Universiteit Leiden

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International Relations and Diplomacy (MSc)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for MSc International Relations and Diplomacy (Advanced) at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

You can apply for admission if you have:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognised university in political science, international relations, international law, public administration, economics, sociology or history.
    In exceptional cases, applicants with prior education in other fields, but with outstanding academic qualities, or with professional experience in the area of international relations and diplomacy, may be admitted to the programme. The number of students admitted to this programme is limited.
  • Demonstrated excellence in prior academic education.
  • Proof of thorough proficiency in English: IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 or Cambridge CPE/CAE 185, evidenced by an appropriate test.

This requirement does not apply for

  • students who have completed their education in any one of the following countries: Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia
  • graduates of the following English-language institutions in the Netherlands:
    • University College Utrecht
    • University College Maastricht
    • Amsterdam University College
    • Leiden University College, and
    • Roosevelt Academy
  • graduates of the following English-language programmes in the Netherlands:
    • University of Twente: European Studies Specialization (Public Administration)
    • University of Maastricht: European Studies
    • Webster University (Leiden Campus)
    • University of Tilburg: Liberal Arts and Sciences

If you do not fall within one of these categories, you need to submit proof of English proficiency (as outlined above) with your application.

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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