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Political Science: International Organisation (The Hague)

This specialisation focuses on the interplay of international rules and institutions, non-governmental organisations, and national governments in light of today's security issues.

Do you want to deepen your knowledge of international relations and global governance? Are you interested in the dynamics of inter-governmental cooperation and institution building? Do contemporary security issues such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the emergence of new great powers have your attention? This programme is designed for you: it combines substantive courses in political science and international politics with skills-oriented courses on policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation. You study in one of the most highly ranked departments of political science in Europe. Your lecturers are scholars from many different countries with expertise in all important areas of international politics. Several staff members have practical experience in foreign policy formation, diplomacy, and international organisations. You will be based in The Hague, the political capital of The Netherlands and seat of many important international organisations, including European Union and United Nations agencies, treaty organisations and prominent non-governmental organisations.

Practical Information

Please find below more information about:









The Master Political Science Admissions Committee may have requested that you take the online conversion course Introduction to Research Design in Political Science
offered to you before the start of the programme. You can find this in your Statement of Admission letter. If you are not obliged to take this course but you would like to refresh you rknowledge in this field by reviewing this course, please contact the ssc (


During your programme, you will be invited for a number of plenary information sessions, during which you will receive specific information about different phases of your Master programme:

Welcome (back) Session

For all students starting in September and February:

  • Sept: 31 August 2020 (online)

  • Feb: 2 February 2021 (online)

Internship Information Session

For students interested in Internship project

  • Sept: September 2020 (online)

  • Feb: Thursday 25 February 2021, 1515. - 17.00 (online)

Methods in Political Science Information Session

Presentation of Quantitative and Qualitative Approach for Methods in Political Science course

  • Sept: October 2020 (online)

  • Feb: March 2021 (online)

Thesis Seminar Information Session

Presentation of all Thesis Seminars by supervisors

  • Sept: 25 November 2020, online.

  • Feb: 6 May 2021, online.


Semester I ( September- January)
For students starting in September:
Registration for Semester 1 courses: Great Debates, Dynamics of International Organisation (core course) and Policy Making will be handled by the SSC ( . You are expected to enroll for your preferred Methods in Political Science approach (Qualitative or Quantitative) before the start of block 2, after a plenary information session about this course in block 1 (see information sessions)

For Semester 2 you are expected to take care of your course registration yourself. You can register for Policy Evaluation and your preferred Thesis Seminar after a plenary session on the Thesis Seminar options in Block 2 (December, see information sessions)

Semester II: (February-June)
For students starting in February :
Registration for your first semester courses: Great Debates, Policy Making and Policy Evaluation will be handled by the SSC ( You are expected to enroll for your preferred Methods in Political Science approach (Qualitative or Quantitative) before the start of block 4, after a plenary information session about this course in block 3 (February, see information sessions).

For your second semester, you are expected to take care of your course registration. You can register for your core course Dynamics of International Organisation and for your preferred Thesis Seminar after a plenary session on the Thesis Seminar options in block 4 (May, see information sessions)

Registration for Elective seminars

Block 2: Monday 12 October 2020, 10.00h - Sunday 18 October 2020, 23.59h
Block 3: Monday 18 January 2021, 10.00h - Sunday 24 January 2021, 23.59h
Block 4: Monday 15 March 2021, 10.00h - Sunday 21 March 2021, 23.59h

*Please note: Elective seminars have a maximum number of participants. Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. (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 your respective starting group in this Prospectus. For the respective information sessions, see the information sessions overview.


You can find additional course information in this online Prospectus as well as in the Brightspace page of the course. Your instructor will communicate with you in Brightspace an via your Umail account. Make sure you have access to this account before your classes start to ensure you are informed about any preparation instructions.


If you are working on your master thesis, there is the Thesis Lab/Scriptie Atelier 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. Read more


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 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 personalized feedback and check similarity to other papers, bibliographic and online sources and grade assignments.


As of September 2017 the specialisations in Political Science and International Organisation (Leiden) are no longer offered. For students of these specialisations who have not passed all of their courses successfully in earlier academic years, the regulations can be found in the Course and Examination Regulations (OER).


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. As a Bachelor student, you will need to request approval for non-Political Science Institute elements in your programme such as your electives, Study Abroad courses, research internship and a minor at different university. If you want to have a short overview of for specific situations you would need to seek their advice, please take a look at their FAQ The Board of Examiners can be reached via

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

Start February 2020

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Thesis Seminar International Organisation - Fall 2020 20
Thesis Seminar Political Science - Fall 2020 Information and Deadlines

Block I & II optional

Internship Project Seminar and Thesis - Fall 2020 (February intake) 30

Start September 2020

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block I - Mandatory Courses

Great Debates in Political Science (The Hague, Fall) 5
Dynamics of International Organisation 10

Block II - Mandatory Courses

Methods in Political Science (The Hague, Fall) 5
The Politics of Policy-Making: National and International Challenges 10

Block III - Mandatory Course

Policy Evaluation in National and International Contexts - block III (group #01) 10

Block III & IV

Thesis Seminar International Organisation - Spring 2021 20
Thesis Seminars Political Science - Information and Deadlines Spring 2021
Internship Project Seminar and Thesis - Spring 2021 (September intake) 30

Start February 2021

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block III

Great Debates in Political Science (The Hague, Spring) 5
The Politics of Policy-Making: National and International Challenges 10

Block IV

Methods in Political Science (The Hague, Spring) 5
Policy Evaluation in National and International Contexts - block IV (group #02) 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 - Fall 2021 (February 2021 intake) 30

Study and Career Support

Below you will find information about the following topics:





Our student adviser team provides a designated point of contact, where you can access friendly and professional help, advice and guidance during your studies. We are familiar with all aspects of the course programme and specialisations. We understand that it is not always easy to come and see your study adviser. It is therefore good to realize that you are not only welcome to contact us when there is a problem regarding your studies, but also for help with a realistic study plan, choice between an exchange / internship or advice on the next steps after your studies.

Personal circumstances

Unfortunately, personal circumstances can sometimes affect you during your studies and in this way, also impact your study progress. If personal circumstances happen to you, do not postpone coming to see us, experience has shown that answers and solutions are often closer at hand than you might expect. And in case we cannot help you ourselves, we can get you into contact with someone who can. All conversations between student and student adviser are strictly confidential and information provided by a student is confidential and will not be divulged to any third party without the student’s permission.

Study advisers

Master Specialisations Leiden:
Students A to K: Daniëlle Lovink -
Students L to Z: Rally Schwachofer -
Master Specialisation The Hague (International Organisation):
Ester J.M. Blom


You have chosen to pursue the MSc in Political Science. But what’s next, once you are a freshly graduated political scientist? Where do we find political scientists on the job market?
Political Science does not prepare you to one specific career. You find political scientists in many different fields on the job market. Political Science alumni work for the Dutch government, for the media, in large international corporations, in international organisations, at embassies, in academia or they start their own business in consultancy.

Preparation starts now

Preparing for the job market starts already during your studies by reflecting on your own interests, your possibilities, and of course your capacities. There are many choices to make on the basis of that. The choices you make, during your studies – the courses you take, the (research) assignments you conduct, the (extra) activities you do, the questions you ask yourself – all give direction to your future career. You can visit the Bright Space Page Career Preparation Political Science for further support.

Your MSc in Political Science is designed as a one year programme. To ensure you will be fully prepared for your future professional career, we strongly advise you to seize all opportunities offered within and outside of your programme to fine tune your career preparation.

Several courses from the Master Political Science contain components (i.e. lectures about the working field by political science alumni) and/or assignments (i.e. writing of policy memos, case studies, advisory reports) that are relevant to your orientation on the job market and preparation for your further career.The MSc in Political Science offers curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular elements to support you to prepare for your next steps.


There is the possibility of doing an Internship Track (30 EC) during which students pursue a research internship for three months. This offers students the opportunity to gain practical experience in an (international) organisation.


If you would like to combine your MSc in Political Science with a professional programme focused on Leadership, take a look at the International Leiden Leadership Programme
If you are a Dutch student and you would like to improve your leadership qualities, you can sign up for the Dutch language leadership programme.
An extra course offered to the Faculty of Social Sciences students to support their professional skills is Professional and Personal Impact.


Keep track of activities offered by SPIL, the study association for Political Scientists, as well as FSW’s Career Services. You can find event data on their websites.


Career Service Leiden University

Leiden University Career Zone

Career Services Events

Work & Life Skills

Job Application Skills