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

What will I learn?

This political theory specialisation focuses on the concepts of legitimacy and justice political philosophy’s core themes. Immersing yourself in theories, philosophical and theoretical methods, and complex cases, you will make the leap from opinion to analysis.

Some think that legitimacy and justice are synonyms; others argue that they are not necessarily the same and can even contradict one another. You will investigate these concepts and their implications systematically and logically. You will be confronted with challenging cases and learn to tackle these analytically and thoroughly.

As you will discover, asking the right questions and employing proper argumentation are just as important as your conclusions. The programme addresses questions that are fundamental to every society. How do we arrive at ethics and morals of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘right’? How do communities balance protection of the public and the private spheres, both on a domestic and on a global level? What do we do when individual rights seem to run counter to collective interests? How does a political philosopher conceptualise freedom and equality?

This specialisation offers a structured, challenging curriculum balancing substantive and skills-oriented courses, including a number of elective seminars, plus a research thesis.

In this one-year programme, you will acquaint yourself with the state-of-the-art in political science and work on your academic skills. You will be able to choose from a number of elective seminars, covering more political science subdisciplines. Under certain conditions, doing an internship is an option. A research thesis, written within a thesis seminar specific to the area of political legitimacy and justice, completes the programme.

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 organization

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (14,31,018) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2022

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,

LEIDEN,

Zuid-Holland,

2311, 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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