Universiteit Leiden

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Linguistics (research) (MA)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for Linguistics (research) at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Diploma requirements

You are eligible to apply for the Research MA Linguistics if you have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, in Linguistics, a language and culture programme or a comparable degree with a relevant specialisation with at least 30 EC of academic study of linguistics subjects, of which at least 20 EC in core subjects (such as phonology, phonetics, syntax, morphology, semantics, language typology).
  • Knowledge, understanding and skills with respect to:
    • The ability to understand basic linguistic analyses and read linguistic literature (in English) at the appropriate (handbook) level; and
    • The ability to collect linguistic data and discover patterns in them.

In addition, you must also meet the following qualitative admission requirements:

  • Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.5 (Dutch grading system) for their entire bachelor’s programme; and 
  • A grade for the bachelor’s thesis of an 8 or higher; and
  • Affinity with and suitability for linguistics research in the specific field of the programme; and 
  • Demonstrable motivation to study the research MA programme
  • You are asked to provide a transcript of records and diploma of the relevant obtained academic degree.
  • Affinity with the field should be demonstrated by a “Research Proposal”. All applicants are required to submit a Research Proposal of approximately 1000 words, accompanied by an annotated bibliography of at least five (5) items, outlining the topic or field of research that the applicant wishes to pursue at Leiden University, indicating the names of one or two faculty members who might guide that research.
  • Your motivation should be demonstrated by a well-argued and structured admission letter in which you indicate why you want to follow the programme and convincingly discuss what makes you a good candidate for the research MA programme. The statement should be between 700 and 1,500 words.
  • You are required to submit two letters of recommendation (from your teachers, mentors, or supervisors) that comment on your independence as a researcher, your originality and motivation and affinity with linguistics and languages.

For further information on the admission procedure and required application documents please see this web page.

Language requirements

In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in English. The following requirements apply:

  • IELTS: 7.0 
  • TOEFL (internet-based): 100 
  • 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
  • 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.

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

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