Universiteit Leiden

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Middle Eastern Studies (MA)

Admission requirements

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

Diploma requirements

  • You are eligible to apply for the MA Middle Eastern Studies if you have: A bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Middle Eastern Studies; or
  • A bachelor’s degree in the field of the specialisation of the relevant programmes BA Arabic Language and Culture, BA Hebrew Language and Culture, BA Religious Studies with a specialisation Islam Studies provided that you have at least 30 EC of courses on the cultures, histories, literatures, politics, and religions of the Middle East;

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 Middle Eastern Studies on the basis of these requirements.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in International Studies who have completed all area courses for the Middle East, and either wrote their BA Thesis on the Middle East or completed optional courses worth 10 EC on the Middle East are considered to have fulfilled the entry requirements.

Students with a Bachelor in Middle Eastern Studies 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 a 30 EC (jn case your degree is in a related field) or 60 EC 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 a related field from a university of applied sciences, equivalent to the level of a Dutch hbo bachelor’s degree, the Board of Admissions may impose the 60 EC pre-master’s programme. 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: 100 (internet-based)
  • 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.

Proficiency in other languages

The language requirements per course may consist of one of the requirements below:

A good working knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: listening B1; reading B2; spoken interaction B1; spoken production B1; writing B1)

A good working knowledge of Persian (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: listening B1; reading B2; spoken interaction B1; spoken production B1; writing B1)

An adequate proficiency in reading Turkish (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: reading B2)

A good working knowledge of Modern Hebrew (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: listening B1; reading B2; spoken interaction B1; spoken production B1; writing B1).

Which additional language (and other) requirements apply to which course can be found in the Prospectus.

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

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