Education at Leiden University
Leiden University’s programmes are characterised by their focus on a specific discipline and a strong interaction between education and research. This applies both to the bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes.
- Education at a research-intensive university
- Language of Instruction
Leiden University strongly believes that its university education benefits directly from the high quality research that is carried out within the university itself, and that new fundamental knowledge is new intellectual capital. The latest academic insights are immediately integrated into the courses.
Leiden University offers both one and two-year master’s by coursework programmes, as well as two-year research master's. The highest degree awarded in the PhD.
For an explanation of the degree structure, credits and grading, level and mode of study as well as the academic calendar please see: educational system
Recognition and accreditation
Recognition is the general term which in English can refer to the recognition of diplomas, degrees, titles and/or institutions. Depending on the country, an institution that is 'recognised' might also be said to be 'accredited', whereas a recognised study programme is said to be either 'accredited' or 'validated'. Generally, 'recognition' is a legal matter regulated by government, whereas 'accreditation' and 'validation' are in the hands of an independent organisation or association.
Recognition by the Ministry of Education
All bachelor's programmes and master’s programmes at Leiden University have been recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Education. All programmes have also been approved for government funding with the exception (2009-2010) of the four Master of Law: Advanced Studies Programmes and the MA in International Relations and Diplomacy. This means that is is not possible for students to receive “Studiefinanciering”, i.e. the study grants and loans made available by the Dutch Ministry of Education.
All degree programmes at Leiden University are accredited by the The NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie)
The NVAO is the Accreditation Organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders. It was established by international treaty and guarantees the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders by accrediting study programmes. Apart from its task to guarantee the quality of higher education, NVAO contributes to the advancement of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.
The primary language of instruction of the bachelor's programmes is Dutch, although some courses may be given in other languages as well.
Studying in the Netherlands for a bachelor's degree (with the exception of the BA "Dutch Studies") means that many lectures, laboratory work, tests and examinations and many textbooks are in Dutch. Text books may also be written in other languages, especially in English, but depending on the programme also in other Languages. Some courses, especially after the first year may also be given in English, and in the language programmes in the language that is studied.
It is not necessary to have any knowledge of Dutch at the start of the programme, but students should be proficient in written and spoken English. The language of instruction of the MA programme in Dutch Studies is Dutch.
The language of instruction for most programmes is English and for some Dutch. A number of Language and Culture programmes are taught in French, German, Italian and Spanish respectively.
It is the firm conviction of Leiden University that the quality of research and education is greatly enhanced by the presence of talented international students and scientific staff with international experience.
The University believes that in the current global world economy an international orientation in education is essential for graduates at bachelor, master and PhD level. The University's objective is that graduates should be able to carry out their profession in a competent manner, irrespective of the cultural environment where they happen to work. It is, then, essential that they learn to think in international terms, and that they acquire the necessary skills to work and socialise successfully with other cultures.
For this reason, Leiden University welcomes international students and staff for their contribution to the international climate within the university.