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East Asian Studies (MA) (60EC)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for East Asian Studies at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Diploma requirements

You are eligible to apply for the MA Asian Studies (60 EC) if you have:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in the specialisation Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies or South and Southeast Asian Studies; or
  • a bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, in the field of Humanities or Social Sciences and completed at least 30 EC (or equivalent) in courses at bachelor’s level on the history, art and/or culture of one or more East, South or Southeast Asian countries or regions (this may include the thesis); and
  • knowledge of the nature and role of as well as the ability to analyse and report on academic inquiry in the humanities or social sciences.

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 Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies or South and Southeast Asian Studies on the basis of the requirements specified above.

Students with a Bachelor in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies or Korean Studies from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission. Students can apply in Studielink. There is no need to submit an application for admission using the online application portal.

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. 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’s programme, you will be admitted to the relevant specialisation of the master’s programme.

For questions about the 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..

Language requirements

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

  • IELTS: 7.0 
  • TOEFL (internet-based):  100 
  • C1 Advanced (former CAE): 185

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.

You should have sufficient command of either Chinese, Japanese or Korean:

  • Chinese: at least level 4 (HSK New Style) or level 3 (TOCFL). Please note that because an important distinguishing aspect of the programme is advanced language acquisition in Chinese, this specialisation is not suitable for native speakers, or for persons with a level 6 (HSK New Style) or equivalent level 6 (TOCFL).
  • Japanese: at JLTP 2 level, with a maximum of level JLTP 1. Please note that because an important distinguishing aspect of the programme is advanced language acquisition in Japanese, this specialisation is not suitable for native speakers, and persons with near-native fluency and a BA or MA degree from a Japanese university.
  • Korean: at level TOPIK 4. Please note that because an important distinguishing aspect of the programme is advanced language acquisition in Korean; this specialisation is not suitable for native speakers, and for students with a higher TOPIK level.

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

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