Universiteit Leiden

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Intelligence and National Security (MSc)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for MSc Crisis and Security Management at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

2024 - 2025

Admission requirements for students who will start in September 2024 and in February 2025.

Please note: As of 2025 we will only offer a limited February intake: only the specialisation Governance of Violence will be open for registration in February 2025. If you would like to follow one of the other specialisations please consider applying for the September 2024 or the September 2025 intake.

Holders of one of the following degrees may be admitted to the programme:

  1. Direct admission:
    When you have a bachelor’s degree in Security Studies, Public Administration or Political Science from Leiden University,
    you can be directly admitted. You can register through Studielink without needing to complete an application in Leiden University’s application system (Usis).
  2. Eligible for direct admission:
    When you have a bachelor's degree in Public Administration, Political Science or International Relations from a recognised research university other than Leiden University you are eligible for direct admission. 
    Register through Studielink and complete your application in Leiden University’s application system (uSis).
  3. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university provided the student meets  requirements across two pillars. First, at least 30 ECTS obtained from courses in the fields of governance, crisis or security related knowledge. Second, at least 20 ECTS related to empirical research skills in social sciences or similar empirical research skills. Register through Studielink and complete your application in Leiden University’s application system (uSis).
  4. When you have a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security Management Studies (SSMS) at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and have fulfilled the following academic criteria.
    Please note: you will have to apply through Studielink and the subsequent uSis application portal. Further, you still must meet the English language proficiency requirement mentioned in the paragraph ‘Language Requirements’ below.

If you meet the conditions under 1, you only need to apply through Studielink. If you do not meet the conditions under 1, you will need to apply through Studielink and through the online application system (uSis). You will be assessed on an individual base on proficiency in the English language and the requirements mentioned in 'Elaboration'.

As this study programme is taught in English and all study activities must be undertaken in English, it is essential that you have a good level of proficiency in written and spoken English.

The following requirements apply: 

  • IELTS Academic modules only, on paper or on computer: 6.5 overall, with at least 6.0 for each separate component score.
    • We do not accept IELTS Academic online.
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator.
       
  • TOEFL internet based: 90 overall, with at least 20 for each separate component.
    • We are not able to accept The TOEFL IBT Home Edition™, except in the following situations only:
      You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (and it is not more than 2 years old), or you are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres are inaccessible or closed due to unsafe conditions in a country.
    • 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.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency, or C1 Advanced (180), with a minimum score of 169 for each separate component.

Note that English test results may not be more than two years old.

You do not have to submit an English proficiency test if you have completed your education in the USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta; or if you have obtained an English-taught International Baccalaureate™; or if you have completed a Dutch VWO diploma or an English-taught bachelor at a Dutch research university.

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

Holders of a bachelor's degree from a research university with a maximum of 5 ECTS of deficiencies, can eliminate their deficiencies in the curriculum by showing relevant knowledge with their extracurricular courses as shown on the below table:

Pillar 1: Governance, crisis and security related knowledge At least 30 ECTS obtained at a recognized research university in courses in the field of governance, crisis or security knowledge. If you do not meet the requirements specified in the cell to the left, and your deficiency is a maximum of 5 ECTS, this can be bridged by doing 3 MOOCS on governance, crisis and/or security by a recognized research university. Official certificates must be obtained for these courses. Examples are: MOOCS related terrorism studies, crisis governance, cybersecurity governance, and risk in a modern society, etc
Pillar 2:
Empirical research skills in social sciences

At least 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a recognized research university is related to empirical research skills in social sciences.

Please note that ECTS obtained for a thesis are only considered when it concerns an empirical research project in the social sciences.
If you do not meet the requirements specified in the cell to the left, and your deficiency is a maximum of 5 ECTS, this can be bridged by doing 3 MOOCS on empirical research skills in social science by a recognised research university. Official certificates must be obtained for these courses. Examples are: MOOCS related to quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, research design, social science methods, etc.

The above elaboration on the requirements give an indication whether you will be admitted or not. At the same time, there are no assurances given. The first step by the Board of Admission is to examine the degree obtained. If this degree significantly differs in content from the master programme (e.g.: a degree in biology, physics, mathematics, industrial engineering, language studies), it will not be possible to bridge these deficiencies by online courses. 

  • Bachelor degree in international studies:
    watch out for deficiencies in research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow electives that are methodological in nature,
    and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in criminology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Make sure to follow electives that include this (e.g. on the organization or management of police forces),
    ​​​​​​​and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in history:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect, and brush up on research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, 
    ​​​​​​​and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in law:
    watch out for deficiencies in crisis and security related topics (a course on criminal law is as such not sufficient), and especially research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives,
    ​​​​​​​and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in psychology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect.
    Follow relevant electives, 
    and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Master degrees in the above fields:
    a Master degree should strengthen your knowledge on at least empirical research.
    Make sure to submit writing samples.
  • Bachelor or Master degree from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO):
    though these programmes might touch upon one or even both pillars in the curriculum, they do so from a perspective of applied sciences. Hence applicants lack theoretical background needed to start the Master’s programme.
    It will almost be impossible to adhere to the requirements.

Minor

Finally, a minor programme can be a great way to increase knowledge on the two pillars. Currently, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs offers five minor programmes, but other minor programmes may also prove valuable:

It is not mandatory, but to aid in your assessment, we highly recommend to include a placement letter in English, in which you explain how you meet the admission requirements. This serves to help the Board of Admissions gain further insight in your experiences (work and/or education) that might contribute to establish admissibility to the programme. Make sure to use this template.

You can download the template, fill it in, and add it to your application. List relevant academic courses or other relevant academic experiences (such as internships, summer courses, thesis or extra-curricular research), including if applicable the amount of ECTS or credits assigned to them.
For everything you list, it is recommended you hand in supporting documents, such as course descriptions, syllabi or writing samples. You can upload supporting documents via the application portal in uSis (ideally, integrate the supporting documents into one pdf).

2023 - 2024

Admission requirements for students who will start in September 2023 and in February 2024.

Holders of one of the following degrees may be admitted to the programme:

  1. Direct admission:
    When you have a bachelor’s degree in Security Studies, Public Administration or Political Science from Leiden University, you can be directly admitted.
    You can register through Studielink without needing to complete an application in Leiden University’s application system (Usis).
  2. Eligible for direct admission:
    When you have a bachelor's degree in Public Administration, Political Science or International Relations from a recognised research university other than Leiden University you are eligible for direct admission. 
    Register through Studielink and complete your application in Leiden University’s application system (uSis).
  3. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university provided the student meets requirements across two pillars. First, at least 30 ECTS obtained from courses in the fields of governance, crisis or security related knowledge. Second, at least 20 ECTS related to empirical research skills in social sciences or similar empirical research skills. Register through Studielink and complete your application in Leiden University’s application system (uSis).
  4. When you have a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security Management Studies (SSMS) at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and have fulfilled the following academic criteria.
    Please note: you will have to apply through Studielink and the subsequent uSis application portal. Further, you still must meet the English language proficiency requirement mentioned in the paragraph ‘Language Requirements’ below.

 

If you meet the conditions under 1, you only need to apply through Studielink. If you do not meet the conditions under 1, you will need to apply through Studielink and through the online application system (uSis). You will be assessed on an individual base on proficiency in the English language and the requirements mentioned in 'Elaboration'.

Language requirements

IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge:

  • IELTS 6.5
  • TOEFL (internet-based) 90
  • CPE or CAE 180

The test result may not be older than two years at the time of enrolment for the programme.

Exemption:

You are eligible for exemption from submitting results of an English proficiency test, if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • An International Baccalaureate diploma from a programme taught in English (or an IB diploma with English A);
  • A diploma of secondary or higher education completed in Australia, Canada (with the exception of the French-language programmes in Canada), Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States or South Africa;
  • A diploma of an English-taught university degree programme completed at a Dutch research university;
  • A pre-university education (VWO) diploma;
  • A bachelors' or masters' diploma from a Dutch university of applied sciences of an English taught programme if all instruction and examinations were held in English.

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

English tests accepted

Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    - We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    - We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • 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 Australia, Canada (with the exception of the French-language programmes in Canada), Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States or South Africa; 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.

Holders of a bachelor's degree from a research university with a maximum of 5 ECTS of deficiencies, can eliminate their deficiencies in the curriculum by showing relevant knowledge with their extracurricular courses as shown on the below table:

Pillar 1: Governance, crisis and security related knowledge

At least 30 ECTS obtained at a recognised research university in courses in the field of governance, crisis or security knowledge.

If you do not meet the requirements specified in the cell to the left, and your deficiency is a maximum of 5 ECTS, this can be bridged by doing 3 MOOCS on governance, crisis and/or security by a recognised research university. Official certificates must be obtained for these courses. Examples are: MOOCS related terrorism studies, crisis governance, cybersecurity governance, and risk in a modern society, etc
Pillar 2:
Empirical research skills in social sciences

At least 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a recognised research university is related to empirical research skills in social sciences.

Please note that ECTS obtained for a thesis are only considered when it concerns an empirical research project in the social sciences.
If you do not meet the requirements specified in the cell to the left, and your deficiency is a maximum of 5 ECTS, this can be bridged by doing 3 MOOCS on empirical research skills in social science by a recognised research university. Official certificates must be obtained for these courses. Examples are: MOOCS related to quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, research design, social science methods, etc.

The above elaboration on the requirements give an indication whether you will be admitted or not. At the same time, there are no assurances given. The first step by the Board of Admission is to examine the degree obtained. If this degree significantly differs in content from the master programme (e.g.: a degree in biology, physics, mathematics, industrial engineering, language studies), it will not be possible to bridge these deficiencies by online courses. 

  • Bachelor degree in international studies:
    watch out for deficiencies in research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow electives that are methodological in nature,
    and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in criminology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Make sure to follow electives that include this (e.g. on the organization or management of police forces),
    ​​​​​​​and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in history:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect, and brush up on research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, 
    ​​​​​​​and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in law:
    watch out for deficiencies in crisis and security related topics (a course on criminal law is as such not sufficient), and especially research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives,
    ​​​​​​​and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Bachelor degree in psychology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect.
    Follow relevant electives, 
    and complete the online courses if there is still a maximum 5ECTS deficiency.
  • Master degrees in the above fields:
    a Master degree should strengthen your knowledge on at least empirical research.
    Make sure to submit writing samples.
  • Bachelor or Master degree from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO):
    though these programmes might touch upon one or even both pillars in the curriculum, they do so from a perspective of applied sciences. Hence applicants lack theoretical background needed to start the Master’s programme.
    It will almost be impossible to adhere to the requirements.

Minor

Finally, a minor programme can be a great way to increase knowledge on the two pillars. Currently, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs offers five minor programmes, but other minor programmes may also prove valuable:

2022 - 2023

Admission requirements for students who will start in September 2022 and in February 2023.

(a) When you have a bachelor’s degree in Security Studies from Leiden University, you are always eligible for direct admission. You can register through Studielink

(b) When you have a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security Management Studies (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) and have fulfilled the following academic and administrative criteria, your application to the Msc programme ‘Crisis and Security Management’ of Leiden University will be accepted:

  • a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security Management Studies (SSMS) from The Hague University of Applied Science;
  • At least minimum GPA of 7.5 for all the following courses combined:
    * Year 2
    - Safety Risk Management
    - International Relations and Geopolitics
    - National Security Systems
    - Managing International Conflict

    * Year 3
    - Interorganisational Cooperation
    - Rethinking Safety and Security
    - Thesis Research Skills
    - Thesis Research Tutorial
     
  • a minimum grade of 7.5 for each of the following elements in year 4
    - Written Thesis
    - Thesis Defence

Please note: you will have to apply through Studielink and the subsequent uSis application portal. Further, you still must meet the English language proficiency requirement mentioned in the paragraph ‘Language Requirements’ below.


(c) If you don't meet the conditions under a or b, you will need to apply through Studielink and through the online application system. You will be assessed on an individual base. The assessment will be based, amongst others, on:

  • Demonstrable knowledge of relevant contemporary and emerging security and/or crisis related challenges, and relevant developments in a globalized world;
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the interlinkages of actors, approaches, consequences and possible impacts of security and/or crisis related issues (governance perspective);
  • Demonstrable ability to theoretically, conceptually and/or empirically develop a research project, and subsequently analyse it using relevant research skills, with a focus on social science research skills;
  • Proficiency in the English language: see next paragraph for details.

IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge:

  • IELTS 7.0 (A minimum score of IELTS 7.0 required for each of the four components);
  • TOEFL (internet-based) 100. A minimum score of TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components.
  • CPE or CAE 185

Exemption:
You are eligible for exemption from submitting results of an English proficiency test, if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • A diploma of secondary or higher education completed in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (with the exception of French-taught education in Canada);
  • A diploma of an English-taught academic Bachelor programme completed at a Dutch research university;
  • A Dutch pre-university education (VWO) diploma.

Detailed information English language proficiency

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

English tests accepted

Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    - We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    - We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • 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 Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, 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.

  • Include a placement letter in English, in which you explain how you meet the admission requirements. Shortly refer to your personal and professional background and interests to explain how well you fit into the programme, and how it will help you to achieve your future goals. Make sure to use this template.
  • Include an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae. This also serves to help the Board of Admissions form an impression of you and gain further insight in your experiences (work and/or education) that might contribute to establish admissibility to the programme.

Applicants to the Crisis and Security Management MSc programme can show proficiency in the three pillars of Crisis and/or Security related topics, Governance and Empirical Research skills in Social Sciences via different ways.

The table below shows per pillar how applicants should show proficiency; Please note that the value of the columns differs. While you can show relevant knowledge either by your curriculum or your work experience (so these are functionally equal), the extracurricular column is meant to eliminate smaller deficiencies in the curriculum, and is not sufficient by itself.

  By Curriculum Or:
By Work experience
Or: By Extracurricular
Crisis and Security related knowledge

At least 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a research university is related to crisis or security knowledge. 

Examples are: war studies, conflict theories, organizational crises, criminology, security studies, diplomacy, cybersecurity, terrorism studies, and intelligence studies. If the name of the course does not clearly state this relationship (e.g.: international politics), course descriptions or syllabi can be used to show a link.

Writing samples can also be used to showcase relevant knowledge.
 

High level political function or higher management in a public/private/civil society organization. Either the goals of the organization or the tasks related to the function should be related to crisis or security matters.

If the course curriculum at the research university is at least 10 ECTS related to crisis or security knowledge, OR if 30 ECTS of the course curriculum at a university of applied sciences is related to these topics, online courses can be used to bridge the deficiencies.

Examples are:
-    Coursera course “Terrorism and Counterterrorism”
-    Coursera Course “Risk in Modern Society”
-    Coursera course “Security and Safety Challenges in a Globalized World”

Certificates must be obtained for these courses 
 

Governance knowledge

At least 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a research university is related to governance knowledge.

Examples are: (public) management, organizational management, network management, and (international) politics. If the name of the course does not clearly state this relationship, course descriptions or syllabi can be used to show a link.

Writing samples can also be used to showcase relevant knowledge.
 

High level political function or higher management in a public or civil society organization.

If the course curriculum at the research university is at least 10 ECTS related to governance knowledge, OR if 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a university of applied sciences is related to the topic, online courses can be used to bridge the deficiencies. 

Examples are:
-    Coursera course 'Organizational analysis'
-    Coursera course 'The Changing Global Order'
-    Coursera course 'Political Economy of Institutions and Development'

Certificates must be obtained for these courses

Empirical Research skills in Social Sciences

At least 15 ECTS of the course curriculum at a research university is related to empirical research skills in social sciences. Examples are: bachelor thesis, methods of social science research, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis. If the name of the course does not clearly state this relationship, course syllabi can be used to show a link.

Writing samples can also be used to showcase relevant knowledge.
 

Research papers written in the course of professional activities. Please provide samples.

If the course curriculum at the research university is at least 5 ECTS related to research skills in social sciences, OR if the course curriculum at the research university is at least 15 ECTS related to skills in non-social science research, OR if 15 ECTS of the course curriculum at a university of applied sciences is related to research skills in social sciences, online courses can be used to bridge the deficiencies.

Examples are:
-    Coursera course 'Quantitative methods'
-    Coursera Course 'Qualitative Research Methods'

Certificates must be obtained for these courses
 

 

The above elaboration on the three pillars give an indication whether you will be admitted or not. At the same time, there are no assurances given. The first step by the Board of Admission is to examine the degree obtained. If this degree significantly differs in content from the master programme (e.g.: a degree in biology, physics, mathematics, industrial engineering, language studies), it will not be possible to bridge these deficiencies by work experience or online courses. Here are some general guidelines for your convenience (again, non-exhaustive, and no assurances can be given that this will guarantee you admission):

  • Bachelor degrees in public administration, political science, international relations: generally the three pillars are already present in the curriculum. Make sure that there is a strong relationship with crisis and security related topics.
  • Bachelor degree in international studies:
    watch out for deficiencies in research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow electives that are methodological in nature, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in criminology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Make sure to follow electives that include this (e.g. on the organization or management of police forces), or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in history:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect, and brush up on research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in law:
    watch out for deficiencies in crisis and security related topics (a course on criminal law is as such not sufficient), and especially research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in psychology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Master degrees in the above fields:
    a Master degree should strengthen your knowledge on at least empirical research. Make sure to submit writing samples.
  • Bachelor or Master degree from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO):
    though these programmes might touch upon one, several, or even all of the three pillars in the curriculum, they do so from a perspective of applied sciences. Hence applicants lack theoretical background needed to start the Master’s programme. We strongly recommend to follow relevant additional courses at University level, or to complete all of the online courses suggested above (or similar ones). 
    Make sure to submit writing samples as well that demonstrate your abilities in research (methodology and research design).

Minor

Finally, a minor programme can be a great way to increase knowledge on the three pillars. Currently, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs offers three minor programmes, but other minor programmes may also prove valuable:
•    Security, Safety and Justice: the different courses touch on each of the three pillars.
•    Global Affairs: the different courses concentrate on crisis and security topics, and to some extent governance issues.
•    Intelligence Studies: the different courses concentrate mainly on crisis and security topics.

2021 - 2022

Admission requirements for students who start in September 2021 and in February 2022.

(a) When you have a bachelor’s degree in Security Studies are always eligible for direct admission. You can register through Studielink.

(b) When you have a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security Management Studies (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) and have fulfilled the following academic and administrative criteria, your application to the Msc programme ‘Crisis and Security Management’ of Leiden University will be accepted:

  • a bachelor’s degree in Safety and Security Management Studies (SSMS) from The Hague University of Applied Science;
  • At least minimum GPA of 7.5 for all the following courses combined:
    * Year 2
    - Safety Risk Management
    - International Relations and Geopolitics
    - National Security Systems
    - Managing International Conflict

    * Year 3
    - Interorganisational Cooperation
    - Rethinking Safety and Security
    - Thesis Research Skills
    - Thesis Research Tutorial
     
  • a minimum grade of 7.5 for each of the following elements in year 4
    - Written Thesis
    - Thesis Defence

Please note: you will have to apply through Studielink and the subsequent uSis application portal. Further, you still must meet the English language proficiency requirement mentioned in the paragraph ‘Language Requirements’ below.


(c) If you don't meet the conditions under a or b, you will need to apply through Studielink and through the online application system. You will be assessed on an individual base. The assessment will be based, amongst others, on:

  • Demonstrable knowledge of relevant contemporary and emerging security and/or crisis related challenges, and relevant developments in a globalized world;
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the interlinkages of actors, approaches, consequences and possible impacts of security and/or crisis related issues (governance perspective);
  • Demonstrable ability to theoretically, conceptually and/or empirically develop a research project, and subsequently analyse it using relevant research skills, with a focus on social science research skills;
  • Proficiency in the English language: see next paragraph for details.

IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge:

  • IELTS 7.0 (A minimum score of IELTS 7.0 required for each of the four components);
  • TOEFL (internet-based) 100. A minimum score of TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components.
  • CPE or CAE 185

Exemption:
You are eligible for exemption from submitting results of an English proficiency test, if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • A diploma of secondary or higher education completed in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (with the exception of French-taught education in Canada);
  • A diploma of an English-taught academic Bachelor programme completed at a Dutch research university;
  • A pre-university education (VWO) diploma.

Detailed information English language proficiency

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

English tests accepted

Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    - We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    - We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • 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 Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, 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.

  • Include a Statement of Purpose (maximum of 2 A4 pages) in English, in which you explain your motivation for applying to the programme and how you meet the admission requirements. Shortly refer to your personal and professional background and interests to explain how well you fit into the programme, and how it will help you to achieve your future goals. To show how you meet the admission requirements, we recommend using this template.
  • Include an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae. This also serves to help the Board of Admissions form an impression of you and gain further insight in your experiences (work and/or education) that might contribute to establish admissibility to the programme.

Applicants to the Crisis and Security Management MSc programme can show proficiency in the three pillars of Crisis and/or Security related topics, Governance and Empirical Research skills in Social Sciences via different ways.

The table below shows per pillar how applicants should show proficiency; Please note that the value of the columns differs. While you can show relevant knowledge either by your curriculum or your work experience (so these are functionally equal), the extracurricular column is meant to eliminate smaller deficiencies in the curriculum, and is not sufficient by itself.

  By Curriculum Or:
By Work experience
Or: By Extracurricular
Crisis and Security related knowledge

At least 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a research university is related to crisis or security knowledge. 

Examples are: war studies, conflict theories, organizational crises, criminology, security studies, diplomacy, cybersecurity, terrorism studies, and intelligence studies. If the name of the course does not clearly state this relationship (e.g.: international politics), course descriptions or syllabi can be used to show a link.

Writing samples can also be used to showcase relevant knowledge.
 

High level political function or higher management in a public/private/civil society organization. Either the goals of the organization or the tasks related to the function should be related to crisis or security matters.

If the course curriculum at the research university is at least 10 ECTS related to crisis or security knowledge, OR if 30 ECTS of the course curriculum at a university of applied sciences is related to these topics, online courses can be used to bridge the deficiencies.

Examples are:
-    Coursera course “Terrorism and Counterterrorism”
-    Coursera Course “Risk in Modern Society”
-    Coursera course “Security and Safety Challenges in a Globalized World”

Certificates must be obtained for these courses 
 

Governance knowledge

At least 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a research university is related to governance knowledge.

Examples are: (public) management, organizational management, network management, and (international) politics. If the name of the course does not clearly state this relationship, course descriptions or syllabi can be used to show a link.

Writing samples can also be used to showcase relevant knowledge.
 

High level political function or higher management in a public or civil society organization.

If the course curriculum at the research university is at least 10 ECTS related to governance knowledge, OR if 20 ECTS of the course curriculum at a university of applied sciences is related to the topic, online courses can be used to bridge the deficiencies. 

Examples are:
-    Coursera course 'Organizational analysis'
-    Coursera course 'The Changing Global Order'
-    Coursera course 'Political Economy of Institutions and Development'

Certificates must be obtained for these courses

Empirical Research skills in Social Sciences

At least 15 ECTS of the course curriculum at a research university is related to empirical research skills in social sciences. Examples are: bachelor thesis, methods of social science research, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis. If the name of the course does not clearly state this relationship, course syllabi can be used to show a link.

Writing samples can also be used to showcase relevant knowledge.
 

Research papers written in the course of professional activities. Please provide samples.

If the course curriculum at the research university is at least 5 ECTS related to research skills in social sciences, OR if the course curriculum at the research university is at least 15 ECTS related to skills in non-social science research, OR if 15 ECTS of the course curriculum at a university of applied sciences is related to research skills in social sciences, online courses can be used to bridge the deficiencies.

Examples are:
-    Coursera course 'Quantitative methods'
-    Coursera Course 'Qualitative Research Methods'

Certificates must be obtained for these courses
 

 

The above elaboration on the three pillars give an indication whether you will be admitted or not. At the same time, there are no assurances given. The first step by the Board of Admission is to examine the degree obtained. If this degree significantly differs in content from the master programme (e.g.: a degree in biology, physics, mathematics, industrial engineering, language studies), it will not be possible to bridge these deficiencies by work experience or online courses. Here are some general guidelines for your convenience (again, non-exhaustive, and no assurances can be given that this will guarantee you admission):

  • Bachelor degrees in public administration, political science, international relations: generally the three pillars are already present in the curriculum. Make sure that there is a strong relationship with crisis and security related topics.
  • Bachelor degree in international studies:
    watch out for deficiencies in research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow electives that are methodological in nature, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in criminology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Make sure to follow electives that include this (e.g. on the organization or management of police forces), or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in history:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect, and brush up on research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in law:
    watch out for deficiencies in crisis and security related topics (a course on criminal law is as such not sufficient), and especially research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in psychology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Master degrees in the above fields:
    a Master degree should strengthen your knowledge on at least empirical research. Make sure to submit writing samples.
  • Bachelor or Master degree from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO):
    though these programmes might touch upon one, several, or even all of the three pillars in the curriculum, they do so from a perspective of applied sciences. Hence applicants lack theoretical background needed to start the Master’s programme. We strongly recommend to follow relevant additional courses at University level, or to complete all of the online courses suggested above (or similar ones).

Minor

Finally, a minor programme can be a great way to increase knowledge on the three pillars. Currently, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs offers three minor programmes, but other minor programmes may also prove valuable:
•    Security, Safety and Justice: the different courses touch on each of the three pillars.
•    Global Affairs: the different courses concentrate on crisis and security topics, and to some extent governance issues.
•    Intelligence Studies: the different courses concentrate mainly on crisis and security topics.

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

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