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Public International Law - Leiden University

Public International Law (LL.M.)

Admission requirements

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

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

In order to be considered for the Master programme Public International Law, you should possess (before the start of the programme) a Bachelor's in Law (LL.B) from a recognised research university. If you do not possess a full Bachelor in Law, you are required to do a law conversion program that allows you to sit for the bar in the relevant country upon completion. For instance, a J.D. program from the United States satisfies the Bachelor requirement of the Master programme.

For the purpose of the above, a recognized research university is a university that offers PhD. programme(s) in Law and is recognized as a research institute in international rankings. Law schools with an excellent reputation domestically may also satisfy the requirements, provided that they give access to the legal profession. Universities that exclusively offer vocational teaching (Dutch: HBO), however, do not qualify. If you are from China, please note that we only accept students from National Key Universities/Double First Class Universities.

Students who have a LL.B. (Bachelor’s degree) in Law from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission. They must register via Studielink but they do not have to apply for admission via the online application portal. 

Students with a Bachelor’s in Law (LL.B.) from another 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.

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

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 an English test IELTS academic (overall score of 6.5) with at least 6.0 for each of the four components or an equivalent result for a Toefl or Cambridge ESOL test (check the equivalent scores). Your test result 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.

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

Applicants should submit:

  • academic transcript of relevant prior degree(s) and other documented evidence of relevant experience related to public international law;
  • a letter of motivation illustrating experience and interest in matters of public international law;
  • two letters of recommendation from current or previous professors and/or employers.
  • evidence of relevant (work) experience, i.e., working for a law firm, internships etc. – this information should be included in your curriculum vitae. Please note: work experience is not a strict requirement.

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