Leiden University

Leiden, Netherlands
Global and personal: Leiden University offers a truly international environment with personal interaction and support. The university holds a leading position in many different fields, from natural sciences, life sciences, medicine and astronomy to the social and behavioural sciences, the arts, international law and non-Western languages. World-renowned for its research and education programmes, the university provides high quality education for the most motivated of students.
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Why should I study here at Leiden University?

Leiden University offers over 120 bachelors and masters programmes with some 250 specializations. In addition, there is a wide range of other possibilities such as PhD, honours, exchange and summer programmes. But Leiden offers more:

  • International reputation: Leiden has established a firm international position among the worlds top research and academic institutes across a wide range of fields. Leiden performs consistently well in international rankings, such as the Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE) According to the most recent the ranking, Leiden is in 67th place, putting it in first position of all Dutch universities.
  • A truly international experience: students from over 110 different nationalities are represented Leiden University.
  • Quality of education and research: as a student in Leiden, you will be motivated to constantly question the essence of nature, the human mind and the complex interactions between their elements.
  • Customized curriculum: besides programme-related subjects, many programmes offer considerable freedom in choosing subjects related to your individual interests and ambitions.
  • Personal engagement: Individual attention especially in the masters phase, teaching is on a small scale. This more individual approach allows you to get the maximum benefit from your masters study.
  • English-taught: A broad number of English-taught BA, MA, and PhD programmes are offered, it is not necessary to know any Dutch.
  • Study Abroad: The University also has agreements with numerous universities throughout the world so as to provide students with many opportunities to do part of their studies abroad.
  • Urban campus: Leiden offers a multicultural living and learning environment, and is a student city where students feel safe and secure. The city has a warm and friendly atmosphere and its canal-lined streets abound with attractive cafés and terraces where you and your fellow students can gather after lectures to continue your discussions in a relaxed social environment.
  • Ideally situated: Leiden and The Hague are centrally located in the heart of the Netherlands. There is an excellent transport system connecting Leiden to other Dutch cities. There are also good rail links with other European destinations such as London and Paris.

About Leiden University

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programmes. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world. The university is comprised of seven faculties, six in Leiden and one, the Campus The Hague Faculty, in The Hague. Altogether, Leiden offers some 50 undergraduate degree programmes and some 70 masterís programmes with more than 250 specializations. Almost all masterís and PhD programmes are taught in English, as are an increasing number of bachelorís programmes. Leiden University is an officially bilingual university: English and Dutch.

As reflected by our motto Praesidium Libertatis (Bastion of Liberty), we have always been strongly committed to freedom of spirit, thought and expression. Over the years, this atmosphere of freedom of speech has proved an ideal environment for famous and outstanding scholars such as Descartes, Boerhaave, Einstein and several Nobel Laureates, to develop their theories. As a student at Leiden University you can follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and John Adams.

The Leiden experience is strongly characterized by our dedication to engage in and contribute to the demands and challenges of todayís globalised society. Our research-based education is innovative and multidisciplinary. Our students are motivated to engage with our lecturers, who are renowned for their ground-breaking research and worldwide networks and to benefit from the personal and interactive classroom experience. They are offered the chance to develop their own talents and interests through a diverse range of academic opportunities and are encouraged to excel through participation in honours and research programmes.

Ideally situated in The Netherlands, the university is located both in Leiden and The Hague, providing an ideal setting to get the most out of your student life while preparing for an international career. Both cities offer a wealth of social, academic, and housing options for students. Amsterdam is a short distance away, and the rest of Europe is at your doorstep. Discover the world at Leiden University!

Accreditations of Leiden University

Leiden University strongly believes that the education it provides benefits directly from the high quality research that is carried out within the University itself. The most recent academic insights are immediately integrated into the courses. The quality of our research and education is independently acknowledged by several external organizations.

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

All bachelor's and masters programmes at Leiden University have been recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. All programmes have also been approved for government funding with the exception of the four Master of Law Advanced Studies Programmes, the MSc International Relations and Diplomacy and the MSc Vitality and Ageing.

Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders

The NVAO (the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders), has accredited all degree programmes. The NVAO is an independent accreditation organisation that ensures the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders by means of thorough and continuous programme assessment. Apart from its task to guarantee the quality of higher education, NVAO contributes to the advancement of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.

Code of Conduct

Leiden University subscribes to the Code of Conduct for Dutch Institutions. This Code sets out standards for Dutch higher education institutions in their dealings with international students. By signing the Code of Conduct, Leiden is offering its international students a guarantee of the quality of its programmes, student recruitment, selection and counselling procedures.


Students in Leiden can rely on personal attention and guidance in both their academic and their personal life. The University provides a wide range of services including student advice and counselling, information services, sports and cultural activities.

The University has one central library, and many faculties and departments also have their own dedicated libraries. Computer rooms are available at the faculties, the University Library and Plexus Student Centre. Students can also bring their own laptop to university throughout which wireless internet is available. Furthermore, the University offers a sports centre, a language centre, a student careers centre, and many other amenities.

As a student of Leiden University, you will also have access to various support services specially designed to assist students. Some of these services, such as the International Student Adviser, offer support particularly aimed at international students. At the faculties, you can, for example, receive support from coordinators and study advisers. Special assistance is also offered for students with a disability.

Student life at Leiden University

Student life is greatly influenced by the large number of students living and studying in the historic city of Leiden. Leiden University is not campus-based in the traditional sense of the word: the city is its campus. Since Leiden is a small city, all the university buildings are within walking or cycling distance. You will almost always run into someone you know when you go shopping or when you go out at night. Given the city's safe environment and friendly atmosphere, students generally feel at home here very quickly.

The university also has programmes in The Hague. The Hague, known throughout the world as the City of Peace and Justice, is one of the most international cities in the Netherlands. Undergraduates can live and learn at Leiden University Colleges residential campus in the heart of the city. Other students live around the city and take advantage of the vibrant city life at their doorstep.

In addition, the wide range of student associations and organisations all enrich the student culture of both the university and both cities. Regardless of whether youre looking to broaden your study experience, to participate in competitive sports or to simply have a good time, youll have no trouble finding a student association that suits you. You will be introduced to everything that the university has to offer during the introduction programme for new international students, organised by the University prior to the first and second semester. The programme consists of a general introduction to the University and the faculties, the city of Leiden and the student organisations.

Leiden is not only a true university town, but also a beautiful and historic city with many 17th century buildings; its picturesque city centre is crisscrossed with boat-lined canals, bordered by red brick streets. At the same time, it is also a modern cultural and business centre offering all the amenities you need to make your stay here both enjoyable and memorable. The city has twelve museums, a wide range of shops, delightful cafés and international restaurants, several cinemas and much more.

Furthermore Leiden is located only eight miles inland from the North Sea coast, within easy distance of the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Hague can be reached by train in 12 minutes, Schiphol Airport in 20 minutes and Amsterdam in 45 minutes. Cities such as Brussels, Paris, London and Berlin are just a couple of hours away.

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Master's Programmes at Leiden University

Search these programmes

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science

Faculty of Humanities

Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at Leiden University!

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

Other Degrees by Leiden University

University Location

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