Universiteit Leiden

nl en

English Literature and Culture (MA)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for English Literature and Culture at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Diploma requirements

You are eligible to apply for the MA Literary Studies: English if you have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in English Language and Culture, European Languages and Cultures: English or Literature and Society: English; or 
  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree, with at least 45 EC of courses in English Literature and Culture; and
  • Demonstrable knowledge of and insight into North American literature and culture; and
  • Demonstrable knowledge of and insight into the historical development of English literature (Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern); and
  • Substantial literary research skills, demonstrated in a BA thesis and/or substantial research papers written as part of a BA programme.

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 Language and Culture on the basis of the requirements specified above.

Students with a Bachelor in English Language and Culture from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission. Students 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 the pre-master’s programme. 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’s programme, you will be admitted to the relevant specialisation of the Master’s programme. Read more about the pre-master’s programme.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in English from a university of applied sciences, equivalent to the level of a Dutch hbo bachelor’s degree (i.e. lower secondary education teaching qualification, or tweedegraads), the Board of Admissions may impose the 60 EC pre-master’s programme. Read more about the pre-master’s programme.

Please note: the pre-master's programme for English Literature and Culture starts in September only.

Language requirements

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

  • IELTS: 7.5  (a minimum score of 7.0 is required for each of the four components)
  • TOEFL: 113  (a minimum score of 25 is required for each of the four components)
  • 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
    • We are not yet able to accept the new IELTS online.
  • 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 TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition™ or TOEFL IBT Paper Edition™ in the following situations only:
      • You are applying for a programme starting in Feb 2023, or
      • You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (& it is not more than 2 years old), or
      • You are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres in your region are closed due to COVID or inaccessible due to unsafe conditions.
  • 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

This website uses cookies. More information.