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Bachelor Project Internationale Politiek, Semester II, 2023-2024


Admission Requirements

Participation in the Bachelor's Project is only permitted if the propaedeutic phase has been passed and at least 40 EC of the second year have been obtained, including Academische Vaardigheden: Onderzoeksonderwerp (5 EC) and Methoden en Technieken van Politicologisch Onderzoek (10 EC).

Note: as of 2024-25, participation in the Bachelor's Project is only permitted if the propaedeutic phase has been passed and at least 40 EC of the second year have been obtained, including Academische Vaardigheden: Onderzoeksontwerp (5 EC), Statistiek II (5 EC) and Kwalitatieve Onderzoeksmethoden (5 EC).

Bachelor Project Information meetings Leiden

Semester II: The information session will be offered online, in block 2. Students will receive the invitation by mail from the SSC.

Registration for Bachelor Project

Semester II: The information will be available in November 2023.
Should you have questions regarding the registration, please email the SSC via


The thesis of the Bachelor Project Internationale Politiek will be written in English.
If you want to write your thesis in Dutch please consult your BAP teacher in advance.


Goal 1: Learning to apply concepts, theories and methods in a research project that fits within a framework that has been formulated by the teacher in advance;
Goal 2: Conducting, and reporting on, a limited empirical or literature study.
Content: The bachelor project is a course that offers substantive instruction, followed by a research part within which students carry out an individual study. Various projects are offered that are structured around different themes. Students first follow substantive instruction for a number of weeks in which they deepen their knowledge of a specific subject within a subfield of political science. After that, students learn to formulate a research question, to design research to answer that question, to conduct their own research, and to report correctly and clearly on that research.

The final report - the Bachelor's thesis - completes the Bachelor's degree in Political Science. The thesis is an individual final paper based at least partly on the student’s own, original research.

Mode of Instruction

Workgroup meetings, walk-in meetings, library instruction, and above all self-study.

Library Instruction

On Brightspace you will find more information on the digital module 'Library instruction'.

Study materials

Halperin, S. & Heath, O. (2017) 'Political research: Methods and practical skills' - Oxford University Press, is assumed to be known. The core literature can be found on the Brightspace page of the Bachelor's Project. Further information about the bachelor project and the subprojects will also be available there.

Assessment Method

Students either pass or fail the entire BAP (16 weeks) worth 20 ECTS.

  • The assignments made in the first, substantive part of the BAP will jointly generate a first partial grade. This grade counts for 40% of the final BAP grade. It is rounded to one decimal. Obtaining a sufficient grade for this part of the BAP is not a necessary condition for passing the course.

  • The full thesis written in the second, thesis-specific part of the BAP will generate a second partial grade. This counts for 60% of the final BAP grade. It is rounded to whole and half numbers and passed with a 5,5 or higher. Obtaining a sufficient grade for this part of the BAP is a necessary condition for passing the course. This means that a (sufficiently high) partial grade for the second part of the BAP can compensate an insufficient partial grade for the first part of the BAP.

  • The final grade is the weighted average of both partial grades. In order to pass the entire BAP (20 ECTS), the final grade must be sufficient (i.e. at least 5,5) and, as stated above, the grade for the full thesis must be sufficient (i.e. at least 5,5) as well.

Concerning retakes:

  • Since the first, substantive part of the BAP counts for less than 50% towards the final grade, students who obtain an insufficient partial grade for that part do not have the right to a retake.

  • Since the second, thesis-specific part of the BAP counts for 50% or more towards the final grade, students who obtain an insufficient partial grade for that part do have the right to a retake.

Final product:

The thesis. It should be between 7,000-8,000 words. Note that this is the actual required length of the thesis and not 7,000-8,000 plus/minus 10%. Regarding the word count: Everything from introduction to conclusion counts (as picked up by the count in MS Word). The following elements do not count: front page, abstract, table of contents and list of references. Concerning the abstract and table of contents: these are optional.


BAP semester II: Friday 24 May 2024, 17:00h.

Students who get an insufficient grade for their bachelor thesis – and so fail the entire BAP – have the right to improve their thesis and submit it for a second time. They do so on the basis of the feedback given by the supervisor during a feedback meeting. Note, however, that students are not entitled to any further supervision. The submission deadlines for the second chance are:

BAP semester II: Friday 5 July 2024, 17:00h.

There are two important caveats to this:

  • Students do not have the right to submit their thesis for a second time if their first attempt resulted in a sufficient grade.

  • Students do not have the right to submit their thesis as part of the second chance if they did not submit a completed version of their thesis during the first chance (See Rules and Regulations of Board of Examiners, art. 4.8.2).

Bachelor Project themes:

Semester II

102 Power and World Politics - dr. I. Bakalov
Power is one of the central concepts in the study of world politics. Bertrand Russell famously compared its importance to that of energy in physics. And, indeed, both energy and power seem to be at the core of how the physical and social worlds function. This seminar aims to introduce students to various understandings of power that they can deploy in their own analysis of world politics. Whether the research is about stability or change in the international order(s), about economic interdependence or economic sanctions, about small states or great powers, about military domination or cultural hegemony, about regional or global processes, the concept of power is invariably a useful tool for analysis. In order to facilitate the productive use of the concept of power in independent student research, this seminar will discuss key theoretical perspectives on power, as well as their empirical application. The seminar is built on the understanding that the concept of power provides space where diverse theoretical traditions can meet and interact. Rationalists, constructivists, post-structuralists, and critical theorists all use the concept of power, albeit in different ways, and the aim of this seminar is to facilitate productive discussions across the board. The seminar discussions will provide guidance in aligning the conceptual apparatus with the requirements of empirical research and support students in developing coherent research designs. Students joining the seminar can make use of qualitative research methods in their work, including positivist (e.g., comparative case studies, process tracing) and interpretive (e.g., discourse analysis) approaches.

103: External Relations of the EU - dr. K.M. Pomorska
What is the role of the European Union in the world? How do national foreign policies relate to the EU’s foreign policy? Are member states still able to conduct their own ‘sovereign’ foreign policy? The European Union has by now been broadly acknowledged as an international actor, even though an unusual one. There is no ‘government’, which could define the ‘national interest’ and make executive decisions about the policy goals. Instead, we have a complex institutional set-up, based on a compromise and agreement from all 27 member states. As far as the EU’s strong position in the area of trade or development is rarely questioned, it is still believed to be “punching below its weight” in foreign and security policies.

In this project, we will study the foreign policy and, more broadly understood external relations, of the European Union and its member states. Students will be able to choose an area of their interest, e.g. policy towards the United States, Russia or China; or to focus on studying particular instruments of EU’s foreign policy, like sanctions. We will investigate the process in which the European position is established and the circumstances under which EU member states are able to speak with one voice and when is it difficult to agree on a common goal. Students may also consider how the policy coordination impacts effectiveness. In the second part of the course, the students will focus on their individual research projects and write a thesis on the topic identified earlier in the course.