Leiden University

Leiden University

As a prestigious European research university, Leiden University plays a foremost role in academic research and teaching. High-quality academic research and teaching are crucial to a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just world. 

Top reasons to study here

  • The motto of Leiden University is: Libertatis Praesidium or Bastion of Freedom. A number of basic principles guide the University’s actions.
  • Throughout its history the University has always stood for freedom of spirit, thought and speech, and for freedom of research and teaching.
  • Our academics are guided by the highest ambitions of quality and academic integrity. We aim to instil this same academic attitude in our students.

Master's Programmes

Social Sciences (100)
Humanities (64)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (61)
Agriculture & Forestry (1)



Leiden University was the first university to be established in the Netherlands. William of Orange gave Leiden Academia Lugduno Batava in 1575, it is said in recognition of the city’s courageous resistance against the seige by the Spanish invaders.


Their teaching is characterised by individual attention for students, contact with diverse cultures and innovative teaching methods. Personal supervision and the binding study advice contribute to our success. Our teaching and research are closely interwoven.


  • Leiden University is an internationally oriented, comprehensive University. Our scientific research and teaching inspire one another, and this cross-pollination shapes our contribution to society. With our research, we work to gain a fundamental understanding of the world and the people around us. 
  • In our teaching, we train our students to become analytical thinkers and critical world citizens who can apply this knowledge to make the world a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just place. Where possible, we endorse and apply the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.


As an alumnus you can come to the Career Services for career guidance for up to one year after graduation. A session with one of the career counsellors is free of charge. For workshops you pay the student rate.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards

University Ranking

World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
70 -3
67 1
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
80 2
82 -8
ARWU World University rankings is the first world university ranking. It ranks the world's top 1000 colleges and universities based on objective indicator.
QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
128 -10
118 4
QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
89 -3
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.


Housing services

  • The Housing Office offers accommodation for international students in Leiden and The Hague via DUWO student housing corporation.
  • Students with a disability: If you have a disability you may require additional facilities in your living environment. Finding suitable accommodation can be time-consuming, so please contact the Housing Office as early as possible for advice. 

Library services

The UBL owns a vast collection of scientific information, both on paper and online. Furthermore, UBL provides access to special collections of international allure. Among these are medieval manuscripts, archives, old prints, maps, sketches, drawings and photographs, both from the Western world and the Middle East and Asia. 

Student Life

Campus life

Leiden University chose The Hague because the city’s identity complements the University. As a city of peace, justice and security and as a metropolitan area, The Hague provides plenty of opportunity for research and teaching. It is also the political and administrative heart of the Netherlands and a home to many international organisations. The teaching and research at Campus The Hague is closely linked to the city’s profile and is grouped into four key themes:

  • International law, peace and security
  • Politics, public administration and international relations
  • Urban issues
  • Health and patient care

Sports facilities

  • In Beehive, located opposite the Wijnhaven building, you can find our brand new sports facility, The Buzz.
  • The Buzz is equipped with the latest technology in the world of fitness: eGym. Combined with our functional- and cardio training equipment and group classes, we offer a complete fitness concept for students and employees of Leiden University.

Student clubs

  • Becoming a member of a student association is the best way to quickly feel at home in The Hague. You’ll soon get to know people and you’ll make new friends for life.
  • The Hague’s student associations: As a student city, The Hague is growing in stature and is gaining more and more student associations. But don’t worry if you’re not sure which one you should join. During The HOP introduction week you can simply drop by them all, talk to existing members and visit their parties. Or, to get a better picture, you could check them out online first.

Student Reviews

Academic and personal development
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

It is an amazing experience. Subjects are extremely interesting and teachers are well prepared. It is an international environment and there is a lot of support for students

Psychology at Leiden University
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

I've been studying psychology at Leiden University for four months now, I think the quality of the education is satisfying. Even though we are in a pandemic, university is doing its best to unite the students especially the first year students. I am also happy about the Rotterdam-Delft-Leiden agreement, this gives us the opportunity to do some minors at other universities...

Unique and exciting
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

I have really enjoyed this program because the classes are excellent and you are able to form personal relationships with your professors. It is a unique experience in a quality environment.


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