Universiteit Leiden

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Politics, Society and Economy of Asia (MA) (60EC)

Admission requirements

Do you want to apply for this master’s programme at Leiden University? Please check our admission and application information.

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.
  • Applicants should have completed components at the bachelor’s level equivalent to at least 30 credits on the politics, society and/or economy of one or more Asian countries or regions.
  • Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, or South and Southeast Asian Studies from Leiden University are always eligible for admission and need to apply through Studielink only.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Leiden University who have completed all area courses for either East Asia or South and Southeast Asia and wrote their BA Thesis and/or completed optional courses worth 10 EC on either East Asia or South and Southeast Asia will be admitted. They do however need to submit an online application. Please note that they do not have to submit recommendation letters. To complete their application they can upload a PDF file including name, student number, and their current program (BAIS).
  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences (HBO) or an academic bachelor’s degree from a research university who do not meet the entry requirements may be eligible for an individual bridging programme. To be eligible for a bridging programme, the applicant’s BA degree must be within a relevant regional or disciplinary specialisation. Please contact the bridging programme’s Coordinator of Studies for more information.

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.

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