Prerequisites for becoming a PhD candidate

If you intend to pursue a doctorate at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, you need to arrange a position, find a supervisor and meet the entry requirements.


If you intend to pursue a doctorate at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, you can either apply for a funded position by responding to an advertisement, or follow the procedure for admission for a position based on self-obtained research grants. The formal decision on admission is made by the dean of the Graduate School.


Every full professor has the right to act as a PhD supervisor (promotor). The institute’s associate and assistant professors may co-supervise a PhD project. In many ways, the supervisor is the most important person in your doctoral project. By the time you have planned to do a PhD at Leiden University, you may have already decided which professor you would like to have as your supervisor.

Academic requirements

A good preparation for a PhD programme is graduating in one of our research master's programmes. These programmes provide you with a rigorous training in the methodological and practical skills necessary to carry out scientific research in the social and behavioural sciences. You can find more information about our research master's programmes on the following websites:

English language requirement

You are advised to demonstrate your proficiency in English, preferably by means of an IELTS test or a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English. Only Academic modules are accepted. The certificates need to be recent: not older than two years. Minimum score: IELTS at least 7.5; TOEFL paper based at least 623; TOEFL computer based at least 263.

N.B. This requirement does not apply if you have completed your Master's degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.