Vanwege de coronamaatregelen kan de onderwijsvorm of tentaminering afwijken. Zie voor actuele informatie de betreffende cursuspagina’s op Brightspace.


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Political Science: Nederlandse Politiek (Leiden)

In deze masterspecialisatie staat de dynamiek van de Nederlandse politiek centraal. In het hart van de nationale politiek leer je de strijd om de macht in Nederland te doorgronden.

Wat is er toch aan de hand met Nederland? – die vraag klinkt steeds vaker in nationale en internationale kringen. Vroeger leek Nederland zo stabiel met zijn consensuspolitiek. Nu beleeft het turbulente tijden met de opkomst van populistische partijen, beweeglijke kiezers, moeizame coalitieonderhandelingen, islam-discussies, vallende wethouders, euroscepsis en ga zo maar door. De masterspecialisatie Nederlandse politiek biedt je de uitgelezen mogelijkheid om grondig te analyseren wat er nu écht gaande is, zodat je vervolgens als journalist, consultant, parlementair medewerker, ambtenaar, diplomaat, raadslid of leraar daarmee je voordeel kan doen. Je wordt begeleid door kenners van nationale en lokale politiek. En dat in het centrum van de macht: Den Haag. Daar kan je je wetenschappelijke inzichten meteen toetsen aan de praktijk. Voor het programma is kennis van het Nederlands nodig. Daardoor kan je je goed verdiepen in de veerkracht van politieke instituties in het heden en verleden, en in de uitdagingen voor de landelijke en lokale democratie. Het programma biedt daarnaast gelegenheid om de internationale positie van Nederland te analyseren, ook in vergelijkend perspectief.

Practical Information

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 and the student service centre (SSC) and also the Newsletters which are published at the start of every block. Make sure to inform yourself via these channels.


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. Whether this applies to you, can be found in your Decision (Admission) letter. If you are not obliged to take this course, but you would like to refresh your knowledge in this field by reviewing this course, please contact the Student Service Centre.


General Information session: Institute and programme information
Only for the respective starting group students. For the September 2020 starters, we will send out an email in the last week of August 2020 to invite you for our online Welcome and Information meeting. For the February 2021 starters, we will inform you via our Newsletter in January 2021 about how and when the Welcome and information meeting for February 2021 will be able to take place.

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

September starters: To be announced if and when this can take place on campus due to safety restrictions. Please keep an eye on our Brightspace Channel Study Advice Master Political Science Leiden.
February starters: If safety conditions allow us, Tuesday 2 February 2021, Common Room (PdlC) 14:00-15:00h

Internship Information Session

  • September starters: 21 September 2020, 15:00 pm, online via Kaltura, registration via Usis; for more information see Internship Project Seminar under tab Start September 2020

  • February starters: February 2021. Time and location tba

Methods in Political Science Information Session

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

  • September starters: October 2020, online

  • February starters: March 2021. Time and location tba

Master Thesis Seminar Information Session

Presentation of all Thesis Seminars by the respective supervisors

  • September starters: Wednesday 25 November 2020, 15.15 - 17.00 room 1A01 (PdlC)

  • February starters: Friday 7 May 2021, 13.15 - 15.00, room 1B53 (PdlC)


September starters

Registration for Great Debates, your specialisation’s Core Course will be handled by the Student Service Centre (OSC).
You are expected to enroll for your preferred Elective seminar* in block 2 and 3, Methods in Political Science (Qualitative or Quantitative) before the start of block 2, after a plenary information session about this course in block 1. Check the overall overview in the respective starting group in this Prospectus.

February starters

Registration for Great Debates and the specialisation’s Core Course will be handled by the Student Service Centre (OSC). You are expected to enroll yourself for your preferred Elective seminar* in block 3 and 4, Methods in Political Science (Qualitative or Quantitative) before the start of block 4, (after a plenary information session about this course at the end of block 3. Check the overall overview in the respective starting group in this Prospectus.

Registration dates Electives

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 Prospectus as well as in the Brightspace page. Your instructor will communicate with you in Brightspace 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.,.


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


As of September 2017 the master 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 following transitional rules apply.


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 2020

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block I & II: students follow the core course of their specialisation in block I, as well as the thesis seminar

Nederlandse Politieke Instituties 10
Thesis Seminar Nederlandse Politiek - Fall 2020 20
Thesis Seminar Political Science information and deadlines - Fall 2020

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: 1 Common and 1 Core Course)

Great Debates in Political Science - Fall 5
Nederlandse Politieke Instituties 10

Block II (Mandatory)

Methods in Political Science - Fall 5

Block II (students choose 1 seminar of the Electives below)

Civilians in Conflict 10
Elections in Emerging Democracies 10
Russia and the World 10
States, Citizens and Migrants 10
The Political Economy of Natural Resource-led Development 10
Peaceful and Violent Strategies to Secession and Independent Statehood 10

Block III (students choose 1 seminar of the Electives below)

Contemporary Debates on Justice 10
International Political Negotiation 10
Human Rights: Theory and Practice 10
Political Representation and Parliamentary Politics 10
The Making of Modern International Relations 10

Block III & IV

Thesis Seminar Nederlandse Politiek - Spring 2021 20

Block III & IV: optional

Internship Project Seminar - Spring 2021 (September intake) 30

Start February 2021

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block III: Mandatory Course

Great Debates in Political Science - Spring 5

Block III: Electives

Contemporary Debates on Justice 10
International Political Negotiation 10
Human Rights: Theory and Practice 10
Political Representation and Parliamentary Politics 10
The Making of Modern International Relations 10

Block IV: Mandatory Course

Methods in Political Science - Spring 5

Block IV: Electives

Minority Rights 10

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

Study and Career Support


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 Project Seminar (30 EC) during which students pursue a research internship for three months. The internship is followed by a three month internship project seminar. During the internship seminar the student will write his or her thesis on the research project. This offers students the opportunity to gain practical and research experience in an (international) organisation and write their master thesis.


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