Language requirements

Dutch

Most bachelor’s programmes at Leiden University are taught in Dutch, so you’ll need a good command of the Dutch language to follow the lectures, tutorials, exams and reading materials.

This means that proof of Dutch proficiency is required for all bachelor’s programmes, except those which are taught in English.  
 
Accepted tests
For admission to programmes at most faculties, you must complete the Dutch TUL advanced exam at the Academic Language Centre. However, there are several exceptions:

  • for programmes at the faculties of Science or Medicine, you need to pass the Dutch TUL intermediate exam or hold a Dutch NT2-II diploma (in Dutch)

  • if you hold an International Baccalaureate with Dutch B Higher, Dutch A1 or Dutch A2, you may be exempted

  • if you are a German applicant with a Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, different rules apply.
     

The Admissions Office will send you more information on these requirements after your application has been reviewed by the Admissions Board.

Dutch language tests and courses
You can have your proficiency in Dutch tested at the Academic Language Centre.

For students who need to learn Dutch before starting their programme, the university offers intensive Dutch courses that can take up to one year to complete. We advise you to apply for a bachelor’s programme and await the final decision before enrolling in a language course. This is because the admission decision will indicate the proficiency level you will require and the exams you need to pass.

Please visit the Academic Language Centre for more information on language courses and requirements.

Submitting your test results
You can upload a copy of your test results in the online application system. If you have not yet taken a Dutch test, please indicate this in your application.


English

Proof of English proficiency is required for admission to all our English-taught bachelor’s programmes. For the majority of our Dutch-taught bachelor’s programmes proof of English proficiency is also a requirement, as some of the study materials and lectures will be in English. You can be exempted from this requirement if you:

  • have an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate diploma or a European Baccalaureate with English as language 1

  • completed your schooling in the USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or Canada (except French taught programmes in Canada)
     

Exemptions may also be granted in other circumstances, depending on the type of diploma(s) you hold and the level of English education you have followed to date. The Admissions Office will let you know if you qualify for an exemption after your application has been reviewed by the Admissions Board.
 
Accepted tests
Leiden University accepts the following English language tests:
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): academic modules only, with a minimum score of 6.0 for most for most Dutch taught bachelor’s programmes; and a minimum score of 6.5 or 7.0 for most English taught bachelor’s programmes. See the individual programme descriptions for exact scores.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): with a minimum score of 79-80 (internet-based) for most Dutch taught bachelor’s programmes;  and a minimum score of 90 or 100 (internet-based) for most English taught bachelor’s programmes. See the individual programme descriptions for exact scores.

  • Cambridge English Exam:
    Advanced (CAE) with minimum grade C or Proficiency (CPE ).
    See the individual programme descriptions for exact scores.  
      

Submitting your test results
You can upload a copy of your IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge test results in the online application system. If you have not yet received your results at the time of application, you can send them to the Admissions Office at a later date.  

Please make sure to send one of the following documents to the Admissions Office before the visa/residence permit deadline expires and before your programme starts:

  • An original sufficient TOEFL result, sent directly to the university by ETS (TOEFL institution code: 0504) 

  • A copy of your sufficient IELTS result, with all text and verification codes clearly visible

  • A  copy of your Cambridge certificate, your ID number and your ‘secret number’ (check the Candidate Results Online service). 
      

Please note  

  • If you are a Chinese applicant, you will need to submit an IELTS or TOEFL iBT test and request a Nuffic certificate.

  • For all students, your language certificate must be no more than two years old, and the modality must be ‘academic’.

  • We do not accept institutional scores, such as the ITP TOEFL.

  • In exceptional circumstances, students who would generally be exempted from submitting proof of English language ability may be requested to submit a sufficient English language test result. Such requests may be made if the Admission Committee concludes that the applicant's English skills, as evidenced in his/her application documents or previous test results, may not be sufficient to meet the programme’s entry requirements. 

Other languages

For some programmes, especially those involving language and cultural studies courses, you may need other language skills as well. Please see the individual programme descriptions for more information.

Last Modified: 19-03-2016