MA Academic requirements

ISS programmes are intensive and demanding. To ensure that participants will be able to complete the programme successfully, ISS has set strict admission criteria, in terms of academic background, knowledge of English, motivation and work experience.

Applicants  should have a degree from a recognized university as registered in this database

Academic background

Bachelors degree in one of the social sciences or equivalent, comprising at least three years studies at a recognized university or institute of higher education.

Applicants must have obtained at least class 2.2 (Lower Second), B or equivalent, but preferably class 2.1 (Upper Second), B+ or equivalent.

Work experienceProfessional experience relevant to the Major which the applicant wishes to study is normally expected and is a preference for admission.
Knowledge of English

TOEFL score:

  • for the paper test (PBT) 580;
  • for the computer-based test (CBT) 237;
  • for the internet test (IBT) 92

Please note that we do not accept TOEFL ITP.

IELTS score: 6.5 overall for the Academic Test

ISS does not require a language certificate from native English speakers from the following countries:

Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cameroon (English-speaking region), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda (English-speaking region), South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Applicants from India who studied at an A-rated University, as determined by NAAC, are admissible. Other Indian applicants, as well as applicants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan are required to have an MA degree.

NB. TOEFL and IELTS can send your test information directly to ISS:

  • TOEFL: The ISS Institution Code is 9714 and the Department Code is 01.
  • IELTS: The ISS Scheme Code is 9714.

Chinese applicants are advised to take the IELTS test due to visa requirements for the Netherlands.

ISS reserves the right to reject other certificates of English proficiency that cannot be readily established as equivalent to IELTS or TOEFL.

Your application can be assessed without the results of your English test. If accepted, you will receive a conditional admission letter, which you can use to apply for a fellowship (not applicable for OKP). Once your test results have been received, if they are sufficient, you will receive a formal (unconditional) admission letter. Satisfactory test scores must be received before you start your programme at ISS.

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