Universiteit Leiden

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Modern Languages (MA)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for Modern Languages at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Diploma requirements

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

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in English/French/German/Italian Language and Culture; or
  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree, and
  • Knowledge of and insight in linguistics comparable with the qualifications acquired by students graduating from the Bachelor’s programme in English/French/German/Italian Language and Culture demonstrated with (for example):
    • A bachelor’s degree in Linguistics with – as evidenced by appropriate tests (see below): 
      • a CEFR C1 level in either French, German, or Italian (CEFR B2 for speaking and writing in Italian), 
      • or for English IELTS 7.5/TOEFL (Internet based) 113/C2 Proficiency or C1 Advanced 185; a minimum score of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components); or
    • A bachelor’s degree in English/French/German/Italian/China Studies with at least 20 EC in core linguistics courses (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), or a minor in linguistics (30 EC or equivalent).

The Board of Admissions will assess whether your degree and background are sufficiently related to the level and content of a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in English, French, German or Italian Language and Culture on the basis of the requirements specified above.

Students with a Bachelor in English, French, German or Italian Language and Culture from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission and can apply in Studielink. There is no need to submit an application for admission using the online application portal.

If you have a bachelor’s degree from a research university that does not meet the requirements specified above, you may be eligible for a pre-master programme between 40 and 60 EC, tailored to your individual background. After submitting your application in Studielink, the Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be directly admitted to the master’s programme or whether you will first need to complete a pre-master’s programme. It is not possible to apply for a pre-master’s programme directly. Once you have completed the imposed pre-master programme, you will be admitted to the master’s programme.

For questions about the pre-master’s programme you can contact the coordinator of studies.

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences (hbo) in one of the modern languages (lower secondary education certificate, tweedegraads) will be admitted to the MA Linguistics - specialisation Modern Languages after completing an individual bridging programme of 60 EC. This programme always includes a course in Academic Skills.

Read more about the pre-master’s programme.

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
Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
    • 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 Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic year 2021-2022, but not yet for 2022-2023 pending national decision-making. As soon as further information is available this webpage will be updated.
  • 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.

  • For courses on French linguistics taught in French: A good command of French (the minimum entry level is CEFR C1, as evidenced by an appropriate test (Dalf C1 with a C1 score for each of the subtests) 
  • For courses on German linguistics taught in German: A good command of German (the minimum entry level is CEFR C1, as evidenced by an appropriate test (Goethe-Zertifikat C1) 
  • For courses on Italian linguistics taught in Italian: A good command of Italian (the minimum entry levels are CEFR C1 (listening, reading) and CEFR B2 (speaking, writing), as evidenced by an appropriate test). 
  • For courses on English linguistics taught in English: English IELTS 7.5/TOEFL (Internet based) 113/C2 Proficiency (former CPE) or C1 Advanced (former CAE) 185; a minimum score of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components.

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

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