Universiteit Leiden

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Art History (MA)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for Art History at Leiden University, you need to meet the following admission requirements.

You are eligible to apply for the MA Arts and Culture if you have:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Art History or from a foreign research university of an equivalent level; or
  • a bachelor’s degree from a research university (equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree) in a Humanities or Archaeology programme related to Arts and Culture; and
  • completed at least 40 EC (or equivalent) on relevant courses of sufficient level in the field of Art History and/or Museum Studies which demonstrate:
    • knowledge and understanding of the history of art production in western and non-western cultures and of different forms of art, architecture and design;
    • knowledge and understanding of the history, theories and practices in the field of art in a global perspective or museum studies and of the relevant contexts in which art works or art museums, institutes and heritage sites function.
    • art historical skills, such as the ability to give well-founded criticism to academic art-historical texts.

The Board of Admissions will assess whether your degree and background are sufficiently related to the level and content of a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Art History on the basis of the requirements specified above.

If you have a bachelor’s degree from a research university that does not meet the requirements specified above, you may be eligible for a pre-master’s programme tailored to your individual background with a maximum of 40 EC. After submitting your application in Studielink, the Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be directly admitted to the master’s programme or whether you will first need to complete a pre-master’s programme. It is not possible to apply for a pre-master’s programme directly. Once you have completed the imposed pre-master programme, you will be admitted to the master’s programme. For more information about the individual pre-master’s programme, please contact the Coordinator of Studies.

Applicants with a degree from a Dutch university of applied sciences (HBO) or equivalent are not eligible for admission to the Master’s and pre-master’s programme.

Students with a Bachelor of Art History from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission, if at least the appropriate specialisation course is completed. Students can apply in Studielink. There is no need to submit an application for admission using the online application portal.

Language requirements

In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in English. The following requirements apply:

  • IELTS:    7.0
  • TOEFL:  100
  • C2 Proficiency (former CPE) or C1 Advanced (former CAE) 185

A minimum score of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components.

For detailed information, including exemption criteria and methods of submission, refer to English language proficiency.

English tests accepted
Note that English test results may not be more than two years old. The following types of English test are accepted: 

  • IELTS: Academic
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator
    • We are not yet able to accept the new IELTS online.
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • 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.
    • We can accept TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition™ or TOEFL IBT Paper Edition™ in the following situations only:
      • You are applying for a programme starting in Feb 2023, or
      • You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (& it is not more than 2 years old), or
      • You are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres in your region are closed due to COVID or inaccessible due to unsafe conditions.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency or C1 Advanced, depending on admission criteria

Please note: You do not have to submit proof of proficiency if you have completed your education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta, or when you hold an International Baccalaureate, or for Dutch students, if you have completed VWO level English or an English taught bachelor at a Dutch Research University.

>> Go to the next step: Check the application deadlines

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