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MA Russian and Eurasian Studies

Leiden University Faculty of Humanities

Full time September, February MA Full-time: 1 year

About the course

The master's programme in Russian and Eurasian Studies draws on Leiden University's status as an international centre of expertise in the study of Russia and Eurasia. This programme explores Russia and the Eurasian world from the perspectives of language, literature and culture, or politics, history and economics.

Learn from leading researchers in the field

This one-year master’s programme explores Russia and the Eurasian world from the perspectives of language, literature and culture, or politics, history and economics. Leiden University's Faculty of Humanities has been studying Russia and the Slavic world since 1913. Scholars from around the world come to Leiden University to study and teach this fascinating field. During your studies, you will learn from our faculty members as well as

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

For more information about programme-specific admission requirements, click here:
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 Course Content

Where is Leiden University


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Student Profile(s)

Magdalena Lis

I chose Russian and Eurasian Studies because it is well known as an excellent and unique programme in the whole Netherlands. I graduated from both Inter-national Relations and Eastern Studies at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, Poland, and this programme exceptionally complimented my bachelor-level education, offering a great opportunity to expand my knowledge about the post-Soviet space from the new perspective. This programme gives its students the opportunity to shape the focus of their education thanks to the flexibility in selecting study components. Available courses are broad and very comprehen-sive. I participated in classes on political economy, international relations, and present conflict in Ukraine and was pleased with the way they put emphasis on the current trends and developments, but still placed within historical and cul-tural context. The academic staff creates great conditions for learning, skilfully navigating discussion and always asking right questions. I especially enjoyed their personal approach, because it allowed me to develop in the areas that are the most interesting to me. Prior knowledge of Russian language is a benefit, because use of the Russian-language sources in research is encouraged and appreciated, but the programme does not offer a language course.

The application process was surprisingly easy. The admission process is run online. The website is clear and intuitive, and allows to save the progress at any stage, so it is possible to fill it up gradually. It is important to gather necessary documents in advance, since documents like the IELTS or TOEFL language certificate is required (with some exceptions). The programme is dedicated to people genuinely passionate about Russia and neighbouring countries. The motivational letter has to undoubtedly express the applicant’s interest and its specific aspects. The recommendation letters do not have to be written only by academics. Such a letter from the student organisation or NGO might emphasize soft skills, for instance dedication, ability to meet deadlines or outstanding research capabilities. It is important to keep in mind that the official documents such as university diploma have to be provided directly by the issuing institution. Luckily, the Leiden University has a great support system and answers all questions thoroughly both via e-mail and telephone. It also keeps candidates up to date and as soon as the process is finalised, informs about the outcomes.


This scholarship is intended for:

1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017.
All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.

2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017.

Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law:

◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy

Additional requirements

1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship.

2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom".

3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such).

4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards:

•€ 10.000 of the tuition fee

•€ 15.000 of the tuition fee

•Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee

The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University.

Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017

•All programmes except law:
1 February 2017

•Law programmes:
1 March 2017

2. Upload all required documents.

3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately.

4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100.

7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

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