Universiteit Leiden

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Global Order in Historical Perspective (MA)

Admission requirements

Limited capacity from September 2018

Please note that these entry requirements have changed. The master’s programme in International Relations will operate on limited capacity from September 2018, and will be selective.

This programme has a limited capacity. A maximum of 120 places is available (80 in September, 40 in February) on this programme; the Admissions Board ranks the requests for admission on the fulfilment of the requirements below.

Diploma requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, in the field of social sciences, humanities, law or economics.
  • A good academic record, demonstrated by either an average grade of 7.0 (out of 10), or the equivalent thereof, for the Bachelor’s thesis, and/or other indicators such as relevant extracurricular activity or participation in an honours programme,
  • Applicants should have completed components at the bachelor’s level equivalent to at least 30 EC in the field of International Relations with comparable content and course objectives (e.g. Global History (5 EC), Introduction to Area Studies (5 EC), Cultural Interaction: A Global Perspective, (5 EC), International Economics (5 EC), International Politics (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)).

No direct admission, all students need to submit an online application.

Applicants with a degree from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) are not eligible for admission.

Language requirements

Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE); for the ‘speaking’ and ‘writing’ components a minimum score of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL25 is required). For a list of exceptions, see the website on language requirements.

Exams accepted

Cambridge English Exam equivalences

  • Programme requiring IELTS 6.5 = Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with a minimum grade of C
  • Programme requiring IELTS 7.0 or higher = Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)


Other exam criteria

  • Exam results may not be more than two years old.
  • Institutional exams, such as ITP-TOEFL, cannot be accepted.
  • Chinese students who need a Nuffic certificate should take either an IELTS or a TOEFL IBT exam.


You may be considered exempt from submitting one of the above-mentioned English exam results if:

  • You have an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate.
  • You completed your secondary or higher education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada).
  • At the discretion of the Board of Admissions, you are a Dutch student with pre-university education (VWO) level English.

In exceptional cases, students who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their English proficiency may be asked to sit an English exam.

Submitting your exam results

All English exam results must be uploaded to the online application system.

Your English exam results must be checked for authenticity by the Admissions Office before the deadline for applying for a visa/residence permit (if applicable), or before the start date of your programme. To make this possible, please do the following:

  • TOEFL exam: tell ETS to send your original results report to Leiden University Admissions Office – institution code 0504.
  • Cambridge certificate: send your ID number and your “secret number” (check the Candidate Results Online service) to the Leiden University Admissions Office.
  • IELTS: a scanned exam result is sufficient - no further steps will be required.

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