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MA Middle Eastern Studies: Pre-master

Introduction

It is not possible to apply for a pre-master programme. A pre-master programme is not an independent study programme but a bridging programme for students who, after having applied for the Master Middle Eastern Studies, still have deficiencies according to the Board of Admission. The Board decides on eligibility based on academic background and skills.

Students who do not fully meet the entry requirements, will be required to follow a pre-master programme.

  • Pre-master programme of 15 EC (or less) may be taken during the MA and will therefore cause a higher course load.

  • Pre-master programme of 30 EC or more (maximum of 60 EC) will have to be succesfully completed before being granted unconditional admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies.

During a Pre-master’s programme you will gain the knowledge and skills needed for successful participation in the Master’s programme. Depending on your educational background, the pre-master’s programme will constitute a course load of 60 EC (1 year, starting in September) or 30 EC (1 semester, starting in February). In general, students with a BA degree from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO) will have to do a pre-master of 60 EC, while students with a BA degree from an academic university will be looking at a pre-master of 30 EC if their BA did not include any relevant courses at all. The coursework of the pre-master consists of a series of courses from the Bachelor Middle Eastern Studies.

Pre-Master programmes

The MA Middle Eastern Studies has one annual intake, in September. This means students can only begin the MA programme once per year. This has important implications for all premaster students who will need to complete their premaster (30 or 60 EC) before the start of the MA.

30 EC

The 30 EC pre-master in Middle Eastern studies is offered each Spring.

EU/EER students who wish to follow the programme more slowly can inquire about the possibility to start their programme in September and divide the elective courses over the Fall and Spring semesters.

Please note that students from outside the EU/EER, who require a residence permit (due to rules and regulations of the Dutch Immigration Service, IND) will need to complete the 30 EC premaster within 6 months, therefore they can only follow the Spring semester.

60 EC

Students can only start this premaster (10 BA-level courses, of 5 EC each, and a Pre-master thesis of 10 EC) in September.

Please note that students from outside the EU/EER, who require a residence permit (due to rules and regulations of the Dutch Immigration Service, IND) will need to complete a 60 EC premaster within 12 months.

Pre-master courses

Pre-master students are not allowed to take courses outside the set programme, nor are they allowed to take extra curriulair courses.

Tuition fee

Information on tuition fees.

30 EC

The 30 EC pre-master in Middle Eastern studies is offered each Spring. Students should follow the following course path. 

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Required courses

Economies of the Middle East 5
History of the Modern Middle East: Transformations and Challenges 5

Choose 20 EC from the available English-taught BA electives available.

Islam in the Modern World 5
Modern Thinkers and Trends in Islam 5
The World of Shi’i Islam: History, Art and Culture 5

60 EC

The 60 EC pre-master in Middle Eastern studies is offered each Fall. Students should follow the following course path. 

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Start in Fall Semester (September)

Required courses

Academic Skills I Pre-Master 5
History of Contemporary Iran 5
Introduction to the Study of Islam 5
Core curriculum: Area Studies 5

Choose 1 from the following seminars (depending on availability)

Anthropology of the Middle East 5
Ideology and Politics in the Middle East 5

Choose 1 from the following seminars (depending on availability)

Diasporas and Minorities in the Middle East 5
History and Culture of Modern Turkey 5
International Relations of the Middle East (BA) 5
The Living Quran 5

Required courses

Economies of the Middle East 5
History of the Modern Middle East: Transformations and Challenges 5
Pre-master Thesis Middle Eastern Studies 10

Choose 2 from the following courses (depending on availability)

Islam in the Modern World 5
Modern Thinkers and Trends in Islam 5
The World of Shi’i Islam: History, Art and Culture 5

FAQ

I want to do a pre-master Middle Eastern Studies. How do I enroll?

See above (Introduction).

I have been admitted to the MA Middle Eastern Studies under the condition that I will first successfully complete a pre-master programme. How do I register?

If you have received a decision stating that you have not been admitted, but that you have to successfully finish an individual pre-master of
30 or 60 EC in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, you will receive further instructions from the Admission's Office on how to proceed with your registration.

Can I spread a pre-master with a course load of 30 EC over two semesters?

As stated in the Course and Examination Regulation, art 5.2.1.c "The prescribed pre-masters/bridging programme must be completed within the nominal duration plus one semester (in case of a pre-master’s/bridging programme of 30 EC or less) or plus one study year (in case of a pre-master’s/bridging programme of more than 30 EC)."
This is possible in most cases, but not if you are a student from outside the EU/EER and require a residence permit. This is due to the rules and regulations of the Dutch Immigration Service.

I am a BA-student at Leiden University and want to take classes in preparation for the MA Middle Eastern Studies. Do I have to register at Studielink and Leiden University separately?

Registration via Studielink is not needed. If you are already studying at Leiden University, you do not need to register separately, you can choose electives apart from your own BA-programme. If you want to take these courses as a kind of pre-master, you first need to discuss this with the Co-ordinator of Studies of the MA Middle Eastern Studies. If you do not discuss this with the Co-ordinator of Studies, you might not have access to all the courses needed to prepare you for the MA.

I am an MA-student at Leiden University and want to take classes in preparation for the MA Middle Eastern Studies. Do I have to register at Studielink and Leiden University separately?

Registration via Studielink is not needed. If you are already studying at Leiden University, you do not need to register separately, you can choose electives apart from your own BA-programme. If you want to take these courses as a kind of pre-master, you first need to discuss this with the Co-ordinator of Studies of the MA Middle Eastern Studies. If you do not discuss this with the Co-ordinator of Studies, you might not have access to all the courses needed to prepare you for the MA. As an MA-student registration in uSis for these (BA-)courses might not be possible. Int this case, the Departmental Administration might be able to help you with your registration. You can send them an email to the Student Administration. Make sure you use your umail account and give your student ID-number.

I am studying at another Dutch university and want to do the pre-master Middle Eastern Studies. Do I have to register at Studielink and Leiden University separately?

Registration via Studielink is not needed. As a student of another Dutch University you need to register as a guest student. First contact the Co-ordinator of Studies of the MA Middle Eastern Studies to discuss your program before you send in the required documents. If you do not discuss the programme with the Co-ordinator of Studies, you might not have access to all the courses needed to prepare you for the MA.

My Admission Statement states the following: "Your programme will be extended with the following: the applicant has to successfully finish BAcourses from the pre-master "Middle Eastern Studies" programme with a total of 15 (or 10 or 5) EC.” What does this mean?

This means that the Board of Admissions feels that you have a (minor) deficiency and that you will need to obtain 15 (or 10 or 5) ec of pre-master (=BA-) courses during the MA Middle Eastern Studies. The courses to take can be chosen from the courses listed under the pre-master. You are strongly advised to discuss with the Co-ordinator of Studies what coursese to take. You cannot graduate without successfully having finished the required courses.

How can I enroll for lectures, seminars and exams?

Registration through uSis is required. You only need to register for lectures and seminars. You can find your courses through the e-guide of the pre-master Middle Eastern Studies. Registration is only possible after successful enrollment as a higher year student of the BA Midden-Oostenstudies.

If you have to do additional BA-courses up to 15 EC alongside your MA programme, you will be registered as an MA student. This means you cannot enroll for these BA courses in uSis yourself. Contact the Co-ordinator of Studies, to discuss your choice and to arrange for the enrollment.

Where can I find my grades?

You can find your grades in uSis. Only the final grades of the courses will be displayed in uSis through “Self service” and “Course History”. Partial grades may be posted by the conveners of the courses in Blackboard.

Which steps do I need to take when I am about to complete the pre-master Middle Eastern Studies and would like to start my MA in the upcoming academic year?

As a pre-master (=higher year BA) student, you have to re-apply for the Master Middle Eastern Studies for the upcoming academic year. When you apply, you need not only upload the documentation you uploaded before, but, more importantly, also your decision letter regarding the premaster and, if available, your transcripts from the pre-master so far.

I have paid for a premaster course, but I am not able to pass/finish/take the course this year. Are there financial consequences?

There are no financial consequences, since premaster students pay once per EC. Therefore, it is also possible to get the credits for that course at a later moment, without extra payment.

I have been registered as a pre-master student, but have not been able to pass/finish/take (all) the required courses. What are the consequences and what do I need to do?

a. As stated in the Course and Examination Regulation, not finishing the pre-master within the nominal time allowed, will result in not being admitted to the MA. If there are special circumstances due to which you have not been able to finish the courses, you are strongly advised to contact the Co-ordinator of Studies as soon as possible to discuss what to do.
b. If you are a student from outside the EU/EER and require a residence permit, your residence permit may be cancelled and you may have to leave the country. If there are special circumstances due to which you have not been able to finish the courses, you are strongly advised to contact the Co-ordinator of Studies as soon as possible to discuss what to do.
c. If you can / are allowed to continue with the pre-master to get the required ECs, make sure that your registration as a pre-master is also continued. In the Netherlands students’ registration for a programme ends on 31 August of a given year. So if you started your pre-master in February, you may have to register again. If you started your pre-master in September, your registration will automatically be continued during the Spring semester. Contact Plexus if you have any questions related to your registration.
d. Contact your International Programme Officer (IPO) at the Admissions Office to inform him/her on the postponement of your start of the MA, ifyou have re-applied for the MA.

Start of your studies

Frequently asked questions about the start of the study Pre-Master Middle Eastern Studies

Directions and map

Directions on how to get from Leiden Central Station to the Faculty of Humanities.
Most rooms are situated at the Witte Singel Doelen-Complex, the location of the Faculties of Humanities.

How do I get hold of my prospectus and lecture timetable?

You can find the courses for the academic year 2021-2022 and the detailed course descriptions in the Prospectus.

Timetables

For all timetables of the Faculty of Humanities consult the tool My Timetable | Video instruction | Detailed instructions

Academic calendar

Is there anything more I need to do to complete my enrolment?

If the Admissions Office sent you a conditional decision upon admission, please make sure that all documents, as listed in your admission statement, are handed in before 1 February. Only if you are a graduate from Leiden University, you do not have to hand in a certified diploma or statement regarding your graduation.

Registration for courses

Once your registration with Leiden University is complete and you have received your Student Identity Number, log in name and password, you will be able to enroll online through uSis.

Where can I buy my study books and study material?

To find out what books you will need for next year, you can visit the e-Prospectus.
Here you will find the course descriptions of the courses you will be taking, with the required literature.

Where do I go for any further information I may need?

General information on the programme is available at the Middle Eastern Studies (MA) website.

For questions related to more general issues of registration, housing and other practicalities around your coming to Leiden and Leiden University, please, refer to the university's FAQ base.

For any other questions you may contact the student advisor

Ms. Eli van Duijnen