Universiteit Leiden

nl en

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:

  • 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 practical experience (e.g. extensive internship experience that required policy input from the intern), successful completion of a BA honours programme, or substantial international work experience in an international field relevant to the programme International Relations, such as diplomacy, advocacy, organisation, or business, 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 including two referees

The other indicators of suitability for the programme, such as extracurricular activities and professional/practical experience, should be demonstrated by the required CV. , and/or certificates of extracurricular activities relevant to the MA programme. Your CV should include two referees (at least one from an academic staff member). The Board of Admissions may contact them to verify that you meet the requirements. 

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
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.

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

This website uses cookies. More information.