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Intelligence Studies

Intelligence Studies, 2021-2022

Since the Second World War, intelligence and security services have played an important role in policy and decision making, particularly with regards to a state’s national security. In this minor programme we study both the organisations, their working methods, their analysis techniques, as well as the political, bureaucratic, and social context of intelligence and security services.

What will you learn?

In this minor programme, you will learn about the structure, working methods, and the analysis techniques used by intelligence and security agencies in the Western world. Furthermore, the programme offers the choice to a specific focus on cyber intelligence, spy cases during the Cold War, intelligence failures, and the position and powers of 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, as scientific researchers, as 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 programme 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 skills and methods;

  • to gain knowledge directed at specific elements of the intelligence discipline. The minor programme offers courses such as qualitative analysis techniques, the history of the intelligence organisations 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 hopes to attract students who have a keen interest in the work of intelligence and security services in general and the institutional, organisational, and operational aspects of their work in particular. Students interested in ethics, policy, and (international) politics are more than welcome too. Any foreknowledge of the issues discussed in the minor is not necessary, but students are expected to have affinity with security issues.

It is not possible to follow single courses of this minor, except for Introduction to Secret Affairs. You need to be enrolled in uSis for the minor to be accepted to the other courses. There are 180 places open for registration, on a first come first serve basis, where LDE students are given priority.

This course is also open for inbound exchange students if they wish to take the entire minor Intelligence Studies; it is not possible to take single courses from this minor. Exchange students must be admitted by the FGGA International Office prior to the start of the minor; priority will be given to direct exchange partners of FGGA. For more information about the application procedure for exchange students, please contact the FGGA International Office at This minor is not accessible for HBO students.


If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to


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


Please find the links to the timetables on the right-hand side of this page. The schedules for 2021/2022 will be available as soon as possible.

Practical Information

Practical information

Students from Leiden University can register for the minor via uSis from 3 May up to and including 15 July, via Usis 6000MINSN. (Study activity #1004)

This minor is a consistent package of courses designed to help you build your knowledge in a logical and connected way. It is not possible to follow single courses and the minor needs to be completed in one academic year. However, it is possible for EUR students to choose a 15 EC semi-minor consisting of the two courses, Introduction Secret Affairs and Qualitative Analysis Techniques for Intelligence Studies.
Introduction to Secret Affairs is the only course that is also available as an individual course.

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.

Participation in lectures, discussions and exercises is required in order to obtain a grade. One lecture per course may be missed. Being absent more than once will lead to expulsion from the course. Additional requirements may be set in the course descriptions for the individual courses.


Students with a valid minor registration can enrol for all individual courses (with the exception of Introduction to Secret Affairs) from August 16th onwards

For your questions about registration for this minor
Check: Admission, registration and enrolment
contact 071 – 527 1111 or


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

Choose 15 ECTs out of the following options:

Intelligence Failures 5
Secret Affairs 2 5
Intelligence Communities, the Cold War, and Decolonization 5
Unrestricted Warfare: Offensive Intelligence and Cyberwarfare in the 21st Century 5
The Gatekeepers: secret services in the democratic legal order 5