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Career Preparation Module - Year 2



The BSc Political Sciences – International Relations and Organisations provides access to many different positions on the (international) job market. The programme offers multiple changes to prepare yourself for the job market. You are faced with many choices and options during your studies and your career. The choices you make as a student – the courses you follow, the (research) assignments you carry out, the questions you ask yourself – all help to steer your future career in a particular direction. The Job Market Preparation module is not a regular course. It offers a guideline to develop yourself. You can use it to define your choices and develop your profile. It also helps you to discover your own strengths, wishes and options. The key questions of the module are: ‘What do I want?’; ‘What can I do?’; ‘What should I be able to do?’ and ‘How do I achieve my goals? ’
The Career Preparation Module is divided into four different elements, which are explained below for each year of the bachelor’s programme. The four elements are:

1) Plenary sessions (co-curricular)
2) Skills education (curricular)
3) Courses including links to the job market (curricular)
4) Workshops and events (extra-curricular)

Learning objectives for the second year

You further develop your professional and academic skills with the second-year Academic Skills track. On the basis of your acquired understanding of the professional field of Political Scientists, you make well-informed decisions about your academic career, which match your personal competencies and work-related wishes.
Questions covered in this context include: ‘Which direction do I want to take with this study programme?’; ‘What options do I have for determining my direction?’; ‘What am I already good at?’ and ‘How can I optimally utilise and deploy my strengths?’ Students also orient on the job market: ‘How can I gain useful experiences and practical skills?’; ‘How can I work on my CV?’. On the basis of these questions, they choose a specific way to fill their third-year elective credits.
The study advisers provide two plenary sessions in which you focus on your study and career orientation, planning and options.

Element 1. Plenary sessions (co-curricular)

The first plenary session in the fall focuses on the second year and the choices you can make regarding your third year: elective courses and minors, doing a research internship, and studying abroad. The second plenary session in the Spring focuses on academic career planning.

Element 2. Skills education (curricular)

The two second-year semester Academic Skills courses: Research Design and Data Analysis are the follow-up to the first-year Academic Skills track, in which students practise the qualitative and quantitative research skills that are essential for their further academic career. These competencies are practised and deepened in work group sessions (with a supporting digital learning environment) by means of concrete assignments that students must complete. In the first year, the students were trained in interpretation, argumentation, communication and (written) presentation skills, while in the second-year skills education these 21st century skills are broadened and deepened with the next set of competencies: applying knowledge and understanding, forming judgements and communicating effectively.

Element 3. Courses including links to the job market (curricular)

In addition to plenary sessions and the skills education in the second year, various second-year bachelor’s courses include components with a link to job market orientation (such as guest speakers working in the professional field, excursions, writing policy memos.)

Element 4. Workshops and events (extra-curricular)

In the context of developing your profile and building up your CV, you are also invited to participate in the following three events during your second year:
1) The Faculty Career Orientation (‘FLO’) Day offered by the Career Service;
2) Workshops (such as ‘Self-Assessment’, ‘Career Orientation’) and/or Career Colleges offered by the Career Service;
3) SPIL-LAP Career Event (organised for second- and third-year students), in which students speed-date with Political Science alumni working in the professional field. This event is organised by the SPIL (Study Association for Political Scientists in Leiden) and the LAP (Leiden Alumni Association for Political Scientists).
You are strongly encouraged to take the initiative to actively participate in guest lectures and network events offered by various organisations in The Hague.
Learning objectives for the third year

You acquire the professional and practical skills you need when applying for jobs, such as producing a good CV, writing application letters, effective networking and interview skills.

Learning objectives for the third year

In the third year, the most important questions are ‘How do I achieve my goals?’ and ‘How do I build up relevant experience?’. Attention is given to choices that you must make after graduating, such as choice of master’s programme and career choice. The theme of career choice is covered in more depth, for instance, by means of practical job application training, which includes writing application letters, developing a profile and building up a CV, explanation of creating a LinkedIn profile, networking and interview techniques. To give you the opportunity to practise these skills in training sessions and workshops, a ‘Job Application Day’ is organised by the study association (SPIL) and the Career Service.

In addition, in the third year a ‘Career Event’ is organised by the SPIL and the alumni association for Political Scientists (LAP), where you can speed-date with Political Science alumni working in the professional field. This gives you the opportunity to engage in effective networking and to gain insight into various professional options for Political Scientists.

Element 1. Plenary sessions (co-curricular)

In the third year, students are invited to two plenary sessions:
1) the Master’s Days, where you will be encouraged to review possible master’s programmes that fit to their career plans and their work during the Bachelor’s programme. Leiden University’s Masters Days take place in November and March each year. in addition, a master’s information session is organised during one of the introductory classes for the Bachelor’s Project.

2) the Job Application Day, where you can attend training sessions in the context of job market preparation. During these sessions, you reflect on the choices you have made until then and look ahead to the preparation that is still needed for applying effectively for jobs after graduation. You will receive answers to the questions: What is the professional field for Political Scientists like? Where do Leiden Political Science alumni work? The training sessions are offered by the FSBS Career Service, and include training in practical skills that help you to give a compelling presentation of yourself in an application letter (and a LinkedIn profile) and in a job interview, and thus achieve your goals and to improve your chances on the job market

Element 2. Skills education (curricular)

Not applicable for the third year of the bachelor’s programme.

Element 3. Courses including links to the job market (curricular)

In the third year you can choose more in-depth follow-up seminars on a range of themes. These seminars include guest lectures by alumni, work visits to organisations, writing policy memos, opinion articles and advice reports, that are important for your job market orientation and preparation.
In addition you can deepen or broaden your knowledge in the elective space. You can for instance choose to do a research internship, choose electives in the area of 21st century skills, focusing on their professional and personal development in relation to the job market.

Another option for students is to fill the elective credits by doing a research internship (15 EC) with a relevant organisation as a way to gain practical experience.
Finally, you will complete your degree with a bachelor project in block 4, during which you will write your bachelor thesis.

Element 4. Workshops and events (extracurricular)

In the context of career orientation, within the Job Market Preparation module, students are also invited to participate in the following events during their third year:

1) Career Service offers events such as ‘Working as a Trainee’, ‘Working as a Researcher’, ‘Working in Policy’, and ‘Working in Consultancy’, which give you an insight into the job opportunities for Political Scientists;
2) The SPIL-LAP Career Event, where 2nd and 3rd year students speed-date with Political Science alumni and can thus build up contacts with alumni working in the professional field. This event is organised by SPIL (Study Association for Political Scientists in Leiden) and the LAP (Leiden Alumni Association for Political Scientists);
3) The Faculty Career Orientation (‘FLO’) Day.


Career Preparation Political Science (CPPS-POL-0000FSW)


Study Advisers IRO:

Ariane Berends
Ester Blom
Ignacia Levy

Career Service Faculty of Social & Behavioral Sciences
LU Career Zone