Universiteit Leiden

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Russian and Eurasian 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.

Knowledge, understanding and skills comparable to those acquired upon completion of the bachelor’s programme Russian Studies from Leiden University, specifically:

  • Knowledge, understanding of and skills in at least two disciplines of the master’s programme: politics, international relations, history, economics, linguistics, literature and culture.
  • Academic knowledge of Russian history and society.
  • a reading command of the Russian language at the level of B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies from Leiden University are always eligible for admission and need to apply through Studielink only.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Leiden University who have completed all area courses for Russia and Eurasia, and the programme’s Russian language classes (20 EC), and who wrote their BA Thesis and/or completed optional courses worth 10 EC on Russia and Eurasia will be admitted. They do however need to submit an online application.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in Russian, Russian Culture, History or Society obtained from The Hague University of Applied Science [De Haagse Hogeschool] will be admitted after completing the pre-master’s programme.
  • Other applicants who do not fully meet the entry requirements might be eligible for an individual bridging programme. Contact the study coordinator for more information.

Language requirements

Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). For a list of exceptions, see the website on language requirements.

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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