Universiteit Leiden

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Global Conflict in the Modern Era (MA)

About the programme

In the Global Conflict in the Modern Era specialisation of International Relations you will explore the security measures that have been instituted locally, regionally and globally in the modern world.

Programme structure

All specialisations (except European Union Studies) follow the same format:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Core course for your specialisation (10 EC) Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)
Preparatory course for your thesis (5 EC) Elective (10 EC)
Ideas in World Politics (5 EC) Thesis (15 EC)
Elective (10 EC)  

Preparatory course and MA thesis
The preparatory course introduces you to core conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues you meet when you initiate, research, and write your MA thesis. In addition, a series of seminars will enable you to discuss specific issues related to International Relations. Your thesis is supposed to be based on original research that speaks to the core themes of the MA International Relations.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship (optional)
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports and final thesis
  • Oral presentations

The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts and the analysis of complex conceptual problems, as well as the ability to independently conduct high-quality scientific research are key goals of the programme.

Electives/internship Global Conflict in the Modern Era

You may choose electives (20 EC total) from a wide range of specialist courses. You will also have the possibility to exchange one elective for an internship at an organisation / institution in the field of international or foreign relations, in or outside of the Netherlands.

For examples of organisations where students from the MA International Relations programme may find an internship, please check the Career preparation page.

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

Detailed programme

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

Eugenios Cusumano

University Lecturer

Eugenios Cusumano

"Security, threat, terrorism, and war are essentially contested concepts that need to be studied from different theoretical perspectives and disciplinary angles in order to be fully understood. By combining political science, history, and area studies, the programme in Global Conflict in the Modern Era at Leiden University offers unique insights into the study of today’s security crises and humanitarian emergencies."

Challenging state-centric understandings

"As a multidisciplinary programme, the Master's in International Relations offers an ideal environment to study phenomena that challenge traditional, state-centric understandings of international relations such as the increasing role of non-state actors in international security."

Debating controversial questions

"By joining the programme students will have the opportunity to engage in debates on controversial questions such as the balance between security and individual rights including privacy and freedom of movement, the appropriateness of humanitarian intervention, the extent to which migration should be considered a security issue, and the role of commercial actors in the conduct of military operations."

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