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Gateway to Global Affairs


Admission requirements

This course is designed for the minor Global Affairs. It is not possible to follow single courses of this minor. You need to be enrolled in Usis for the minor to be accepted to this course. There are 200 places open for registration, on a first come first serve basis, where LDE students are given priority.

This course is also open for inbound exchange students if they wish to take the entire minor Global Affairs; it is not possible to take single courses from this minor. Exchange students must be admitted by the FGGA International Office prior to the start of the minor; priority will be given to direct exchange partners of FGGA. For more information about the application procedure for exchange students, please contact the FGGA International Office at


This course will pay close attention to the shift to a multipolar world and will analyse the positions and policies of a number of key states and international organisations. Students will learn about the functioning of the international system, the challenges it is confronted with, and prospects of its future development.

In addition, the course features seven ‘Global Affairs’ Workshops which will equip students with key skills and knowledge for international studies and careers, such as: academic writing and research, international academic culture and ethics, essay writing, diversity in academia, mental health, and career perspectives.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the functioning of the major nations and institutions of the 21st century globalised world;

  • Discuss the nexus between theory and practice in the field of international relations (IR);

  • Discuss the political, legal, and moral questions which decision-makers in multilateral as well as national contexts are presented with every day;

  • Apply the foundational theories and perspectives of IR to the other courses of the minor in Global Affairs; and

  • Construct academic research papers in English, utilising high quality sources, clear structure, and critical argumentation.


The schedule 2021 will be published asap.

The timetable will be displayed with a link on the website, Brightspace and on the front page of this minor programme.

Mode of instruction

7 lectures of 2 hours by instructors and guest lecturers.

7 workshops of 1 hour by instructors and guest speakers.

Participation in lectures, discussions and exercises is required in order to obtain a grade. To ensure online participation, students will submit weekly commentaries on articles of the Economist related to the course material. One lecture may be missed. Being absent more than once without acceptable cause may likely lead to expulsion from the course.

The total study load for this course is 140 hours, consisting of:
14 hours for attending lectures
7 hours for attending workshops
119 hours studying the compulsory literature and working on assignments

Assessment method

Short essay

  • 25% of total grade

  • Resit not possible

  • Grade must be compensated

Long Essay

  • 75% of total grade

  • Grade must be 5.50 or higher to pass the course

  • Resit possible

  • Resit will take the same form

Students will be permitted to resit the 75% long essay if they have a calculated overall course grade lower than 5.50 or with permission of the Board of Examiners. The short essay needs to be compensated.
Late hand in penalty: 0,5 minus per day, and after seven days we do not accept papers any longer.

The Course and Examination Regulation Security Studies and the Rules and Regulation of the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs apply.

Reading list

TBA on Brightspace


Registration in uSis is possible from August 16th, after registration for the entire minor. Register for every course via uSis. Some courses of the minor have a limited number of participants, so register on time.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. Important information about the course is posted here. After enrolment for the course in uSis you are automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.



All sessions will be in English.
Essays need to be written in English.