Universiteit Leiden

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Islamic Studies (MA)

Admission requirements

On this page you will find the admission requirements for this programme.

Diploma requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree, including the General Academic Skills.

A bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies, Islamic Law, Islamic History, Islamic Theology; or a bachelor’s degree in one of the major languages current in the Muslim world, with at least 30 credits of Islam-related subjects in the curriculum; or a bachelor’s degree in World Religions with a specialisation in Islam or an equivalent bachelor’s degree with a relevant disciplinary specialisation or minor (Islamic Studies, Islamic Law, Islamic History, Islamic Theology) of at least 30 credits.

  • Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Leiden University with a specialisation in Arabic Language and Culture, Modern Middle East Studies, Persian Language and Culture, or Turkish Language and Culture are always eligible for admission and only need to apply through Studielink. 
  • All others need to submit an online application.

If you have an academic bachelor’s degree from a research university you will be admitted after completing a pre-master’s programme of 30 EC.

If you have a relevant bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences (HBO) you will be admitted after completing the pre-master’s programme of 60 EC..

Language requirements

  • An adequate proficiency in reading one of the major languages current in the Muslim world (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: reading B2).
  • Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE).

Exams accepted

Cambridge English Exam equivalences

  • Programme requiring IELTS 6.5 = Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with a minimum grade of C
  • Programme requiring IELTS 7.0 or higher = Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)


Other exam criteria

  • Exam results may not be more than two years old.
  • Institutional exams, such as ITP-TOEFL, cannot be accepted.
  • Chinese students who need a Nuffic certificate should take either an IELTS or a TOEFL IBT exam.


You may be considered exempt from submitting one of the above-mentioned English exam results if:

  • You have an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate.
  • You completed your secondary or higher education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada).
  • At the discretion of the Board of Admissions, you are a Dutch student with pre-university education (VWO) level English.

In exceptional cases, students who otherwise qualify for an exemption but whose application documents cast doubt on their English proficiency may be asked to sit an English exam.

Submitting your exam results

All English exam results must be uploaded to the online application system.

Your English exam results must be checked for authenticity by the Admissions Office before the deadline for applying for a visa/residence permit (if applicable), or before the start date of your programme. To make this possible, please do the following:

  • TOEFL exam: tell ETS to send your original results report to Leiden University Admissions Office – institution code 0504.
  • Cambridge certificate: send your ID number and your “secret number” (check the Candidate Results Online service) to the Leiden University Admissions Office.
  • IELTS: a scanned exam result is sufficient - no further steps will be required.

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