International Relations and Organisations (BSc)
Whether you are eligible for admission to the IRO programme depends on your previous education and your command of the English language. The detailed entry requirements are listed below, separately for students with a diploma obtained in the Dutch school system and those with a non-Dutch diploma obtained in other countries, or an international school diploma.
Equivalent to Dutch VWO?
The requirements for the International Relations and Organisations (IRO) bachelor’s specialisation are an equivalent of a Dutch pre-university education (VWO) diploma, and proficiency in English. The following diplomas are regarded as equivalent to Dutch VWO:
- a first-year or final diploma from a university programme;
- an International Baccalaureate (IB) or a European Baccalaureate (EB).
Other secondary school diploma’s obtained outside the Netherlands may also be regarded as equivalent to Dutch VWO. These are to be evaluated by Leiden University’s Admissions Office.
In order to establish whether your diploma qualifies for admission into a bachelor’s programme at Leiden University, you can check the list of the most common foreign/international ‘accepted’ diplomas drawn up by the Admissions Office. Where applicable, minimum grades are listed:
The level of mathematics that we require is an equivalent to the level of mathematics at Dutch VWO level (pre-university education). The general rule is that you should have taken mathematics throughout your entire high school career, i.e. you must have had mathematics education until you graduated from school. Additionally, your curriculum must contain the areas of probability and statistics. The Admissions Office will check whether you meet the admissibility requirements by assessing whether your educational background in mathematics is equivalent to the Dutch VWO level. In some cases, an additional mathematics test may be required.
You are eligible for admission to the bachelor’s specialisation International Relations and Organisations if you are in the possession of:
- a Dutch pre-university education (VWO) diploma with no further requirements of your subject cluster;
- a final diploma from a higher professional Dutch accredited (HBO) institution of education;
- a first-year or final diploma from a Dutch university programme.
Propedeuse from a university of applied sciences
The holder of a propedeuse diploma from a university of applied sciences (HBO-P) must demonstrate that he or she possesses the knowledge, understanding and skills required to successfully complete the bachelor’s programme. This means sufficient skills in mathematics (VWO certificate or Boswell Beta) and English (see the Proficiency in English section).
Please note: all candidates holding a non-Dutch VWO or HBO-P diploma have to submit a request to be admitted in the uSis portal.
If you are not in possession of a pre-university (VWO equivalent) diploma, but nevertheless eligible for admission, you may be required to take a test at the level of a VWO final examination for the profile that qualifies you for admission. The entrance examination applies to the following subjects and assesses students on the basis of the following criteria:
- at least a HAVO (vocational secondary school) diploma, and
- some years of relevant work experience, and
- qualifications in the following subjects: Mathematics C VWO certificate (or equivalent), and English VWO certificate (or English Proficiency Test result).
It is essential that at the start of your IRO programme you have a good level of proficiency in written and spoken English, as the programme is taught in English, and you will have to do all your studying and writing in English.
You do not need to provide proof of your level of proficiency if you have:
- successfully completed the Dutch VWO;
- a first year or final diploma from a Dutch research university programme;
- a diploma from an International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma
- Programme (DP) taught in English or with English A HL.
- completed your secondary or higher education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), Singapore, South-Africa or Malta.
- a German Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife (Abitur) and English was included in your final year at least at Grundkurs level.
Exemptions may be granted on the basis of other educational diplomas. Check our diploma requirements list to find out whether your diploma might entitle you to an exemption.
The general Diplôme du Baccalauréat Général does not waive the English proficiency test for students unless the diploma/transcript mentions the OIB option and section.
Please note that if you have obtained a first-year (P) diploma from a higher professional Dutch accredited (HBO) institution of education, you need to meet the language requirements outlined below.
If the above does not apply to you, you will have to provide other proof of proficiency, using one of the tests below. Please note the proficiency test scores must not be older than 2 years at the time of the application deadline.
|English test||Minimum results|
|TOEFL, IBT Paper Edition and IBT Home Edition||80 (at least 20 for every component; please note that other variants, such as TOEFL My Best, TOEFL Essentials and institutional tests like ITP cannot be accepted)|
|IELTS (Academic module only)||6.0 (at least 6.0 for every component; IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator are not accepted)|
|Cambridge English Exam||Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) or C1 Advanced (CAE) (at least 169 for every component)|
For detailed information about which tests are accepted by Leiden University and instructions about uploading your results, please see this document: