BSc Security Studies
On this page you will find all information about the Bachelor of Security Studies that you need as a first-year student.
In the first month, we will organise some activities in the first week to meet your fellow students, your student mentor, your tutor and tutor group. We will keep you updated.
In your first month, you will start with following the courses Introduction into Safety & Security and Skills Lab 1. In these courses you will learn the basics of Security Studies and doing an academic study in general. In this month you will also have to make sure that you get your student card, with which you can get access to the bicycle shed, the printers and different locations of Leiden University in the Hague. You will meet your fellow students and learn to know the faculty and city of the Hague.
It’s great that you’re planning to come and study with us.
The first year of Security Studies is introductory and very diverse. It gives you a look into the broad range of the security sector. Courses on subjects as terrorism, war and politics in the Middle-East are followed by courses about the nuclear industry, politics and organisational models in the Western world and Japan. This makes sure that you will not get bored of a subject since there is so much variation in the course. Security Studies really is an interdisciplinary course and you will notice this from the first block onwards. In the first year you will not only learn various new academic skills but you will also meet a lot of new people and you will experience what being a student is like.
Binding Study Advice
As a first-year student at Leiden University, you are subject to the Binding Study Advice. This means that, in your first year, you will have to obtain at least 45 of the 60 credits (EC) if you wish to continue the programme in your second year.
Are you experiencing issues during the course of the programme? Do you have personal or other problems that are slowing you down and influencing your performance? Don’t wait until things — maybe — sort themselves out. Your study programme has two experienced study advisors who are willing to provide professional support. More information about them can be found on the student portal.
Integrated Projects on physical violence and public order
The first year students of Bachelor Security Studies follow the course Integrated Project 1. As part of the programme's teaching philosophy ‘Explore, Understand, Do’, the students are required to combine the knowledge and understanding they’ll gather throughout their first year, and develop an artefact aimed at addressing a present-day challenge related to physical violence and public order.
The goal is to create an artefact that could render change, according to the principles and methods of design science. The majority of the students most of the time end up in making a podcast, for which they investigate various issues such as domestic violence, sex trafficking, anti-Semitism, riots, and police brutality. While the students face the adverse challenge of working online and trying to set up interviews during a pandemic, they produce commendable pieces of work in just seven weeks. The podcasts are now available on various streaming platforms, which you can check out on the website of Anchor FM.
Integrated Project 2 (third year students)
In May 2022 third-year students of the Bachelor Security Studies concluded a seven-week intensive programme with a two-day conference. They presented their findings in front of a full lecture hall and in the presence of the client for whom they worked on a complex security issue. Tutor Saskia Postema: ‘I’m so proud of them.'
After a broad introduction to security and safety in modern society, you gain insight into different vulnerabilities and threats, the actors involved, and approaches to safety and security issues. You study two complex real life case with local, national, regional and global dimensions: Syria, and Fukushima. You begin to acquire and improve such academic and professional skills as: critical thinking, writing, communication, research, teamwork, intercultural skills, organisational & leadership skills.
Who are your lecturers in your first year?
Block 2: Case Study Syria
Block 3: Case Study Fukushima
'Welcome to Security Studies!
I am the coordinator and one of the lecturers of the course Case Study: Fukushima.
My background is on crisis management and response, with a special focus on people’s behaviour, disaster education and disaster medicine.
In this course, we will explore and examine the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, its main roots causes, and consequences. How could such an enormous disaster happen in a country that is well known for its high safety standards and technological prowess? What are the impacts of the disaster, both in Japan and elsewhere? And what does it mean for the potential of using nuclear energy as a sustainable energy source?
I look forward to meeting you all and answering these questions together in the second semester!'
Block 1, 2, 3: Skills Labs
Block 4: Introduction to Research Methods
It is my pleasure to welcome you to a brilliant and exciting programme: Bachelor of Security Studies, which is designed to train excellent practitioners and leaders in Security Studies.
My name is Seda Gürkan and I am an Assistant Professor in European Approaches to Security, Diplomacy and Global Affairs at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA). Besides my research on the EU, I teach Introduction to Research Methods (IRM) course for BaSS year 1 at Leiden University. Over the last ten years, I have been teaching research methods courses at various levels, including doctoral (PhD), Master and Bachelor levels in Belgium and the Netherlands. Prior to joining academia, I practised international diplomacy for ten years as an international civil servant at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. At NATO, I was in charge of counter-terrorism, NATO-EU relations, defence aspects of military operations and missile defence systems. As my background combines security studies as a practitioner, research methods as a teacher, and international relations/EU studies as a researcher, during our sessions at the IRM course, you will hear a lot of “real-life” examples on international security that will be investigated through various research methods.
In the IRM course, my intention is to enable you to critically evaluate current research in the area of safety and security issues and give you the basic tools for conducting good scientific research. These skills will not only help you write your bachelor thesis, they will also be useful when you enter professional life after completing this programme. I am genuinely excited to meet you all in the second semester and looking forward to our exchanges on safety, security and scientific research!'
Block 4: Integrated Project 1
Your tutor group will exist of a maximum of 20-25 first-years students, a second or third-year student (the studentmentor), and a teacher tutor. In the first few months you will meet with this group once a week. These regular meetings with the tutor group will ensure the necessary binding with the university, as some of the education is expected to be online. In this way you will get to know your fellow students so you can meet up and study for example. It will also help you getting to know the university and its facilities.
During the meetings, several topics will be discussed which will be important for your study. You will receive practical information, like the Binding Study Advise (BSA), developments in the field of Security Studies, and you will get to know how everyone is doing. Because of the small scale and regular meetings, it is easier to ask question to the student mentor, tutor, and each other. You can ask questions that are important to you such as your study programme or the quality of the study.
With this same tutor group you will follow the skills labs courses to train both academic and professional skills. In Skills Lab 1 the focus is on developing learning skills and familiarizing you with academic ways of working and thinking. You will learn the basics of academic reading and writing, and will practice their public speaking, presentation and debating skills. The skills labs are highly interactive and require you to actively participate in a wide variety of in class exercises.
Through the Explore-Understand-Do method Skills Lab 1 also aims to bring about a deeper understanding of the corresponding core course ‘Introduction to Safety and Security’ by explaining, discussing and practicing the course content. Various assignments will be used to monitor and assess the your skills development and study progress. You will regularly discuss and reflect on their progress with each other and your tutor.
'Hello and welcome everyone! My name is Chiara, and I will be one of your tutors in the BSc Security Studies programme. I was born and raised in Italy and moved to The Netherlands to pursue a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Organisations. After that, I completed my Master's in Crisis and Security Management here at Leiden University. I am particularly interested in crisis communication, risk perception and cognitive biases in decision-making during crises, all topics that I look forward to discussing with you in your first and second years courses among many other interesting and stimulating subjects.'
My name is Tim and I am a tutor at the B.Sc. Security Studies at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs. I was born and raised in the Netherlands, but lived some time abroad in Japan (Osaka) and Czech Republic (Prague). I teach both first and second year courses, so there is a big chance that we will work together, be it online or offline. With a M.Sc. in Crisis and Security Management, I started worked in the field of Crisis management and cybersecurity and was involved in research projects on Artificial Intelligence and the Syrian Conflict. As tutor I have the luxury to discuss such topics with our students within an inter-disciplinary context. I am very much looking forward to meeting you in the following academic year!
You are about to start your studies at Leiden University. Make sure you are well prepared and get your studies off to a good start.
On the student website you will find some of the most important information about studying Security Studies at Leiden University.
The easiest way to access your schedule is through the Leiden University mobile application. The first block of the first year will be scheduled for you, but after that you need to sign up for your courses manually through uSis. Alternatively, you can also access your schedule through uSis on your computer or phone if you prefer to do so.
Jan Pieter van Borssum Waalkes, Timo Schmal and Sofie Delpeut are the study advisors of BSc Security Studies. They can inform you and give advice on most study-related matters, such as: study planning and progress, Binding Study Advice (BSA), study and exam regulations, the elective space, possibilities regarding studying with a disability, extracurricular challenges, personal circumstances causing delays in completing your studies or affecting your studies in another way, and more.
You’re welcome to make use of the consultation hours by phone and on campus, send an e-mail, or make an appointment.
Your mentor is a senior student who provides advice and helps you find your way, both academically and personally. Your mentor is your first point of contact should your encounter academic or personal problems. If required, he or she can refer you to other individuals or organisations for further assistance.
L.S.A. Custodia is the study association for the bachelor Security Studies and the master Crisis and Security Management. L.S.A. Custodia organises a wide variety of events, aimed at broadening the networks and scopes of our members. Events range from events such as field trips and guest lectures to borrels and movie nights. Both programmes are united by common fields of interest - our association aims at connecting the bachelor and master students, thus broadening their social networks. During our formal events we aim at connecting the students with professionals in the field of safety and security.
The association is daily led and run by the six member board and all the enthusiastic members of our committees. After becoming a member of L.S.A Custodia, do not hesitate to sign up for a committee that meets your interests and ambitions - and organise amazing events for the association yourself! Anyone is free to decide for themselves if you want to become an active member of L.S.A. Custodia. If you only want to sign up to use the book discount - this is fine, if you only want to attend the borrels - feel free! Nothing is mandatory and it is all up to you to decide what you want to get our of your membership.
If you are not excited by now, or still have questions about the association, the committees, the board or becoming a member, we will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Questions about the study programmes or studying in The Hague in general are also more than welcome - we will try our best to give you the best answer possible. You are always free to send an e-mail to email@example.com or to fill in the contact form on our contact page.
Want to know more about Custodia? Listen to the podcast about Custodia.
Leiden University in The Hague comprises five locations, all right in the heart of the city centre. These buildings are all with walking distance of each other.
Wijnhaven is our main building. The building has large auditoria, a court yard and the ‘Spanish Steps’. Events frequently take place here and can be attended by everyone. Here you’ll also find the library on the second floor.
This building houses the faculty board, and a large part of the administration of the Faculty of Goverance and Global Affairs, an auditorium and additional classrooms. You will have classes here and it is a great place to study.
Student Centre Beehive
Situated opposite Wijnhaven Building, Beehive Student Centre acts as a meeting place for students and staff. There are advanced sports facilities for students and staff, and office facilities for student organisations and study associations. Students can go there for the services provided by Student Support Services.
Anna van Buerenplein
This 21 story college building is located next to The Hague Central Station and the Royal Library. Students of Leiden University College (LUC) live in this building which includes all living and learning facilities. The first four floors are dedicated to academic and social life including class rooms, study areas, meeting areas, a grand café, a student-run bar and offices for staff. From the fifth floor upwards the building holds residential studio apartments for first and second year students.
Sometimes you will have class at this location.
The upper floors of this building above the Central Station are used for workgroups for several Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes.
Please visit the website for more information about our locations.