Universiteit Leiden

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Crisis and Security Management (MSc)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for MSc Crisis and Security Management at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Diploma requirements

(a) Students who have a bachelor’s degree in Security Studies, and if they have, in the opinion of the Faculty Board, sufficient motivation for the programme evidenced by a motivation letter, are always eligible for direct admission. They can register through Studielink

(b) Students of the Bachelor’s programme Safety and Security Management Studies (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) who fulfil specific academic and administrative criteria, and upon successful graduation from the programme, will have their application to the Msc programme ‘Crisis and Security Management’ of Leiden University accepted without further conditions. Please note: those students have to apply through Studielink and through the online application system.

(c) All others need to apply through Studielink and through the online application system. Those students will be assessed on an individual base. The assessment will be based, amongst others, on:

  1. Demonstrated academic excellence; at least average GPA, which should be stated explicitly in the application.
  2. Proficiency in English; see hereunder for details.
  3. Demonstrable knowledge of relevant contemporary and emerging security and/or crisis related challenges, and relevant developments in a globalized world
  4. Demonstrable knowledge of the interlinkages of actors, approaches, consequences and possible impacts of security and/or crisis related issues (governance perspective)Demonstrable knowledge of relevant research skills.
  5. Demonstrable ability to theoretically, conceptually and/or empirically translate a security and/or crisis related issue into a research project, and subsequently analyse it 

Language requirements

IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE); a minimum score of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components.

For detailed information about which English qualifications are accepted, as well as the relevant exemption criteria, refer to English language proficiency.

Please note: You do not have to submit proof of proficiency if you have completed your education in Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or when you hold an International Baccalaureate, or for Dutch students, if you have completed VWO level English or an English taught bachelor at a Dutch Research University.

Programme-specific requirements

​Candidates should include a statement of purpose (maximum of 2 A4 pages) in English, in which the candidate explains his/her motivation for applying to the programme.

The statement of purpose serves to help the Board of Admissions form an impression of the applicant and understand why he or she is interested in our Master’s programme. It should explain the reasons why the applicant would like to join the programme. This can be done by referring to one’s personal and professional background and interests, by explaining what aspects of the programme the applicant finds particularly interesting or how the programme might contribute to the achievement of the applicant’s personal goals.

Elaboration

The last three conditions for admission are especially important in the evaluation of the Board of Admission, since the first two conditions are more easily ascertainable. They are referred to as the three pillars. Hereunder a none-exhaustive list of ways the Board of Admission will evaluate these.

Demonstrable knowledge of relevant contemporary and emerging security and/or crisis related challenges, and relevant developments in a globalized world

 

The curriculum contains several courses related to (organisational) crises, the governance of crisis, security studies, terrorism studies, intelligence studies or (the governance of) cyber security. To some extent also international politics (though best combined with other courses). Course descriptions are appreciated.

or

Relevant work experience obtained in a crisis and security related context. This work experience should be managerial in nature, so not solely the execution of crisis and security related tasks.

or

One or several online courses have been followed regarding this subject. Some examples: the online Coursera course 'Terrorism and Counterterrorism', the online Coursera Course 'Risk in Modern Society' and the online Coursera course 'Security and Safety Challenges in a Globalized World'. Course certificates need to be obtained, proving that the participation and knowledge advancement were also evaluated. Other online courses will be evaluated on an individual basis by certificates obtained.

Demonstrable knowledge of the inter-linkages of actors, approaches, consequences and possible impacts of security and/or crisis related issues (governance perspective)


The curriculum contains several courses related to public management, EU or international governance, organisational management, networks, or (international) politics. Course descriptions are appreciated.

or

Relevant work experience has been obtained in a middle to higher level management position of a public organization or NGO.

or

One or several online courses have been followed regarding this subject. Some examples: the online Coursera course 'Organisational Analysis'and the online Coursera Course 'Risk in Modern Society'. Course certificates need to be obtained, proving that the participation and knowledge advancement were also evaluated. Other online courses will be evaluated on an individual basis by certificates obtained.

Demonstrable ability to theoretically, conceptually and/or empirically translate a security and/or crisis related issue into a research project, and subsequently analyse it ​​​​​​​


The curriculum contains several courses on research skills, for example empirical research, critical review of research output, conceptual analyses of empirical material, research designs and a variety of research methodologies.

or

One or several online courses have been followed regarding this subject. Some examples: the online Coursera course 'Qualitative Methods' and the online Coursera Course 'Quantitative Methods'. Course certificates need to be obtained, proving that the participation and knowledge advancement were also evaluated. Other online courses will be evaluated on an individual basis by certificates obtained.

or

The application is accompanied by writing samples which prove familiarity with empirical research, or at least knowledge of the ability to apply theories, or asses situations and phenomena in accordance with analytical or conceptual frameworks. A Bachelor thesis as a writing sample is preferred. Please include the grade if available.

The above elaboration on the three pillars give an indication whether you will be admitted or not. At the same time, there are no assurances given. The first step by the Board of Admission is to examine the degree obtained. If this degree significantly differs in content from the master programme (e.g.: a degree in biology, physics, mathematics, industrial engineering, language studies), it will not be possible to bridge these deficiencies by work experience or online courses. Here are some general guidelines for your convenience (again, non-exhaustive, and no assurances can be given that this will guarantee you admission):

  • Bachelor degrees in public administration, political science, international relations: generally the three pillars are already present in the curriculum. Make sure that there is a strong relationship with crisis and security related topics.
  • Bachelor degree in international studies:
    watch out for deficiencies in research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow electives that are methodological in nature, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in criminology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Make sure to follow electives that include this (e.g. on the organization or management of police forces), or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in history:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect, and brush up on research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in law:
    watch out for deficiencies in crisis and security related topics (a course on criminal law is as such not sufficient), and especially research skills. Make sure to submit writing samples, follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Bachelor degree in psychology:
    watch out for deficiencies in the governance aspect. Follow relevant electives, or complete the online courses.
  • Master degrees in the above fields:
    a Master degree should strengthen your knowledge on at least empirical research. Make sure to submit writing samples.
  • Bachelor or Master degree from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO):
    though these programmes might touch upon one, several, or even all of the three pillars in the curriculum, they do so from a perspective of applied sciences. Hence applicants lack theoretical background needed to start the Master’s programme. We strongly recommend to follow relevant additional courses at University level, or to complete all of the online courses suggested above (or similar ones).

Minor

Finally, a minor programme can be a great way to increase knowledge on the three pillars. Currently, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs offers three minor programmes, but other minor programmes may also prove valuable:

Security, Safety and Justice: the different courses touch on each of the three pillars.

Global Affairs: the different courses concentrate on crisis and security topics, and to some extent governance issues.

Intelligence Studies: the different courses concentrate on crisis and security topics, and to some extent empirical research.

>> Go to the next step: Check the application deadlines

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