Leiden University Excellence Scholarship (LExS)
For excellent students joining a full-time Leiden University Master's degree programme - with the exception of LLM (non-advanced) and MSc programmes at Leiden Law School
- 1 Feb for programmes starting 1 Sept / 1 Oct for programmes starting 1 Feb
- Target group
- Countries/ nationalities
- Non-EEA/Non-EFTA students / Exception: All nationalities for Advanced LLMs & MSc Int. Relations and Diplomacy
- Scholarship type
- Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science, African Studies Centre, International Institute for Asian Studies
1. Study programme requirements
Applicants for all Master's programme at Leiden University - with the exception of LLM (non-advanced) and MSc programmes at Leiden Law School.
2. Nationality requirements
The following nationalities are eligible to apply:
- Non-EEA/non-EFTA* nationals who are applying for a Master's programme at Leiden University. See additional note for UK students below.
- Students of all nationalities applying for an LLM Advanced Studies programme, or the MSC in International Relations and Diplomacy.
*EEA/EFTA: All EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
Additional note for UK students
As the UK is now a non-EEA country, students from the UK are now eligible to apply for the LExS. Note: this does not apply to applicants who were already living in The Netherlands and registered in their Dutch municipality's BRP before 1 January 2021. More information on Brexit can be found in the Brexit dossier.
3. Academic requirements
- Students must have achieved excellent academic results in their previous study programme(s), which must be relevant to the Master's programme for which they are applying. As an indication, the student is amongst the top 10% of graduates in his/her previous study programme. Note that proof of ranking is not required – this information is purely to indicate the level of competitiveness
Applicants must have a non-EEA/non-EFTA* passport and may not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans (Studiefinanciering) – with the exceptions of students applying for the programmes listed below, for which no nationality restrictions apply:
- All LLM Advanced Studies programmes
- MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy
See the special note for UK students** above.
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 awarding of the scholarship.
- 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 (e.g. LLM Advanced Studies programmes).
- Scholarships cannot be awarded to students who will follow an LLM (non-advanced) or MSc programme at Leiden Law School, as these programmes do not award LExS scholarships.
- For LLM Advanced Studies programmes, scholarships are only awarded for programmes starting on 1 September. You cannot be awarded a scholarship for Adv LLM studies starting on 1 Feb.
- For Master's programmes at the Faculty of Science, scholarships are only awarded for programmes starting on 1 September. You cannot be awarded a scholarship for a Faculty of Science Master's programme starting on 1 Feb.
- It is not possible to combine the LExS with another scholarship financed by Leiden University.
- It is not possible to combine the LExS with another full scholarship from an external provider. Students are obliged to notify the scholarships department if they receive a full scholarship from another source. In some circumstances, the LExS may be combined with a partial scholarship from an external provider. Contact the Scholarships Team for further details.
Scholarship or loan amount
The LExS is awarded for the duration of the study programme. There are three available levels of awards:
- € 10,000 of the tuition fee
- € 15,000 of the tuition fee
- Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee
The LExS is not a full scholarship. Non-EEA LExS recipients must still submit ‘proof of sufficient funds’ for their student visa/residence permit application.
- Apply online for admission to a Master's programme at Leiden University and pay the application fee if applicable.
- In the scholarship section of your online application, indicate that you wish to apply for a LExS.
- Upload your LExS motivation letter as instructed in your online application. This is a PDF file of max. 500 words, in which you explain why you would like to be considered for the award.
- Submit your online application, containing your LExS application, before the LExS application deadline.
- If you apply for more than one study programme and wish to apply for a LExS for each, indicate this clearly in each application and upload a LExS motivation letter for each.
- The faculty selection committees will nominate LExS recipients and inform the Scholarships Team, up to 6 weeks after the LExS deadline.
- The Scholarships Team will notify all LExS applicants of the decisions:
- At the end of November - for the February intake.
- At the end of April - for the September intake.
The student is responsible for submitting a complete application, according to the steps described above and before the aforementioned deadline. Leiden University cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.
LExS awardees 2017
Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.Watch the video on the original website or