Universiteit Leiden

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European Union Studies (MA)

Admission requirements

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

Limited capacity

This programme has a limited capacity. A maximum of 80 places is available (60 in September, 20 in February) on this programme; the Admissions Board ranks the requests for admission on the fulfilment of the requirements below.

Diploma requirements

  • The following diploma requirements apply for this programme:

  • 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;
  • a completed minor in European Union Studies at Leiden University or components worth at least 30 credits in the field of contemporary European studies with comparable content and course objectives.         

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences, equivalent to the level of a Dutch HBO bachelor’s degree, in the field of economics, history, political science (and international relations), law or European Studies you can apply for admission to European Union Studies but are not directly admissible and may be referred to the pre-master's programme.

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:

Grade list

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.

Motivation letter

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.

Learn more about the required documents for this programme. 

Language requirements

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.

Maximum capacity

As mentioned above, European Studies 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.
  • Students who have successfully completed the premaster programme European Union Studies, within one academic year, will be admitted to the Master Programme International Relations, specialisation European Union Studies. 

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

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