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.

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 applicants can demonstrate they 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, or a cognate discipline and; 
  • Preference will be given to candidates with a familiarity with contemporary European studies. 

If you do not match the above requirements or 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.

You must also meet the following qualitative admission requirements:

  • 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).

Additionally, you must meet one of the following qualitative admission requirements depending on when you start the programme:

For September 2024 and February 2025

  • 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.

For September 2025 and February 2026

  • A good academic record as an indicator of academic excellence, demonstrated by an average grade of at least 6.5 (Dutch grading system), in the Bachelor programme.

Note: for the pre-master's programme the minimum required average grade remains a 7.0.

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. References are not required to be submitted as part of your application, but your CV should include the names of two referees (at least one from an academic staff member). The Board of Admissions may contact them to verify that you meet this requirement. 

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 taken courses relevant for this specialization, 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

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, IELTS Indicator, or IELTS One Skill Retake
  • 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

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, 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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