Universiteit Leiden

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International Relations (MA)

About the programme

The one-year Master’s in International Relations offers an exciting and challenging mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Choose one of 5 specialisations:

Programme structure

Semester 1

Core Course (10 EC)
Humanities-Based International Relations (5 EC)
Thesis and Methods in International Relations Research (5 EC)
Electives (10 EC)

Semester 2 

Regions in World Politics (5 EC)
Thesis (15 EC)
Electives (10 EC)

Master's thesis

The Thesis and Methods course is made to prepare you for writing a Master's thesis. The course introduces you to core conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues that you encounter when you are working on your Master's thesis. On top of that, a series of seminars will focus on specific issues related to International Relations. Once you start the thesis process, you will have great freedom to choose what you want to write about. We have many thesis supervisors who have different areas of expertise.


You have the opportunity to do an internship at an organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. This experience is highly valued within international organisations. Organisations that our students have interned at include:

  • Dutch Ministry of Defense
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies around the world
  • Media outlets such as EenVandaag
  • Netherlands Permanent Mission to the United Nations
  • Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’
  • The International Centre for Counterterrorism
  • The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

Please note that you will need to find your own internship and have to follow an internship procedure for approval. Pursuing an internship may have consequences for the date of your graduation.

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