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International Relations and Diplomacy (MSc)

The two-year Advanced MSc IRD programme offers you a unique blend of academic education in international relations and political science with practical graduate education and training in international negotiation and diplomacy.

You attend a wide range of courses, develop your analytical and research skills, take on an internship, write your master’s thesis, and build your network with experts in relevant fields. Upon graduation you are prepared to take on positions in international organisations, politics, and diplomacy; or for PhD research.

Madeleine Hosli


Madeleine Hosli

“This master’s programme, offered by Leiden University in co-operation with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, provides students with a thorough education in international relations, with an additional emphasis on the academic study of international organisation and diplomacy. Each year, this programme attracts a high number of applications from international students. Leiden University has a good academic reputation internationally and the geographical proximity to The Hague appears to be an additional asset.

Leiden University has a sound international reputation. Leiden is known to offer challenging and thorough graduate-level education. The programme hosts students holding bachelor’s degrees from leading universities, including those in the U.S. and Asia, and several high-level institutes in both Western and Eastern Europe.

International organisation and international relations always seemed to be particularly fascinating areas of study, as our globe is so highly interconnected and characterised by an increasing number of non-governmental organisations, transnational actors, global communication, trade and capital flows. Only collaborative efforts are adequate to meet the most important challenges in international politics, security and economics.”

Fenna Selman

Student, Class of 2024

Fenna Selman

What makes the MSc International Relations and Diplomacy special in my opinion is that it takes teaching international relations and diplomacy to the next level by adding a pragmatic aspect to academic insights. Not only does the programme teach practical skills for example through simulations and the internship, but it also prioritizes preparing students for a competitive job market after graduation. From close and personal study guidance for every student to events and trips to facilitate networking: the Advanced MSc International Relations and Diplomacy gives you all the tools you need to jumpstart your career.

Francesco Cortese

Student, Class of 2023

Francesco Cortese

If you want to work in the world of diplomacy, The Hague is the place to be. Being the city of peace and justice, and thanks to its vibrant community consisting of international students and professionals, you will have the opportunity to create your own network and get in touch with people from all over the world. MIRD's focus on negotiation, diplomacy and international relations is crucial to better understand the difficult geopolitical situation we are currently experiencing. The teaching method manages to perfectly combine both practical and theoretical elements, giving students a solid preparation to work in governmental institutions, international organisations, NGOs.

What does this master’s programme entail?

The Advanced MSc. IRD is a programme taught jointly by Leiden University’s Institute for Security and Global Affairs (Faculty Governance and Global Affairs), the Institute of Political Science (Faculty of Social Sciences) and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

The location of The Hague is beneficial for this master’s programme in terms of substantive focus and the various links to international institutions located in this city. As one of the partners, Clingendael’s objective is to promote the understanding of international affairs, and the institute devotes special attention to European co-operation, international security, and diplomacy.

In the current era of global interdependence, collaborative efforts are needed to meet the most pressing challenges in international politics, security and economics. Increased transnational channels of communication, global trade and capital flows characterise an increasingly interconnected world of both nation states and non-state actors. The resulting challenges to global governance can be met most effectively by patterns of international and transnational co-operation and diplomacy.

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Reasons to choose International Relations and Diplomacy at Leiden University

  • You gain broad multidisciplinary perspectives in the programme, which is taught jointly by the Institute for Security and Global Affairs, the Institute of Political Science and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

  • You study in The Hague, centre of international diplomacy and ‘international city of peace and justice’.

  • The strong academic orientation of the programme and its professors is balanced by the practice-oriented insights of guest lecturers working in the field. 

Chat with a student

Do you have a question about studying at leiden University or student life in Leiden or in The Hague? Do you want more information about the International Relations and Diplomacy programme? Chat with a current student for answers to your questions!

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