Universiteit Leiden

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International Studies (BA)

Study programme

In the International Studies programme, you will develop the knowledge as well as the critical insights needed to gain regional expertise within a global context. In addition, you will acquire the practical and professional skills that will assist you in setting out on your career, whether you want to continue in a master's programme, join an international business, aim for an embassy or ministry, or set out as an entrepreneur.

Some of the courses

This course provides an introduction to political economy, showing that economic processes, relations, and conditions cannot be understood independently of the broader clusters of social relations within which they embedded. The course addresses key theoretical and empirical concepts and approaches in political economy and uses these to explore international themes and trends. 

What is International Studies? This course offers a new academic approach to analyse the world’s complexities and challenges of today. You will explore the various approaches of this discipline in order to come to a comprehensive understanding of these large global issues and also to view the individual’s role in these issues. The course is divided into thematic issues like international justice, religionisation, migration, sustainable development, armed conflicts, resources and food production.

As a student in International Studies, you are confronted with cultural differences and the impact it has on how people understand the world. The course discusses the interaction between culture and politics, and the impact of globalisation on regional cultures and theoretical framework.

In this course you will assess the role of culture in the dynamics between politics, economics, and religion, and in relation to history and global and local situations. This will enable you to gain insight into cultural differences and interactions. Also, you will learn to apply the theories and methods discussed in the course to analyse communicative, narrative and visual productions from the region of your choice.

Practising International Studies is a 12-week consultancy project course where teams of 3rd year students analyse real life cases and problems presented by leaders from international organisations. Student teams use their broad multi-perspective background to come up with novel solutions and insights for these organisations.

In their third year, students of International Studies get their teeth into difficult issues put forward by government and businesses such as Unilever and the World Food Programme.

Shaping the focus of your studies

International Studies gives you the flexibility to shape the focus of your studies. In the first year you will choose your region, as well as the regional language you will study. In the first and second semester of your second year, you get to choose both a research methods course and a thematic seminar. These seminars help you develop your research skills and allow you to explore international studies from different perspectives and through a set of key themes. The ‘elective space’ in the first semester of the third year provides you with the additional freedom to take an internship, a semester abroad or study a minor in another subject area.

Detailed programme

Below you can find an overview of the curriculum. For a detailed description of the courses, check the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, the curriculum for next year may differ slightly.

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