Universiteit Leiden

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Law and Society (MSc)

Check the admission requirements

To be eligible for Law and Society at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

In order to be considered for the Master programme Law and Society, you should possess (before the start of the programme)

  • a bachelor's degree from a recognised research university in law or social sciences (political sciences, public administration, sociology, cultural anthropology and development sociology or general social sciences) or a bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B) or
  • a bachelor's degree from a recognised research university in a multidisciplinary programme which includes courses in both law and social sciences subjects (i.e. some programmes in Liberal Arts and Sciences: the Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics programme of the University of Amsterdam; Urban Studies; International Studies etc.)

Check the Course and Examination Regulations (OER) and the admission requirements (Chapter 5) on the website

You cannot be directly admitted! All students with any of the above mentioned bachelor’s degrees from a research university (completed before the starting date of the programme) must register via Studielink and apply for admission via the online application portal (uSis) before the deadline.

Applicants with a higher professional education (HBO) degree are not eligible for admission. They can only start in the first year of the bachelor’s programme.

  • proven English language proficiency, demonstrated by way of a TOEFL test (overall score of 100 Internet-based) or IELTS test (overall score of 7.0), or Cambridge English Proficiency certificate (CPE), evidenced by an appropriate test
  • in addition to the above-mentioned overall English test scores, minimum band scores of IELTS 6.0 (TOEFL 20) for speaking, listening and reading, and a minimum band score of IELTS 6.5 (TOEFL 24) for writing are required.
  • English test results may not be more than two years old!

You can apply to a programme before you obtain the results of your language exam (if you already have your results you can upload them directly in our online portal). If you are admitted, it will be on the condition that these results will meet the required levels specified.

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
  • 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 the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition™  and the TOEFL IBT Paper Edition for admission to the academic years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • 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.

There is a limited capacity set at 60 admissions per academic year. After the deadline, the applications will be reviewed through a selection process which aims to admit the most suitable applicants for the programme.

The selection criteria will be:

  • a good academic record (GPA, grade for the bachelor's thesis, grades for interdisciplinary courses and/or courses pertaining to the field of  Law and Society, amount of time needed to complete the bachelor's programme);
  • an interest in Law and Society, demonstrated by electives or courses completed during the bachelor's programme and/or extracurricular activities and an essay;
  • a broad, international outlook and good communication skills, demonstrated by courses or electives completed during the bachelor's programme and/or extra-curricular activities.

The board of admission will assess the suitability of each applicant as to each of these criteria and the candidates will be ranked on basis of:

  • an academic essay in English of 800-1000 words (excluding references, which are expected). The essay expands on a topic or theme within the Law and Society domain, that is to say a topic or theme located at the intersection of law and society. In the essay, a relevant question is identified, discussed from different angles and subsequently answered. The essay is written by the applicant solely, it is not co-authored.;
  • a full transcript of the results obtained during the bachelor's programme;
  • a letter of motivation in which the applicant explains the interest in this programme and elaborates on the plans for the future and the part the programme would play in these plans. 
  • a c.v. with information about prior education and extracurricular activities, in particular those which demonstrate an interest in the field of Law and Society, a broad, international outlook and/or communication skills.

>> Go to the next step 2: Check the application deadlines

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