Study The Hague

Find a study programme in The Hague region

There’s an almost bewildering range of options if you want to study in The Hague Region. From classical music to international relations, marine technology to law and governance, there’s almost certainly a study programme to match your interest. And that at all levels, from associate degrees to postgraduate programmes. Known as the city of peace and justice, The Hague attracts students from around the world.

Education System 

There are two main types of higher education in the Netherlands: WO (university education) and HBO (universities of applied sciences). Research universities focus on academic study and research. Many of their study programmes also have a professional component, and most graduates go on to pursue careers outside the academic sector. Universities of applied sciences, known as hogeschool in Dutch, focus on the practical application of knowledge and prepare students for specific professions. Their study programmes always include internships to gain practical work experience. A third education type is known as MBO: secondary vocational education and training.  

Bachelor’s Degrees 

It will take three years of full-time study to complete a bachelor’s programme at a Dutch research university. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science (BA/BSc) degree, depending on the discipline. Completing a bachelor’s programme at a university of applied sciences takes four years because of the requirement to complete internships. Here, graduates receive a degree naming their study field, for example Bachelor of Engineering.

Master’s Degrees 

If you have completed a bachelor’s degree, you can continue your studies with a master’s programme. These can take from one to three years to complete, depending on the discipline. On completion, you will receive either a Master of Arts or Master of Science (MA/MSc) degree or one naming your area of study, such as Master of Architecture. This depends on the type of university you’ve attended.

Doctoral Degrees 

A doctoral degree, or PhD, usually takes four or more years to complete and consists of authoring a dissertation based on independent research. Only research universities can award a PhD degree. In the Netherlands, a dissertation can usually be written in Dutch, English, German, or French. Special permission is needed for writing a dissertation in other languages. The dissertation must be defended orally at a public defence before the degree can be awarded. 

Associate Degrees 

An associate degree is a relatively new type of study programme available at universities of applied sciences. It is a shorter programme offered during the first two years of some bachelor’s programmes. Associate degree programmes are available in the specialisations Behaviour and Society, Language and Culture, Healthcare, Engineering, Economics, and Agriculture and the Natural Environment.

Admission Requirements

The exact requirements for admission vary depending on the educational institution and the study programme. For international students, the main requirements for admission to a bachelor’s programme are a diploma corresponding to Dutch secondary school level and good grades in relevant subjects. Applicants to a master’s programme must have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. International students must also be able to speak, read, and write English fluently. Some programmes require Dutch.

Check out our overview of universities in The Hague region for more information on finding the right study programme. And discover what it’s like living in The Hague and how you can find student housing

More on programmes and studies in The Hague region

Universities in The Hague region

International students can choose from a wide range of educational institutions in The Hague region. Check out top ranked Dutch universities.

Financing your studies

Find out how you can finance your studies. Read about student grants, student loans, scholarship opportunities, and the cost of living and studying in the Hague.

Work after your studies

Almost graduated and thinking about finding a job? Check out information about career services, post-graduation opportunities and the orientation year permit.

Find an internship

There are many opportunities for internships and traineeships in the Netherlands. Discover how to find one within your field of study.

International student offices

International students in The Hague are supported by student organisations that help with all aspects of student life. Get in touch with one in your area.