University profile

Leiden University

2017/18 edition

About Leiden University

Tradition and Innovation: Leiden University, The Netherlands

What comes to mind when you think about Holland? Tulips? Windmills? How about Education?

The Netherlands is renowned for high-quality programmes which provide excellent value for today’s graduate students. Leiden University is the oldest university in the country, translating long-standing tradition and cutting-edge research into a world-wide reputation for excellence.

Why Leiden?

Two girls in boat
  • English-taught: A broad range of English-taught bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programmes are offered; it is not necessary to know any Dutch.
  • International: Students from over 110 different nationalities are represented.
  • Location: Campuses are located in the safe and historical cities of Leiden and The Hague, right in the heart of Europe.
  • Reputation: Founded in 1575, 16 Nobel Laureates, internationally renowned.
  • Ranking: The university is a top-100 ranked institution in no less than five world rankings.
  • Recognition: Leiden University is recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Education and its programmes accredited by the NVAO (Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation).
  • Flexible: Programmes offer flexibility in choosing subjects related to your interests, in addition to core subjects.
  • Personal: Classes are small, encouraging interaction and debate between students and the professor. Staff members are there to assist students, creating a personal learning environment and community.

The Leiden experience is characterized by our dedication to engage in and contribute to the demands and challenges of today’s globalised society. Our research-based education is traditionally innovative and multidisciplinary. Leiden holds a leading position in many fields, including natural sciences, life sciences, medicine, social sciences, international law, astronomy and non-Western languages

Which Programme?

Girl sat reading

Across our seven faculties we offer over 78 English-taught master’s programmes.


  • Governance and Global Affairs – Political Science, International Relations and Public Administration
  • Humanities – Area Studies, Linguistics and Literature, Philosophy, PPE, History, Culture, Media Studies, Religion
  • Medicine/LUMC – Biomedical Sciences
  • Law – International Tax Law, International Business Law, Air and Space Law, Public International Law, European Law, International Human Rights Law, Law and Digitial Technologies, Criminal Justice
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences – Psychology, Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology, Education and Child Studies, Political Science
  • Science – Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Media Technology, Astronomy, Industrial Ecology, Bio-Pharmaceutical Science, Life Science and Technology, ICT in Business

I wanted to take my master’s at a university with a good reputation and a broad international community. In the field of International Relations, it’s important to be able to interact with students from diverse backgrounds. Leiden University offered this and more, so I was very happy to come here. The facilities are excellent. Ian Kirk, MA International Relations

Student Life and Support

The Hague

Leiden is a typical university city: the students who live and study here give the city its relaxed, yet vibrant atmosphere. It’s a small and safe city in the heart of Western Europe with many international residents. The historical centre has many beautiful historical buildings, and is crisscrossed by enchanting canals. The university buildings, new and old, are spread throughout the city, making city the campus.

Our campus in The Hague is just ten minutes by train from the city of Leiden. In the judicial capital of the world, home of the International Court of Justice and the Peace Palace, programmes based on the themes of peace and justice are offered within the Dutch and global context. The Hague is a cosmopolitan city bursting with style and culture, full of parks, elegant homes, embassies and non-government organizations. The city has always been the seat of national government and the official residence of the Dutch monarchs. It is also one of the most international cities in the Netherlands, with over 40% of the population being comprised of expatriates.

Plexus is our student center in the middle of the city of Leiden. International Student Services such as informational and psychological counselors, financial and legal assistance, the International Student Network, and the Careers Center are located here. Each faculty also has a student services center available for all students.

Housing and Facilities

Student Housing is available to all international students studying in either location. Space is limited but there are a range of options to fit most budgets. Single rooms with shared facilities up to single apartments are available. Students are also encouraged to look for housing themselves to see what options may suit them best.

There are many other facilities are available to students such as the main library, libraries per faculty, the Plexus Student Center, and the Leiden University Sports Center. The Sports Center offers many different types of fitness apparatus, classes and intramural teams. Additionally, Leiden and The Hague offer many options for cultural events and museum visits as well as shops, restaurants, musical venues and other social opportunities.

Why is attracting international students to the university a priority to Leiden University?

We believe that a diverse international learning environment with students from all over the world enriches the educational experience of both the students and staff at Leiden University. For students this means that they are better equipped with a broad international knowledge, and it prepares students for a career in an increasing globalised world. Cooperation with universities worldwide plays an important role to establish an enriched environment for our students by setting up international exchange programmes.

Financial matters

Our tuition fees range from approximately £1530 (EU/EEA students) to £15,750 (non-EU/EEA students) per year. Amounts are approximate based upon daily exchange rates as tuition is paid in Euro.

How to apply

Every programme or even specialisation has its own entry requirements and admission procedure which are listed on each programme page. Students must submit an online application form along with proper documentation and an application fee. In general this would include a copy of passport/ID card, CV/resume, copies of diploma/transcripts, a motivational letter, letter(s) of recommendation, and proof of English proficiency (if applicable).

Application deadlines for international students needing a visa, residence permit or student housing:

  • April 1st for the September intake
  • October 15th for our February intake

International inquiries: +31 (0)71 527 1111
Leiden University:

Contact details

+31 (0)71 527 80 11
Leiden University
Rapenburg 70
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