Middle Eastern Studies: Islamic Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #67 (WUR) ,
Study the rich context of Islamic law and the anthropology of the Muslim world from the perspective of the social sciences and philology.


Study the rich context of Islamic law and the anthropology of the Muslim world from the perspective of the social sciences and philology.

Designed to meet the growing demand for internationally-oriented expertise on Islam and the methodology of Islamic Studies, this programme focuses on developing your understanding of 'Islam and Society', taking a comparative approach. Acquire the skills and insights to conduct independent research in your chosen field. Much research on Islamic Studies is based on written sources and archive material from Islamic cultures and societies. This programme focuses on these sources, teaching you how to establish their value and importance in a specific context, or as the basis for a hypothesis. Social and historical approaches to the field are also given ample attention. Those interested in the study of Islam in a European context can apply for the MA in Theology and Religious Studies. Leiden University's Humanities Faculty was recently ranked 17th in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking.


Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

Programme Structure

The specialisation Islamic Studies forms a multidisciplinary programme spread over two semesters, which offers you the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics covering not only Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, but also Islam in modern societies further afield.

Semester 1

As a student of the Islamic Studies specialisation, you will have to take three courses during the first semester of which one will be taken jointly with students of the other specialisations. Besides this common core course, you will also take two specialisation courses.

Semester 2

You take one more course from the courses offered in the Islamic Studies programme at Leiden University. Furthermore, you will be working on your master’s thesis, while having bi-weekly sessions to discuss your progress. Throughout this process you will also be guided by your thesis adviser. For interested students an extra-curricular course on research methods will be offered. The credits of this course do not count towards the degree, though.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Credits
    60 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Knowledge minimum: Working knowledge of one Islamic language, preferably Arabic. See website www.unileidenmasters.nl for details.

Previous education: BA degree in Islamic Studies, or an equivalent degree from a recognised institution (see website www.unileidenmasters.nl).

Additional language requirements:

  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: C2
  • IELTS overall band: 7
  • TOEFL paper based: 600
  • TOEFL computer based: 250
  • TOEFL internet based: 100

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    16400 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 16400 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    14700 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 14700 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Leiden

  • 850 - 1250 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Scholarships / Grants:

Leiden University:
For additional information: Website

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers 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.