Universiteit Leiden

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South and Southeast Asian Studies (BA)

Admission requirements

Do you want to apply for the bachelor’s programme South and Southeast Asian Studies at Leiden University? First, check the admission requirements.

The diploma requirements for admission to the English-taught bachelor’s programmes at the Faculty of Humanities are:

Dutch students:

  • A Dutch pre-university education (VWO) diploma.
  • A Propaedeutic diploma or final diploma from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO). Proof of your proficiency in English might be required (see below: Language requirements).
  • A University first year certificate or degree.

International students:

As this study programme is taught in English and all study activities must be undertaken in English, it is essential that you have a good level of proficiency in written and spoken English.

You do not need to submit an English proficiency test if you:

  • have obtained a Dutch VWO diploma
  • have obtained a bachelor’s or master’s diploma from a Dutch university of applied sciences (HBO) or a Dutch university
  • have 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.
  • have obtained an International Baccalaureate™ Diploma (IB DP) taught in English or with English A HL.
  • have obtained a German Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife (Abitur) and English was included in your final year at least at Grundkurslevel.
  • Exemptions can also be granted on the basis of certain other educational diplomas. Check our diploma requirements list to find out whether your diploma might entitle you to an exemption.

If none of the above apply to you, you must provide proof of proficiency by means of one of the following tests. You must arrange the test yourself. Test results may not be more than two years old

Leiden University accepts three kinds of official tests:

  • IELTS - Academic modules only, on paper or on computer. Minimum score of 6.0 overall and 6.0 for  each separate component
    • We do not accept IELTS Academic online
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training, IELTS Indicator, or IELTS One Skill Retake
  • TOEFL Internet Based. Minimum score of 80 overall and 20 for each separate component
    • We do not accept the TOEFL IBT Home Edition™, except in the following situations only:
      You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (and it is not more than 2 years old), or you are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres are inaccessible or closed due to unsafe conditions in a country.
    • We do not accept the following types of test: TOEFL My Best™ scores (multiple test scores combined), TOEFL Essentials™  or institutional tests such as ITP.
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency in English or Cambridge C1 Advanced English, with a minimum score of 169 for each separate component.

Also see general language requirements for additional information.

Colloquium doctum, which roughly translates as “learned discussion”, is a special admission procedure that you can apply for if:

  • you do not have a diploma that grants university admission, and
  • you are 21 or older on the day that your proposed study programme commences

As a colloquium doctum candidate, you have to sit a number of exams at Dutch pre-university level (VWO) to determine whether you have the required knowledge to participate in a university degree programme. If you are successful, you will only be admitted to the programme for which you initially applied – not to other programmes or other institutions. 

Bear in mind that the colloquium doctum route can be very challenging, both during the admission procedure and once you begin your degree studies.

The colloquium doctum admission procedure

The colloquium doctum admission procedure is the same as the standard application procedure, so you can simply follow the steps in this guide. Be sure to check the colloquium doctum application deadline for your chosen programme, which can be found in the programme information. For most programmes this deadline is 15 October.

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