In the past month we had to bid for both the campus exchange and the p3 electives. Since this is unique I figured it is worth some explanations.
The system works like this: Each student gets 200 points. Each period the students bid points for the electives that they want to take next period. Since some of the electives are too popular, not all students can take them. So out of all the points that remained from previous periods, each student divide them between the courses they want to take (giving most points to the electives they want the most - strategy, strategy).
If a course is not full, no points are deducted. However, if the course is full each student that bid high get in. The number of points deducted for all the students is according to the last student to get in. For example: If there are 100 places, and the 100th student bid 20 points, all the 100 students are deducted 20 points (even if they bid higher). Sometimes though, INSEAD opens a new section if there is a high demand (not guaranteed).
The auction is done per campus. Most classes are given in both campuses. They provide us with all the information about the syllabuses, requirements, and faculty (including rankings of the professors in previous periods - a grade above 4 is considered good).
The 200 points are cummulative throughout the program. If a student is deducted 50 points in the P3 bidding, he will only have 150 points in P4.
In the first week of P3 the students are allowed to drop and add electives as they choose (if there are available places). If the class is full, dropping from a course will result in someone from the waitlist getting in (dropping the course gives you the bidding points back). There is also the possibility to audit a course (meaning to sit in class but not get credit) - if the professor allows it.
Why did INSEAD impose such a complicated system is beyond me, but these are the rules, and we must play accordingly, right?
The P3 Electives
There are 6 groups of electives in the program: Finance, Accounting, Strategy, Marketing, Technology & Operations, and Entrepreneurship. There are also electives in Organizational Behaviour (OB) and Economics.
Most electives are 1 credit, but there are also mini ones for half a credit (and only 8 sessions). In the program you can take 10.5-12.5 elective credits (and you must attend minimum of 2 credits in P5 - meaning that you have to be at INSEAD in that period). More then 12.5 you must pay extra.
There are tons of electives - mostly in P5 - and choosing is hard. In P3 it is recommended to take 3.5 credits. There are also 2 core courses.
Here is a list of some of the electives offered (not all of them):
Finance - If you want a finance career, it is recommended that you take all the finance courses. However, for the numbers-handicaped of us, it is recommended to take two basic courses: Applied Corporate Finance (the cases course, given both in P3 and P4), and Investements (mini, only in P3). International Financial Management is the third course offered.
Entrepreneurship - In P3 INSEAD offers Corporate Entrepreneurship in Fonty, and Business Models in Singapore (no symmetry). Also you can take a project in the industry (Entrepreneurshial Field Study).
Marketing - In P3 or P4 you should take Marketing Driving Strategies, which involves simulations and is supposed to be great.
Strategy - A popular course is given in P3, M&As, Alliances and Corporate Strategy (taught in Fonty by an Israeli professor).
Technology and Operations: The second course (after the core course) is Strategies for Product and Service Development. There are two mini course called Leveraging IT Opportunities and Trends - Part I/II which are given in P3 and P4 respectively (different courses not related).
One last course that I want to describe here is the Negotiations course which is supposed to be great in Singapore (and hopefully in Fontainebleau too).