Universiteit Leiden

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Korean Studies (MA) (120EC)

Admission requirements

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

Diploma requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, in Humanities or Social Sciences.
  • A grade of at least 7.0 or the equivalent thereof for the bachelor’s thesis.
  • This programme has a limited capacity. A maximum of 12 places is available on this programme; the Admissions Board ranks the requests for admission on the fulfilment of the requirements above.
  • Applicants should have completed components at the bachelor’s level equivalent to at least 30 EC on at least three out of six disciplines of one or more East Asian countries or regions:
    • history, art, culture, politics, society or economy
  • Knowledge of important historical, sociocultural and political developments in the region, and of traditions in Korean Studies
  • An important aspect of the programme is advanced language acquisition in Korean; at least 10 EC of the programme are dedicated to language training. 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 TOPIC level, unless they wish to continue their learning of another East Asian language at an advanced level (for instance Chinese speakers learning Japanese or Korean).

No direct admission, all students need to submit an online application.

Applicants with a degree from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) are not eligible for admission.

Language requirements

Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). For a list of exceptions, see the website on language requirements.

Exams accepted

Cambridge English Exam equivalences

  • Programme requiring IELTS 6.5 = Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with a minimum grade of C
  • Programme requiring IELTS 7.0 or higher = Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)


Other exam criteria

  • Exam results may not be more than two years old.
  • Institutional exams, such as ITP-TOEFL, cannot be accepted.
  • Chinese students who need a Nuffic certificate should take either an IELTS or a TOEFL IBT exam.


You may be considered exempt from submitting one of the above-mentioned English exam results if:

  • You have an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate.
  • You completed your secondary or higher education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada).
  • At the discretion of the Board of Admissions, you are a Dutch student with pre-university education (VWO) level English.

In exceptional cases, students who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their English proficiency may be asked to sit an English exam.

Submitting your exam results

All English exam results must be uploaded to the online application system.

Your English exam results must be checked for authenticity by the Admissions Office before the deadline for applying for a visa/residence permit (if applicable), or before the start date of your programme. To make this possible, please do the following:

  • TOEFL exam: tell ETS to send your original results report to Leiden University Admissions Office – institution code 0504.
  • Cambridge certificate: send your ID number and your “secret number” (check the Candidate Results Online service) to the Leiden University Admissions Office.
  • IELTS: a scanned exam result is sufficient - no further steps will be required.

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

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