English language requirements

For English-taught Master's programmes

All students applying for an English-taught Master's programme are required to be proficient users of academic English at level C1 of the Common European Framework of References at the time of applying. Please find the English language requirements of the Graduate School of Humanities below.

English language test requirements

Unless you are exempt, you will need to submit an English language test as part of your UvA application in MyInfo before the application deadline (for exemptions, see below).

The Graduate School of Humanities only accepts English language tests taken within the past two years (if the application deadline is 1 March 2019, your test results cannot be older than 1 March 2017). Submitting insufficient language test results or failing to upload a sufficient test score report when you submit your application in MyInfo will result in a rejection of your application.

English language tests and minimum scores we accept:

IELTS Academic*

Minimum 6.5 on each sub-score (6.5 overall)


Minimum 22 on each sub-score (92 overall)

CAE/C1 Advanced & CPE/C2 Proficiency**


*Chinese applicants are recommended to do the IELTS (academic) language test in order to apply for the NESO Certificate.
Students are strongly encouraged to make early preparations for the test. Please refer to the contact details of test centres below.

** If you have taken a Cambridge Exam, please also include the secret code and Cambridge ID in your MyInfo application for verification purposes.


You do not need to upload an English language score report in your MyInfo application if, before the start of the programme on 1 September:

  • You will have completed a Bachelor's degree at an accredited Dutch academic university.
  • You will have completed a Bachelor's degree in the U.S.A., Canada (with the exception of Québec), U.K, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand. 
  • ​You have an International Baccalaureate diploma.

Formal exemption request

If you do not fit into any of the above categories, but have good reasons for believing you should be exempted from taking an official English language test, you will need to ask formal permission from the Examinations Board.

Please note: you may only request a formal exemption from the Examinations Board after you have started your Humanities Master's application and have uploaded all the required application documents in MyInfo. Please include your UvA student number in the email to the Examinations Board.

Deadline for formal exemption request:

Non-EU nationals 16 January 2019
EU nationals 19 March 2019

Your application will only be processed once you have received and uploaded a formal exemption letter. If you have not received a response from the Examinations Board by the application deadline, you are required to submit a copy of your exemption request to the Examination Board, showing the date you submitted this request. Please upload this email to your MyInfo page before submitting your application. Without proof of your exemption request, your application will be rejected.

Please note that:

  • Exemption Requests may take up to 6 weeks to process. Your MA application will not be processed until the exemption request has been finalised. It is the student’s own responsibility to arrange a timely exemption request.
  • ​You will need to submit a formal request for exemption to the Examinations Board, accompanied by formal and independent reports that may be considered equivalents of our English language admission requirements. Personal statements do not suffice.
  • ​No exemptions will be granted on the sole basis of English-taught university education.
  • If you have taken multiple English language tests, and on each of these tests you do not meet the required scores for different components, this will not be considered as sufficient basis to receive an exemption.

If you are granted a formal exemption, upload the email on your MyInfo page and notify the Admissions Office of the outcome. The Admissions Office will then proceed with your application.

Published by  Graduate School of Humanities

14 November 2018