African Studies (MA)
The application procedure is broken down into three parts.
Part 1. Application in Studielink
All students applying for a degree programme at Leiden University must start the application process in Studielink, the national online registration system for students wishing to follow a degree programme at a Dutch university. Studielink is open for applications from 1 October in the year preceding the academic year in which you wish to start.
1. Go to Studielink and enter your details according to the instructions provided. For this step you will need:
- a copy of your valid passport or European ID card, or
- if you are a Dutch resident, your DigiD
Be aware! If you wish to apply for a specialisation of a master's programme: first select the master’s programme in Studielink, then select the specialisation for which you wish to apply in Step 4 (Institutional Questions) in Studielink.
2. Within two days you will receive:
- an email with information on the next steps you'll need to take;
- your university ULCN student account details (unless, of course, you already have a ULCN account)
- the link to Leiden University’s online application portal (uSis)
After receiving your ULCN student account details, log into Leiden University’s online application portal (uSis), using the link provided. Here you can view the status of your application, which will be one of two possibilities.
1. You can be directly admitted
If your (Dutch) diploma grants you direct admission, Leiden University's online application portal (uSis) will let you know. The portal provides an overview of what you have to do to complete your application, for example arranging housing, scholarships, applying for a visa/residence permit and insurances. Please follow the instructions carefully and proceed to step 3 Student registration.
2. You cannot be directly admitted: additional action is required
If you do not have a (Dutch) diploma that grants you direct admission, we will require additional documents to allow us to decide about your application. The online application portal (uSis) will tell you this and explain how to do so. See also Part 2: Admission to Leiden University.
Part 2. Admission to Leiden University
If you cannot be directly admitted, you must apply for admission via Leiden University’s online application portal (uSis). Please follow all steps below.
In our online application portal (uSis) you can finalise your application by uploading the necessary documents and answering a few questions. This portal provides an overview of what you need to do to complete your admission application. Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure to include all the items that are asked for. We strongly recommend that you complete your application well in advance of the application deadline.
All applicants with an international degree must pay a non-refundable €100 application fee, which entitles you to apply for up to three programmes/specialisations in the same academic year. We cannot start processing your application until we receive this application fee, so please pay it as soon as possible. The online application system explains how you can pay it.
Can I be exempted from paying the application fee?
You do not have to pay the application fee if:
- You are following, or have completed, a bachelor’s degree at a Dutch university (of applied sciences).
- You have previously registered as an exchange, bachelor’s, master’s or pre-master’s student at Leiden University.
- You have previously been admitted to the same degree programme at Leiden University, but you decided to postpone your studies. This does not apply if you are applying for a different study programme or specialisation.
- You have refugee status in the Netherlands (with a residence permit for asylum).
Exemptions cannot be granted for any other reasons.
After you have submitted your application, the online application portal (uSis) will, if applicable, ask you if you want to apply for student housing, a visa/residence permit or a scholarship. Be sure to make a careful note of the relevant deadlines for these options.
After receiving your application fee payment (if applicable), the Admissions Office will check whether all the necessary documents have been uploaded and they will inform you by email whether any further items are required. The Board of Admissions of the faculty will then:
- decide whether you meet the admission requirements for the programme;
- strive to issue a decision on your completed application within four to six weeks of the University receiving it.
Once a decision has been reached you will be informed by email. You can view your admission status in the online application portal (uSis).
There are three possible outcomes:
- You are admitted
You have met all conditions for admission.
- You are conditionally admitted
You will be admitted, provided that you meet certain conditions. These conditions will be specified in the online application portal (uSis).
- You are not admitted
The reason(s) for non-admission will be clearly stated in the online application portal (uSis). If you are informed that you have been (conditionally) admitted, you will have to take a number of additional steps.
If you are (conditionally) admitted, the Admissions Office will ask you to confirm whether you will join the study programme. You can do so in the online application portal (uSis).
1. Go to ‘Application study programme’ in the online application portal (uSis).
2. Open the ‘Confirm’ screen. Here you will see three options:
- Yes, I want to study at Leiden University.
- No, I no longer wish to study at Leiden University and hereby withdraw my application.
- Maybe later; I do not wish to start this semester/academic year. I would like to receive further instructions by email.
The sooner the better
Confirm attendance as soon as possible, to avoid missing other important deadlines and information about your study programme.
Changing your mind
You can still change your mind if necessary, either in uSis or by contacting the Admissions Office master team.
Deadline final decision
Do you need a student visa or residence permit? You can only request one after confirming attendance. So make sure to confirm attendance before the visa/residence permit deadline.
If you don’t need a visa or residence permit, the latest deadline for confirming attendance is before the start date of your study programme.
Part 3. Student registration
If you’ve been (conditionally) admitted, follow these steps to register as a student at Leiden University:
Check in the online application portal (uSis) whether you need to submit any documents to meet the conditions of your admission. Instructions on how to do so will be provided in uSis.
Arrange the payment of your tuition fee before the official start date of your programme. You will receive instructions and information on the available payment methods by email.
If you are an international student, go to the Prepare your stay page of our website for information about the practical matters you should take care of before and upon arrival. These include, for example, arranging housing, scholarships, applying for a visa/residence permit and insurances.