Culture and Politics (MA)
To be eligible for Culture and Politics at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.
Master’s admissions: exceptional circumstances
The University is providing an option for third-year bachelor’s students who have encountered a study delay because of the corona measures and wish to begin a master’s programme in the 2021-2022 academic year.
For this specific master’s programme this means that students are allowed to complete their bachelor’s programme in September 2021 and can start the master’s programme. You will have to have completed your bachelor’s programme by 30 September 2021 at the latest.
This option does not apply to non-EER students who are following a Bachelor abroad due to visa restrictions.
What do you need to do?
Enrol on and request admission to both programmes (bachelor and master):
- Fill in this form before 15 June.
- Register for the master’s programme in Studielink
- Request admission in uSis before the relevant deadline (check the Application deadlines page)
- Re-enrol for the bachelor’s before 1 September for a maximum of one month.
Check with your Bachelor study advisor if you can make use of this option.
Your master’s enrolment will be definitive as of 1 September 2021 on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s programme before 30 September 2021 at the latest; otherwise your master’s enrolment will be cancelled.
You pay only one tuition fee, so you only pay for your master’s programme. This is on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s programme by 30 September 2021 at the latest and have de-registered for this programme. If your master’s enrolment is cancelled, you pay the tuition fee for continuing the bachelor’s programme. If you are following a bachelor’s programme at another institution, you can request proof of tuition fee payment (bewijs betaald collegegeld) so that you will not have to pay the tuition fee.
This programme has a limited capacity. A maximum of 60 places is available (40 in September, 20 in February) on this programme; the Admissions Board ranks the requests for admission on the fulfilment of the requirements below. Read about the limited capacity.
- A bachelor’s degree from a research university that matches the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree, including general academic skills;
- the bachelor’s degree should be in the field of social sciences, humanities, law or economics, and
- prior education which includes components worth at least 30 EC that are comparable in level, content and course objectives to the following courses of the bachelor’s programme International Studies at Leiden University:
- Global History (5 EC)
- Introduction to Area Studies/Introduction to International Studies (5 EC)
- Cultural Interaction: a Global Perspective (5 EC) or Communication across Cultures (5 EC)
- International Economics/Global Political Economy (5 EC)
- International Politics/International Relations (5 EC)
- Politics of a specific area (i.e. Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, Russia and Eurasia, South and Southeast Asia) (5 EC)
In addition, you must also meet the following qualitative admission requirements:
- For 2019 - 2020: A good academic record as an indicator of academic excellence, demonstrated by a grade of at least 7.0 (Dutch grading system) for the Bachelor’s thesis,
- From 2020 - 2021: A good academic record as an indicator of academic excellence, demonstrated by an average grade of at least 7.0 (Dutch grading system), in the Bachelor programme, and
- Other indicators of suitability for the MA programme such as extracurricular activities, professional/practical experience (including honours programmes) and international experience (broadly defined) relevant to the MA programme, and
- Demonstrable motivation to study and familiarity with the MA programme and the specific specialisation(s).
The qualitative admission requirements will be implemented as follows:
If you hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, as indicated above, but are unable to demonstrate via your academic record that you meet the specific requirements set, you are required to submit a 1,250 word essay as part of the admission process:
- In this essay you must demonstrate a clear affinity with and specific knowledge of International Relations in general and specifically in the field of the specialisation for which you apply.
- Specifically, the essay must clearly answer an original research question, provide a reasonable and reasonably well organised argument that demonstrates a satisfactory understanding of the essay topic, demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of historical and/or social science methods, critically engage with the additional reading specified on the Required documents page and contain no fundamental errors.
A good academic record must be shown by a transcript of records/grade list (including the grade of the Bachelor’s thesis and/or average grade).
CV and two reference letters
The other indicators of suitability for the programme such as extracurricular activities and professional/practical experience, should be demonstrated by the required CV and two reference letters (at least one from an academic staff member), and/or certificates of extracurricular activities relevant to the MA programme.
Your motivation should be demonstrated by a well-argued and structured motivation letter in which you indicate why you want to follow the MA programme specialisation and convincingly discuss what makes you a good candidate, specifically listing your courses taken including the course objectives and key readings. The statement should be between 700 and 1,500 words.
In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in English. The following requirements apply:
- IELTS: 7.0 (for the ‘speaking’ and ‘writing’ components a minimum score of IELTS 7.0)
- TOEFL (internet-based): 100 (for the ‘speaking’ and ‘writing’ components a minimum score of 25)
- C2 Proficiency (former CPE) or C1 Advanced (former CAE) 185
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.
As mentioned above, Culture and Politics has a limited capacity. The programme will make a selection on the grounds of the following criteria:
With regard to admission to the programme, the Admissions Board assesses the knowledge and skills of the applicants on the basis of the files they have submitted.
If necessary the Board can contact the applicant by mail or telephone at any time during the admission procedure in order to gain further information.
The Admissions Board decides on the basis of this assessment:
A. which applicants meet the entry requirements of the specialisation – if appropriate on the condition that they have been awarded their bachelor’s degree in time – and can in principle be admitted;
B. which applicants cannot be admitted because they do not meet the requirements.
The Board ranks the suitability of the applicants in category A to the specialisation of the MA programme on the basis of the files they have submitted, having regard to the qualitative admission requirements as specified above, and, if the Board has requested this, the further information provided by the applicant.