Language requirements


Most master’s programmes at Leiden University are taught in English. This means that you’ll need to submit proof of your English-language proficiency, preferably by means of an IELTS test.  

However, this does not apply if you:

  • have an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate

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

  • are a Dutch student with VWO-level English; in this case, you may also be exempted at the discretion of the Faculty Admission Committee.

  • for some - but not all - master programmes: completed an English-taught university level degree from a Dutch research university. See the individual programme descriptions.

If you attended an English-language secondary school in a country not listed above, or have an undergraduate degree in English Language or Culture, you are still required to submit proof of English-language proficiency.

Please see the individual programme descriptions for details of the exact English language scores required for admission.

Accepted tests
Leiden University only accepts English language test results that are no more than two year old, issued by the following organisations:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): academic modules only. See the individual programme descriptions for exact scores.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): See the individual programme descriptions for exact scores.

  • Cambridge English Exam.

    • For study programmes with a required English level of IELTS 6.5, the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with a minimum grade of C, is required.

    • For study programmes with a required English level of IELTS 7.0 or higher, the Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) is required.

Submitting your test results
Please 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 your application you can send them to the Admissions Office at a later date.

Before the visa/residence permit application deadline (if applicable) or before the start of your study programme, your English test result must be verified by the Admission Office. In order to do so we must receive the following:

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

  • a certified copy of your Cambridge certificate with the original stamp of the issuing institution. Alternatively you can send us a copy of your result, your ID number and your ‘secret number’ (check the Cambridge Candidate Results Online service)

Note: IELTS results can be verified on the basis of a digital copy. No further procedures are required.  

Please note

  • 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, you may need other language skills as well. Please see the individual programme descriptions for more information.

Last Modified: 06-09-2017