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COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

About the programme

This specialisation offers a structured, intensive curriculum balancing substantive and skills-oriented courses, plus a research thesis.

In this one-year programme, you will acquaint yourself with the state-of-the-art in political science, follow a core course on the dynamics of international organisation and work on your academic skills. Under certain conditions, doing an internship is an option. A research thesis, written within a thesis seminar specific to the area of international organisation, completes the programme.

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 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 home to many important international organisations, including European Union and United Nations agencies, treaty organisations, and prominent non-governmental organisations.

Career prospects

This specialisation prepares you to combine the insights and rigour of social science with the practical skills needed to make a difference in the world of foreign policy formation, implementation, and evaluation.

You acquire the advanced substantive and theoretical knowledge, as well as practical skills, necessary for a successful career in a vast range of professions. With a master’s diploma you can also opt for a more advanced PhD-level training in Political Science.

What a Political Science graduate brings to the table

During your studies, you will develop skills that are wanted by employers in both the private and the public sphere:

  • a solid understanding of how governments and other political bodies work
  • the ability to efficiently collect information and relevant opinions
  • synthesising your findings into a coherent and persuasive argument
  • independent thinking; the capacity to weigh opposing views
  • the ability to present your view, in speech and in writing
  • analytical, problem solving skills

Where do Political Science graduates work?

Political Science per se is not a vocational training. It does not automatically lead to this or that particular profession. Perhaps the broad nature of the discipline is also a strength when it comes to occupational opportunities. You will find Political Science graduates practically anywhere—in administration, politics and policy, but also in business, education and journalism. Although this list is not inclusive, political science majors can be found in the following careers:

  • public administration
  • international affairs specialist
  • journalism
  • law enforcement
  • teacher/professor
  • legislative staff member
  • lobbyist
  • political analyst
  • politician
  • public policy researcher
  • campaign management
  • news correspondent
  • sales and marketing
  • speech writer
  • urban and regional planner
  • non-profit organizations

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (14,47,386) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2022

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022


Leiden University Campus The Hague

Wijnhaven Building,

Turfmarkt 99, DP,



2511, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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