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Political Science: International Politics (Leiden)

This specialisation focuses on the sources of international conflict, the dynamics of crisis management, and the conditions that allow states to resolve their disputes peacefully.

International relations often appear to be dominated by conflict and crisis. Think of arms races, territorial disputes, civil war, and mass migration that create insecurity for states as well as individuals. This specialisation focuses on the sources of international conflict, the dynamics of crisis management, and the conditions that allow states to resolve their disputes peacefully. You will dive into a wide range of important, fascinating issues, ranging from the functioning of international diplomacy to the security threats posed by terrorism. You will be based in one of the most highly ranked departments of its kind in Europe. Your lecturers are scholars from many countries with expertise in various areas of international politics, including several with direct experience in policy formation, diplomacy, and international organisations. They will stimulate you to think critically and independently and help you to sharpen your analytical mind.

Practical Information

Welcome (back) meeting, September 2024

We would like to welcome you (back) on Monday 2 September, 17.00h in the Restaurant of the Pieter de la Courtbuilding (FSW), Leiden.

INFORMATION SESSIONS

For every starting group we will plan information sessions throughout the academic year. You will be informed about these via different channels like the announcements by the study advisers on Brightspace and the Student Services Centre (SSC) and also the Newsletters which are published at the start of every block. Make sure to inform yourself via these channels.

General Information session: Institute and programme information.

  • For the September starters, we will inform you via our Newsletter in August about the Welcome and Information meeting.

  • For the February starters, we will inform you via our Newsletter in January about Welcome and Information meeting.

Meet and Greet: Meet our staff, fellow students and study association SPIL

  • September starters: Please keep an eye on our Brightspace Channel Study Advice Master Political Science Leiden.

  • February starters: Please keep an eye on our Brightspace Channel Study Advice Master Political Science Leiden

Internship Information Session

See course information.

Research Methods in Political Science Information Session

See course information.

Master Thesis Seminar Information Session

See course information.

COURSE REGISTRATION

September starters
You are expected to enrol for all courses within the registration period mentioned below. Check the overall overview of your programme in the respective starting group in this Prospectus. Please note: In block 2 you will follow the mandatory course Methods in Political Science, we would like to inform you that registration for one of the workgroups is only possible after the Information session in October. Please see the course page in the Prospectus for more information.

February starters
You are expected to enrol for all courses within the registration period mentioned below. Check the overview of your programme in the respective starting group in this Prospectus. Please note: In block 4 you will follow the mandatory course Research Methods in Political Science, we would like to inform you that registration for this course is only possible after the Information session in March. Please see the course information for details.

Registration dates Courses

Semester 1 (Block 1 and 2)
10 July 2024, 13.00h - till 5 days before the 1st meeting of each course
Semester 2 (Block 3 and 4)
11 December 2024, 13.00h - till 5 days before the 1st meeting of each course

Please note: Elective seminars have a maximum number of participants. Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis and you can only register for 1 elective per block (If fewer than 8 students register for a seminar, we cannot guarantee that it will take place).

Registration for the Master Thesis Seminar or the Internship Project Seminar

See course information.

ONLINE CONVERSION COURSE

The Master Political Science Admissions Committee may have requested that you take the online conversion course 'Introduction to Research Design in Political Science (SPOC)' , offered to you before the start of the programme. Whether this applies to you, can be found in your Decision (Admission) letter. If you are not required to take this course, but you would like to refresh your knowledge by reviewing this course, please enrol yourself for the designated group number, which can be found in the Prospectus.

COURSE MATERIALS

You can find additional course information in the Prospectus as well as on the Brightspace page (You have direct access to your courses in Brightspace upon registration). Your instructor will communicate with you via Brightspace and via your uMail account. Make sure you have access to this account before your classes start to ensure that you are well-informed about possible preparations and instructions.

Thesis Lab (scriptieatelier)

For those who are working on their master thesis, there is the Thesis Lab in room 6C02 of the Social Sciences Faculty. In the Thesis Lab you will find quiet work spaces with computers, and books on methodology and ‘how to write a thesis’. There are Thesis Lab employees who can give you statistical advice but also advice on how to find specific literature, etc.,.

Library

Leiden University students and staff can access the libraries' e-journals, databases and e-books from anywhere in the world. Leiden University alumni have remote access to several of these resources. Read more

PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism
is a violation of academic integrity that can have serious consequences for the perpetrator. To prevent plagiarism, all your written work is checked via Turnitin. Turnitin is an external tool that has been integrated in Brightspace to assess assignments/papers/etc. and to check for plagiarism. Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to provide specific personalised feedback and check similarity to other papers, bibliographic and online sources and grade assignments.

BOARD OF EXAMINERS

The role of the Board of Examiners is to ensure that study programmes adhere to their Course and Examination Regulations. The Board of Examiners oversees all tests and examinations within the institute and determines whether students have acquired the knowledge and skills required for the awarding of their degree. If you want to have a short overview of their services please take a look at their FAQ

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Introduction to Research Design in Political Science (SPOC) 3

Start February 2024

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block I - mandatory

Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics 10

Block I & II - optional

Thesis Seminar International Politics - Fall 2024 20
Thesis Seminars Political Science - Information and Deadlines Fall 2024
Internship Project Seminar and Thesis - Fall 2024 (February 2024 intake) 30

Start September 2024

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block I - mandatory

Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics 10
Great Debates in Political Science (Leiden, Fall) 5

Block II - mandatory

Methods in Political Science (Fall) - Qualitative Track 5
Methods in Political Science (Fall) - Quantitative Track 5

Block II - students choose 1 seminar from the Electives below:

Algorithmic Security Politics 10
Governance of Human Security 10
Media, Public Opinion, and Politics 10
The Political Essay 10
National and International Determinants of Foreign Policy 10
The Psychology of Politics 10

Block III - students choose 1 seminar from the Electives below:

Contemporary Debates on Justice 10
Contestation of International Authority 10
Human Rights: Theory and Practice 10
European Union: Integration and Disintegration 10
Political Elites: Recruitment, Behavior and Pathways 10
Minority Rights 10

Block III & IV - optional

Thesis Seminar International Politics - Spring 2025 20
Thesis Seminars Political Science - Information and Deadlines Spring 2024
Internship Project Seminar and Thesis - Spring (September intake) 30

Start February 2025

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block III - mandatory

Great Debates in Political Science (Leiden, Spring) 5

Block III - students choose 1 seminar of the Electives below:

Contemporary Debates on Justice 10
Contestation of International Authority 10
European Union: Integration and Disintegration 10
Political Elites: Recruitment, Behavior and Pathways 10
Minority Rights 10

Block IV - mandatory

Methods in Political Science (Spring) - Qualitative Track 5
Methods in Political Science (Spring) - Quantitative Track 5

Block IV - students choose 1 seminar of the electives below

Advanced Cases in Democratic Consolidation and Erosion 10
Global Transformations and Governance Challenges 10
The Law and Politics of the Use of Force 10

Block I & II - students follow the core course of their specialisation as well as the Thesis Seminar or Internship

Internship Project Seminar and Thesis - Spring (September intake) 30

Career Preparation

(Academic) Career Preparation in Political Science

The goal of the Political Science programme is preparing you for your next phase in life, whether this will be in academia or in an organisation. As of the start of the programme, you are encouraged and supported to develop your key “21st Century” skills, essential to prepare you for your future professional life. These skills will be addressed within as well as outside of the programme.
Support is offered from different levels within the University and has the objective to develop these skills, but also to identify your interests and strengths, to explore a diverse range of opportunities to clarity about your goals and empower you to pursue paths you find personally meaningful.

Academic Career Support

Throughout your Political Science programme, you will be offered numerous opportunities to develop your academic skills – in workgroups, (guest) lectures, small group sessions, reports, research projects. These academic skills are related to analytical and critical thinking, academic writing, research and communication skills, key skills that are required in today’s workplace.

Your Career Preparation support 24/7

You can access our Brightspace platform for Career Preparation in Political Science 24/7 and find information on careers, positions for internships, tips, links, suggestions, dates for info/Q&A sessions and ways to reach out to various additional support systems.
Have a look at the Career Roadmap provided by Career Services of Leiden University for Bachelor and Master students, to follow a step by step guidance from the start of your degree until the status of Leiden University Alumnus.

Your Career Preparation Support on campus

A direct career preparation network is offered to you on campus via the staff of Career Service of the University, study associations, study advisers, peer mentors, workgroup instructors and the internship coordinator. This network consists of experienced individuals who enjoy supporting you with your future choices. You are encouraged to participate in events organised for you on this matter.

Topics for Career Preparation support: intra- and extra-curricular

Whether you are taking advantage of our Career Preparation support online or in person, you will be stimulated to think about your choices within your study track concerning:

  • choice of internship for a company or research institute

  • choice of your research projects

  • choice of course planning and distribution (GPA strategy*)

  • choice of a minor or elective courses

  • choice to do a part of your study abroad (BSc students)

  • choice for Honours classes

  • choice for a future/sequential Master’s programme

Next to study related choices, you can expect assistance on preparing for extra-curricular activities which may support your CV. You can think about things like:

  • choice of a part-time job

  • choice to join a student board for a society/club/committee

  • choice for voluntary service work

  • choice to follow extra-curricular education/workshops/classes

GPA

For some programme elements, jobs and sectors, a high Grade Point Average forms an important part of the selection, for example for your application to exchange, Honours programmes, Master’s programmes, traineeships, consultancy or PhD-positions. When you are considering these elements or positions, it is smart to plan and define where want to invest your time, whether this is more experience or more time to study.

However, a strong GPA is not the only factor determining your success, equally relevant is that you are enjoying what you are doing and that this is reflected in your activities and experience during your studies.

You can find information on the distribution of GPAs and the ranking of your GPA versus your peers in the BSc and MSc programme or the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences in this link: Grading Tables