Universiteit Leiden

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European Politics and Society (MA)

About the programme

With European Politics and Society you will be at the forefront of a new approach to understanding how the fields of European politics, contemporary history, culture, economy, international relations and policy making are linked.

For a more detailed programme, see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ. 

Credit structure

EPS is a two-year Master’s Programme. The number of credits (ECTS) students must obtain in order to obtain the Master diploma is equally divided among four semesters: the total of ECTS for the programme is 120, 30 ECTS per semester in the first year and 30 per semester in the second year.

The EPS Programme is a two-year Master’s Programme divided into four semesters. All students spend the first semester in Prague, ensuring you have the opportunity to meet with the full cohort of your peers. Before the beginning of the first semester, you participate in the Prague Introductory week, where you meet the academic coordinators and faculty staff. During the first semester, you take compulsory courses only. This semester serves as an Introduction to the Master’s Programme. It is based mainly on methodology and an introduction to the main challenges faced by Europe today as well as the key academic disciplines relevant to their understanding. At the end of the first semester, you begin the process of selecting the topic of your Master’s thesis, with the assistance of academic coordinators from Charles University.

In the first semester, all students will also travel to Brussels, for the Brussels field trip,  a 2-3 day event to meet experts from EU (and other related) institutions.

For the second semester, you will have two options: Leiden or Krakow. This semester also contains a number of compulsory courses that cover different areas of EU studies and relevant ideas. In addition, you can prepare for your own specialisation by choosing from a range of facultative courses and language training. The compulsory Research Methods course is designed to ensure students further develop their critical analytical skills in order to interrogate and critique the secondary and primary sources they encounter in their studies. This is also the course where students progress their ideas for their thesis, delivering a research proposal in which they set out their research question/hypothesis, review relevant literature and articulate their research design.   

Towards the end of the second semester, all students participate in an online Research Seminar. Students present their MA thesis project plans to their peers and academic staff from the partner universities. This offers students an invaluable opportunity to test their ideas and receive a wider range of feedback from other students and academic experts.

For the second year of the EPS Programme, you may choose between the universities that constitute the EPS consortiumCharles University in Prague (Czech Republic), Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland), Leiden University (Netherlands) and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona (Spain). Students cannot, however, remain at the university of their second semester.

During the two final semesters, you will have a wide choice of facultative courses that reflect the added value of each member of the consortium – areas of academic expertise of these universities in terms of course offerings and research. These fields are the following: Traditions and Future of a Multilevel Europe (Prague), Policymaking in the EU (Barcelona), Centre and Periphery (Krakow) and Europe in the International Environment (Leiden). If you take your second year in Leiden, Prague or Krakow there is an obligatory internship of 15 ECTS with an international organization or company. Barcelona has a more scientific specialization and you concentrate on research skills.  In January, between the third and fourth semesters, students travel to Barcelona for the Barcelona Research Seminar.

Students devote the bulk of their final semester to the thesis, working closely with the MA thesis seminar teacher (where applicable) and their academic supervisor. In April, selected second year students participate in the Oxford Spring School, a unique student event and academic experience, thanks to the partnership with the Europaeum, a network of 18 leading European universities.

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