Programme International Studies

This one-year Master of Arts in International Studies discusses the pivotal theoretical and practical issues in international politics today, thereby providing students with the contextual knowledge and the analytical abilities to study and comprehend the diversity and the complexities of our rapidly changing world.

Programme information

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The International Studies program starts from fresh theoretical insights and actual, current processes of global change. Globalization and integration are crucial aspects of today’s world, but they are only part of the picture. This program takes a special interest in the relationship, the encounters between global institutions, policies and ideas on the one hand and regional, national, and local ones on the other.

It is the complexity of this interconnectedness which is at the core of our curriculum – in politics, in economics, and in culture (primarily understood as the variety in collective beliefs, perceptions and behavior, without which political change is incomprehensible). Our MA  program discusses this relationship synchronically and diachronically, across time and space.

See for more information the prospectus.


Timetables and calendar

Prospectus: programme overview and course description

The Prospectus contains overviews and course details for all programmes in the Faculty of Humanities (and other faculties). The information in the Prospectus is updated annually, in June. Please consult the International Studies section of the Prospectus for more information.

Application, enrollment and examinations

  • To enroll in a specific course or examination, use the Study administration system uSis.
  • This website is intended for students who are already enrolled in the programme. Prospective students looking for application information should consult unileidenmasters.nl.

Internship (10 ec)

The MA in International Studies offers students the possibility to exchange one 10 EC elective for an internship at an organisation/institution in the field of international or foreign relations, in or outside of the Netherlands. Students are free to choose their own host institution, though they need final approval of the Career Service and the Board of Examiners (after consultation with the coordinator of studies).

Academic research and presentation is a crucial aspect of the internship. Students are therefore required to:

  • Submit a research proposal of 1,250 words including bibliography that provides an overview of the academic research paper. This overview should include an abstract, a research question, an introduction detailing scholarly relevance, methodology, plan, and initial bibliography. Sources must be cited in the research proposal.
  • Submit an academic research paper of 4,000 words including bibliography on a topic relevant to both the Internship Organisation and the MA International Studies.
  • Give a 20 minute presentation on the research paper and respond to questions and feedback from audience participants.

For additional information on internships, see the website of Leiden University’s Careers Service.

Study advice

Every department (or degree programme) has a Co-ordinator of Studies (studiecoördinator). The Co-ordinator of Studies knows all the ins and outs of the programme and can help with any problems. Typical subjects to discuss with the Co-ordinator of Studies are: student progress (and delay) and exam regulations.

Graduation procedures

MA students who are ready to apply for their graduation should follow the graduation procedure. See the graduation website for more information about this procedure, the MA thesis, and how to deregister from Leiden University after graduation.

Alternatively to attending the graduation ceremony, you can choose to collect your diploma from the department office. This is possible from two working days after the ceremony date.
Your diploma can also be sent to you by registered mail. Please note: although the documents will be sent to you by registered mail, if you agree to this procedure the sending of the documents happens entirely at your own risk. Diploma’s and supplements cannot be issued twice. If you want to receive your diploma by mail, please send an e-mail from your university address to the department office. Sending of the documents by mail is possible from two working days after the ceremony date.

Teaching and Examination Regulations and Faculty Regulations

All the rights and obligations of students in the Humanities faculty are set out in regulations. The most important of these are indicated below. (The list is not exhaustive; more documentation on regulations may appear here in the future.)

  • Teaching and Examination Regulations state the contents of your programme and the specialisations within the programme.
  • Registration for lectures, tutorials and tests is obligatory: see the uSis registration procedure.
  • The Student Charter informs students about what they can expect from the University and what the University expects from them.
  • Regulations on plagiarism are in place, to counter any instances of malpractice. These regulations provide advice on how to use sources and citations.

Boards, committees, and co-participation

Students within the Faculty of Humanities, are represented in the following boards and committees:

  • the departmental Teaching Committee
  • the departmental or institute administration ór Institute Board
  • the Faculty Council
  • the Faculty Board

Another committee that is relevant to your studies, but in which students are not represented, is the Board of Examiners.

Contact and staff for International Studies

A second MA at Bologna: International Affairs

Due to a special agreement between the two universities, it is possible to earn a second master’s degree in International Affairs at the University of Bologna. Your Leiden MA degree in International Relations gives you access to the second year of the research-oriented Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA), provided by Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe. Courses at SAIS Bologna emphasize economics, political science, history and foreign language proficiency, providing a cross-disciplinary approach.

Last Modified: 01-12-2016