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International Relations and Diplomacy

The two-year Advanced MSc programme in International Relations and Diplomacy offers a unique blend of academic education in international relations and political science with practical graduate education and training in international negotiation and diplomacy. The programme is offered jointly by Leiden University‘s Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Institute of Political Science and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’.

The programme is administered and managed by the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs located in the The Hague Campus. The lectures take place in The Hague. Leiden has long pursued an international orientation and The Hague hosts a large number of international institutions and organisations, among them the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and Europol.

Format of the courses and course overview

Most classes are taught in a seminar format where participants are required to prepare for and attend all class sessions. Since the programme involves classroom work as well as individual research, there is often close consultation between students and faculty. The academic year is divided into two semesters: September to January and January to June. The duration of the programme is 2 years.

  • First Year

In the first year, students attend courses on subjects such as international relations theory and methodology. The Clingendael Institute will offer courses on diplomacy and practical negotiation trainings. The students also conduct an internship.

  • Second year

The second year provides students with knowledge in more specific subfields such as international political economy, conflict, civil war and mediation etc. The students practice research design, develop a thesis proposal and present their independent research in a thesis.

The programme also offers various electives for both years. These electives cover niche subfields such as non-western approaches to diplomacy, advanced research methods to name a few. The students get to choose one elective in the first year and two electives in the second year. Electives are subject to change and their availability is contingent upon a minimum threshold of 5 students registering for the course being passed.

All students are required to complete an internship. Both Leiden University and Clingendael have contacts with international and domestic organisations including the institutions of the European Union and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme’s Internship Coordinator supervises students in finding internships and is available for consultation.

Leiden University reserves the right to alter or cancel courses. Participants will receive due notice of any changes in the programme that may be deemed necessary.


The teachers that are mentioned in each course are appointed by the Board of Examiners to conduct examinations.


The courses will take place at various locations in the The Hague, mainly:

Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs

Location Wijnhaven

Turfmarkt 99

2511 DV The Hague

Location Schouwburgstraat

Schouwburgstraat 2

2511 VA The Hague


Koningin Julianaplein 10 (13th floor)

2595 AA The Hague

Please note that you need to be able to show your student card or ID to access the University buildings in The Hague.

Year 1

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block 1

International Relations: Theories and Approaches 10
The European Union and the United Nations 5

Extracurricular: Academic Writing

Academic Writing MasterClass 1

Block 2

Qualitative Research Methods 5
Diplomacy: Introduction to Theory and Practice 5
Negotiations and Conflict Resolution 5

Block 3

Quantitative Research Methods 5
International Negotiation 5

Choose 1 out of 9 electives (second year students choose 2 electives):

Globalization and Governance 5
Diplomacy and Society 5
Advocacy in Global Challenges and Climate Change 5
International Organizations and the Promotion of Good Governance 5
Methods of Conflict Management 5
Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding: Policy, Practice and Pragmatism 5
Governing Transnational Energy and Infrastructures 5
The Fight Against International Tax Avoidance: International Organisations and European Tax Policies 5
Climate Change, Conflict and Disaster Politics 5

Block 4

Choose 15 EC in total. Choose 10 EC Internship/Alternative Internship Module + Internship Research paper

MIRD Internship 10
Alternative Internship Module 10
Internship Research Paper 5

Year 2

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block 1

International Law 10
Quantitative Research Methods 5

Choose 1 out of 4 electives:

Non-Western Diplomacy: The Case of Asia 5
Diplomat 2.0: Advanced Quantitative Research Methods 5
Realpolitik and International Security 5
International Mediation and Private Diplomacy 5

Block 2

International Political Economy 10
Research Design: Thesis Lab 1 5

Block 3

Choose 2 electives (see list under 1st year programme)

Research Design: Thesis Lab 2 5

Block 4

MIRD Master Thesis 15