problems between the landlord and the tenant, the Br(ik organisation can intervene.

Prearranged housing is only available for VLIR-UOS scholars who are registered for one or two year master programmes. All other students and scholars are advised to seek transit, short term or long term housing prior to departure. It is recommended that the search for accommodation is started as soon as the letter of acceptance or invitation has been received.

For more information, please visit:




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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