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Elective Space Year 3


The elective space in the IRO Programme, ideally planned in Year 3 (30 EC in total), can be covered with any of the following elements:
o Study Abroad
o Electives
o Minor
o Research Internship & Electives

Study Abroad (30 EC)

Leiden University has exchange agreements with many partner universities abroad. Permission for a period of study abroad will only be granted if you have passed your all IRO courses of the 1st year, the period of study abroad fits in with the curriculum of the study programme and will not cause any delay in study progress. If you go abroad via an exchange agreement of Leiden University, you must have passed all IRO courses of the 1st year and have a grade average of at least a 7,0 at the time of application. Sometimes there is an additional language requirement.
It is also possible to go abroad as a “free mover” or visiting student if Leiden University does not have an exchange agreement. In that case, there are different requirements and arrangements.
Check the website for more information about possible destinations. You can contact the IRO Exchange Coordinator for questions about options for study abroad via an exchange agreement or alternative options.

  • See for more information the website or Brightspace page Study Abroad Political Science

  • Contact for information the IRO Exchange Coordinator via

Minor (30 or 15 EC)
Leiden university offers a wide range of deepening and broadening minors. Minors can be found in this online prospectus. Students can also pursue a minor at another Dutch university. Minors from other Dutch universities (except Delft or Rotterdam) need to be pre-approved by the Board of Examiners. The minor ‘Politics: Conflict and Consensus’, offered by the Institute of Political Science, cannot be taken by Political Science students.

c. Elective courses (30 EC)
You can select 30 EC of elective courses of your choice from Leiden University or another Dutch university. Usually students select electives in an area they would like to focus on in their future education. The Board of Examiners has to pre-approve your selection of electives in the IRO Elective space. If you are pursuing a second Bachelor degree or if you have completed university courses before, you can request the Board of Examiners to transfer the credits obtained and thus receive an exemption for the elective space. Contact your study adviser for this option.

d. Research internship (15 EC):
The Research Internship should preferably be scheduled for the first semester of Year 3. Permission for an internship will only be granted if the internship is research based, if you have passed year 1 of the programme and obtained at least 40 EC of the second year, including the Research Methods in Political Science course, if the internship fits in with the curriculum of the study programme and will not cause any delay in study progress. The length of the internship must be at least ten weeks, with full-time working hours. An internship will normally be for 12 weeks or three months, including the writing of an internship process report and internship research report. Students are expected to take the initiative to find an internship position. Credits will only be awarded for internship positions that are notified and approved in advance.
You can find details about this element in the Brightspace page Academic Career Support.