Universiteit Leiden

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Middle Eastern Studies (research) (MA)

Admission requirements

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

Master’s admissions: exceptional circumstances

The University is providing an option for third-year bachelor’s students who have encountered a study delay because of the corona measures and wish to begin a master’s programme in the 2021-2022 academic year. 

For this specific master’s programme this means that students are allowed to complete their bachelor’s programme in September 2021 and can start the master’s programme. You will have to have completed your bachelor’s programme by 30 September 2021 at the latest. 

This option does not apply to non-EER students who are following a Bachelor abroad due to visa restrictions.

What do you need to do?

Enrol on and request admission to both programmes (bachelor and master):

  1. Fill in this form before 15 June.
  2. Register for the master’s programme in Studielink
  3. Request admission in uSis before the relevant deadline (check the Application deadlines page)
  4. Re-enrol for the bachelor’s before 1 September for a maximum of one month.

Check with your Bachelor study advisor if you can make use of this option.

Your master’s enrolment will be definitive as of 1 September 2021 on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s programme before 30 September 2021 at the latest; otherwise your master’s enrolment will be cancelled.

You pay only one tuition fee, so you only pay for your master’s programme. This is on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s programme by 30 September 2021 at the latest and have de-registered for this programme. If your master’s enrolment is cancelled, you pay the tuition fee for continuing the bachelor’s programme. If you are following a bachelor’s programme at another institution, you can request proof of tuition fee payment (bewijs betaald collegegeld) so that you will not have to pay the tuition fee.

Diploma requirements

The following diploma requirements apply for this programme:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree
  • You should have knowledge of the fundamentals of Middle Eastern Studies and/or area studies, literary studies, linguistics, history and/or social sciences, that ideally, but not necessarily, includes knowledge and understanding of the regional languages.

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 your entire bachelor’s programme and a grade for the bachelor’s thesis of an 8 or higher.
  • Affinity with and suitability for scholarly research and the ability to clearly report on research in the specific field of the programme and the ability to clearly report on research, and
  • Demonstrable motivation to study and suitability for the particular Research MA programme/specialisation.  

The qualitative admission requirements will be implemented as follows:

  • 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, and indicating the names of one or two faculty members who might guide that research.
  • Your motivation and suitability for your chosen specialization should be demonstrated by a well-argued and structured motivation 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.

Language requirements

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

  • IELTS: 7.0 (A minimum score of 6.5 is required for each of the four components)
  • TOEFL: 100 (A minimum score of 22 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
Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    • We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • 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 Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, 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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