Utrecht vs. Leiden???


olenkka

I've applied to the MA in Criminology at Utrecht as well as the MA in Criminal Justice at Leiden, and am wondering if anyone can offer any insight on either of these programs. From what I can tell, the MA at Utrecht has mandatory thesis, takes more of a cultural sociology approach, and possibly admits fewer students. It appears that the MA at Leiden is more theory-based, has larger class sizes and is more focused on policy making and analysis. It also seems that Utrecht's program offers more extra-curricular opportunities for internships, exchanges, etc. Though I couldn't find much about employment opportunities. Can anyone comment on this?

Also, apart from program comparison, I'm wondering if Leiden or Utrecht is more attractive for a 30 year old student in terms of culture/nightlife, transportation, housing, living costs, etc. I've read that Leiden has a more of a frat feel, which I'd rather avoid...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I've applied to the MA in Criminology at Utrecht as well as the MA in Criminal Justice at Leiden, and am wondering if anyone can offer any insight on either of these programs. From what I can tell, the MA at Utrecht has mandatory thesis, takes more of a cultural sociology approach, and possibly admits fewer students. It appears that the MA at Leiden is more theory-based, has larger class sizes and is more focused on policy making and analysis. It also seems that Utrecht's program offers more extra-curricular opportunities for internships, exchanges, etc. Though I couldn't find much about employment opportunities. Can anyone comment on this?

Also, apart from program comparison, I'm wondering if Leiden or Utrecht is more attractive for a 30 year old student in terms of culture/nightlife, transportation, housing, living costs, etc. I've read that Leiden has a more of a frat feel, which I'd rather avoid...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
quote
Squireson

I've studied at both, and I'd say your current thoughts are pretty accurate. I grew frustrated at times by the lack of law in some of the courses at Utrecht. At times it felt like I was studying sociology. The quality of teaching was variable, some of the lecturers didn't have law degrees, while some were ex-practitioners or professors who were extremely competent. Some of the courses were disorganised at times; however I think this may be a Dutch thing as Leiden was similar. My class in criminology at Leiden was very well taught though.

Leiden did seem to attract a higher quality of fellow student, which makes a difference to the overall experience, especially if you have the misfortune to be paired in group work with a poor one or one who's ego outweighs their skills.

Neither of them compare to a good British university, in terms of course organisation, consistency of teaching and student support. There is almost no student support in The Netherlands, or if there is, it is very patchy. I spent so long wandering about Utrecht in the early days, wondering where certain buildings were, only to find they were on an entirely different street (Achter St Pieter 200 has no student entrance). This is never explained to you, and obviously the Dutch students (who seem to be favoured anyway) just know. It wasn't as international as I had thought it would be, it was a very Dutch experience.

That said, it wasn't bad, it is incredibly good value for money compared to the UK. Both sound good on your CV, both place you in the heart of Europe for internships, etc..

Social-wise, Leiden was much better, but that might be because I was an undergraduate there. Utrecht was a bit disappointing really, there was no club or society for the international students and we were all left to fend for ourselves (though the student association, Urios, tries its best, it is a very formal organisation aimed at networking and finding people jobs).

Utrecht is probably a nicer place to live; Leiden can be dark and gloomy in the winter, which is when you will spend most of your time studying.

I've studied at both, and I'd say your current thoughts are pretty accurate. I grew frustrated at times by the lack of law in some of the courses at Utrecht. At times it felt like I was studying sociology. The quality of teaching was variable, some of the lecturers didn't have law degrees, while some were ex-practitioners or professors who were extremely competent. Some of the courses were disorganised at times; however I think this may be a Dutch thing as Leiden was similar. My class in criminology at Leiden was very well taught though.

Leiden did seem to attract a higher quality of fellow student, which makes a difference to the overall experience, especially if you have the misfortune to be paired in group work with a poor one or one who's ego outweighs their skills.

Neither of them compare to a good British university, in terms of course organisation, consistency of teaching and student support. There is almost no student support in The Netherlands, or if there is, it is very patchy. I spent so long wandering about Utrecht in the early days, wondering where certain buildings were, only to find they were on an entirely different street (Achter St Pieter 200 has no student entrance). This is never explained to you, and obviously the Dutch students (who seem to be favoured anyway) just know. It wasn't as international as I had thought it would be, it was a very Dutch experience.

That said, it wasn't bad, it is incredibly good value for money compared to the UK. Both sound good on your CV, both place you in the heart of Europe for internships, etc..

Social-wise, Leiden was much better, but that might be because I was an undergraduate there. Utrecht was a bit disappointing really, there was no club or society for the international students and we were all left to fend for ourselves (though the student association, Urios, tries its best, it is a very formal organisation aimed at networking and finding people jobs).

Utrecht is probably a nicer place to live; Leiden can be dark and gloomy in the winter, which is when you will spend most of your time studying.
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