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Intelligence Studies

Intelligence Studies, 2017-2018

Since WWII and the Cold War, intelligence agencies play an important role in policymaking and policy decisions, particularly with regards to a state’s internal security. The attacks of September 11 put an even more stringent spotlight on the intelligence and security agencies. The level of public scrutiny of such agencies usually varies and depends highly on political traditions within a state. An organization like the KGB was established against a very different background than it was the case for e.g. the CIA, FBI or the Dutch BVD. Therefore structure, procedures and working methods vary greatly. And also the different adversaries call for different approaches.

What will you learn?

In this minor program, attention is being paid to the structure, working methods and the qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques used by intelligence and security agencies that operated particularly during the last half of the 20th century and the present day. Furthermore, the program offers the choice to a specific focus on cyber intelligence, the services of the superpowers during the Cold War, quantitative analysis techniques used in intelligence, intelligence failures, and the position and powers od intelligence services in the democratic legal order.
The minor offers classes from guest lecturers, who either worked or still work in the field of intelligence. Their expertise as (former) employees of the Dutch secret services, scientific researchers, business experts or as other intelligence professionals provides students with a lot of practice examples.

Learning objectives

This minor is called ‘Intelligence Studies’ and has the following learning objectives:
*to gain insight in the functioning, processes and proceedings of intelligence and security agencies. The courses of the minor aim to offer a thorough look at both the internal processes as well at the external processes taking place at intelligence agencies. The program takes into account that these processes occur within a political system and within the realm of international relations;
*to learn and apply the skills and craft of intelligence studies, with emphasis on analytical skill training;
*to learn how to think interdisciplinary and how to apply qualitative and quantitative skills and methods;
*to gain knowledge directed at specific elements of the intelligence discipline. The minor program offers courses such as qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques, the history of the intelligence organizations of the United States and the Soviet Union, intelligence failures, the relationship between the services and the government and Cyber security.

Target audience

This English minor programme aims at student who have a keen interest in the work of intelligence services, the ethical perspective in which the services operate, the methods of operation, global affairs, international relations and international security. Any foreknowledge of the issues discussed in the minor is not necessary, but students are expected to have affinity with security issues.
The minor is open for all University students, but preference is given to students from Leiden University, TU Delft, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.


If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to or Mr.drs. W.J.M. Aerdts


The minor courses will take place in the Hague. The schedule provides additional information.


Schedule Minor Intelligence Studies 2017
All schedules are subject to change.

Practical Information

Practical information

Students from Leiden University can register for the minor via uSis from 1 May 2017 until 1 August 2017 via Usis 6000MINSN (Stud. act./class #1416) .
It is not possible to follow single courses, as the minor is a consistent package of courses designed to help you build your knowledge in a logical and connected way. However, it is possible for students EUR to choose a 15 EC semi-minor consisting of the two compulsory courses, Introduction Secret Affairs and Qualitative Analysis Techniques for Intelligence Studies.

All Intelligence Studies courses are taught in English. Please check the individual course descriptions for more information.

The Course and Examination Regulation and the Rules and Regulation of the Board of Examiners will apply.RUse both uSis and


Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Introduction to Secret Affairs 5
Qualitative Analysis Techniques for Intelligence Studies 10

Choose 3 out of the following options:

Counter-intelligence and Cold War superpowers 5
Unrestricted Warfare: Crypto, Cyber SOCMINT 5
The Gatekeepers: secret services in the democratic legal order 5
Intelligence Failures 5