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Internship MSc Political Science



In the first week of September we inform students opting for an internship about the procedure and curriculum of the internship option during an obligatory meeting. If students decide to opt for this internship, they have to apply through a motivational letter, their resume, and a letter of reference. For the academic year 2013-2014, a maximum of 15 students are selected. Effectively this means that students who have already found an internship that meets the requirements when applying, will be given priority in this selection process.

The selected students seek placement within an organization in the period early January to the end of March (covering the period of January and the 3rd bloc). The organization may be an NGO, interest group, government or international organization, political party, or media organization. In order to find such a placement, we expect students to follow a curriculum courses, provided by the career centre of Leiden University, in which they are trained in finding an internship, writing a resume and cover letter, and preparing for an interview. Additionally, the institute’s internship supervisor organizes several meetings addressing how to find an internship. However, the responsibility to find an organization lies with the student.

The organization where the internship takes place must allow and facilitate the student to implement a research project relevant to the organization or its activities. The students develop their research proposals during the internship. In bloc 4, after the internship, these students take the Internship Research Project Seminar, in which they complete the research project and prepare the report, with a length of approximately 8,000 words.

Students unable to find an internship before the beginning of December (December 9th 2013), will have to register for one of the regular Master thesis seminars.

Internship Requirements

Before starting on an internship, students submit an internship plan and an internship agreement. These requirements have a standard form and can be downloaded from Blackboard under Course Documents (Internship_agreement.doc. and Internship_plan.doc).

During the first three weeks of the internship, the students develop and write a short research proposal including the subject, main research question, research methods, and several publications relevant to the subject. Students send the proposal to the internship thesis supervisor (Frank de Zwart) and discuss it subsequently mid-February before commencing the research. In block 4, the students participate in the Internship Research Project Seminar in order to begin writing their thesis.

Note the deadlines: timely submission of all documents is a strict requirement. Students submit the plan and agreement before starting the actual internship; the internship report (see below) is submitted maximum two weeks after the internship was completed.

Reporting and grading

Reporting: 1. An assessment form has to be written by the internship-supervisor from the organization where you did your internship. The form can be found on Blackboard, under Course Documents (Internship supervisor final assessment form.doc). 2. Your Internship Report of approximately 1500 words gives a description of the internship, including the type and aims of the organization in which the student worked; the various activities the internship entailed, and the function of these activities for the work of the organization and a reflection on the internship in light of the academic study of political science, relating student experiences to themes in the relevant literature on political science and describing how the internship contributed to knowledge and insight of political science.

Grading: The assessment form and the internship report will be graded pass/fail.

For more information you can contact:

Frits Meijerink (coordinator)


Group meetings

Wedneday 4 September, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5A37
Friday 20 September, 10.00-13.00 hrs in 5A41
Wednesday 25 September, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A22
Friday 25 October, 11.00-15.00 hrs in 5A23
Wednesday 6 November, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5A37
Wednesday 11 December, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5A37

Individual meetings

Wednesday 18 December 2013, 13-17 hrs. (Meijerink)
Friday 20 December 2013, 9-13 hrs. (De Zwart)
Wednesday 19 February 2014, 13-17 hrs. (Meijerink)
Friday 21 February 2014, 9-11 hrs. and 13-15 hrs. (De Zwart)
Wednesday 23 April 2014, 13-17 hrs. (Meijerink)


Students who want to opt for an internship and subsequently the Research Project Seminar (maximum of 15 students) will be informed about this option during an obligatory meeting on 4 September at from 13-15 hrs. in room 5A37.
Please sign up for this meeting by sending an e-mail to by Friday, August 30.