Political Science (Leiden), 2014-2015

The Leiden Master’s programme in Political Science: Conflict and Cooperation aims to provide students with a deep and comprehensive understanding of political issues. The political science department has a long tradition of studying how political conflicts can be resolved in both national and international contexts, whether it is through Lijphart’s model of power sharing in divided societies, or through other institutional frameworks such as federalism. The programme provides theoretical knowledge but also seeks to build bridges between theory and practice for national and international political issues. Students develop advanced academic and professional skills. Besides core courses on Conflict & Cooperation and Advanced Academic Skills, the programme offers elective seminars on a broad range of themes. Students may opt to complete the program with a thesis or an internship which includes a substantive research report.

Preliminary Info

Students starting in September: read the information on this page carefully before continuing

Registration for elective seminars
Registration is possible from Tuesday 19 August 10.00 a.m. until Sunday 24 August. Please send an email with your full name, student number and your preference for 2 seminars in the first semester to instituutsbureaupolwet@fsw.leidenuniv.nl. You will receive an auto-reply with a confirmation that we have received your email. You will be informed about the seminars for which you have been registered before September 1.

Please note that each seminar has a maximum number of participants and we cannot guarantee placement in the seminars of your choice. If fewer than 5 students register for a seminar, we cannot guarantee that it will take place. Assignment to a seminar is on a first come first served basis. The time at which your email is received by the secretariat is crucial. In case you cannot be assigned to your preference(s) due to capacity considerations, we will contact you.

Registration for core courses
For ‘The Classics’ course students do not need to register. The Institute’s secretariat will place students in workgroups after the first collective class meeting in which the procedure will be explained to you.
For the ‘Advanced Skills’ workgroups students need to register in Usis in October.

Optional: Transferring to the Research Master

It is possible to apply for transfer to the Research Master after the first semester of the MSc Political Science. Students who want to switch need to fulfill the admissions requirements of the research master: http://www.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/political-science-research/en/entry-requirements. Application deadline for students who want to switch to the research master once they have started in the Master Political Science is December 1 (online application system on the above mentioned website). We strongly advise students who consider transferring from the Master Political Science to the Research Master to take the two elective seminars that are recommended for the Research Master in their first semester (see e-Prospectus). Students should mention that they are considering a switch to the Research Master in the email with their seminar preferences to the Institute Secretariat. Please make an appointment with study advisor Drs. Alma Caubo in case you have any questions and/or want to discuss your concerns.

Start September 2014

Welcome Meeting

On Monday 1 September 2014, from 10.15-11.00 hrs there will be an official welcome meeting in room 1A20 for all our new master students. We would also like to invite you to join us in the Political Science Common Room (fifth floor) for a cup of tea after your first class. The meetings are both held in the Pieter de la Court Building (Faculty of Social Science).

The program information in the e-prospectus is subject to change. We advise students to check the e-prospectus pages regularly throughout the academic year.

Start February 2014

The program information in the e-prospectus is subject to change. We advise students to check the e-prospectus pages regularly throughout the academic year.

Start February 2015

The program information in the e-prospectus is subject to change. We advise students to check the e-prospectus pages regularly throughout the academic year.

Competency Requirements

Competency Requirements (Not for Leiden Political Science bachelors)

The Master Political Science Admissions Committee may have requested that the applicant demonstrates competency in Research Design & Measurement in the Social Sciences. You can find this on your Statement of Admission.

This competency should be demonstrated by completing the conversion course Research Design & Measurement in the Social Sciences. This conversion course will be offered by the Institute of Political Science and may be followed along with the other courses from the regular Master of Science programme. The full conversion course comprises 5 ECTS credits. This conversion course is not part of the regular curriculum of the Master of Science programme.

Transitional Regulation

Regulations for students from earlier academic years

  1. Students who have not successfully completed the course ‘Political Science: Approaches and Concepts’ (5 ects) must successfully complete the course ‘Conflict and Cooperation: the Classics’ (5 ects).

  2. Students who have not successfully completed the course ‘Colloquium’ (5 ects) of their specific specialisation must successfully complete the course ‘Advanced Academic and Professional Skills’ (5 ects).

Meer info

Core Modules

The Master Political Science offers two core modules:

Conflict and Cooperation: Classics will address contemporary political conflict, the philosophical approaches to political conflict and the nature and effectiveness of political institutions in resolving political conflict. Major classic works in political science will be studied. Advanced Academic and Professional Skills aims at advancing the skills for various professions at an academic level, such as policy advisor, civil servant, or political assistant, whether in NGOs, interest groups, political parties or government and international agencies. The seminar will focus on oral skills and written skills, which will be applied during the classes.

Specialization through Choice: Build your own Profile

The master program in Conflict and Cooperation allows students to specialize through their own choices of seminars (subject to availability). Students will gain advanced knowledge on a variety of empirical or normative approaches in political science. Seminar topics range from human rights, conflict management, distributive justice to political conflict and the media to elections and coalitions in a national context. Students may opt to complete the program with a thesis or an internship which includes a substantive research report.


Those opting for a thesis will follow the Thesis Seminar during the second semester. In the Thesis Seminar students apply theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills to a theme related to conflict and cooperation. Preparations for the thesis start during the month of January (designated for self-study). The thesis may take the form of a theoretical analysis, literature study, quantitative or qualitative empirical research, or a case study. Students write a thesis on the findings of individual research (length between 12.000 and 16.000 words).


The teachers that are mentioned in each course are appointed by the Board of Examiners to conduct examinations.

The Department expects the highest scholarly effort and achievement from students. Students’ academic work will be evaluated per assignment and per course. This includes both oral and written assignments. Timely completion of degree requirements is expected.

More information

More information on grading, graduation and other information can be found on the website of Political Science.

More information on the entry requirements of the programme can be found on Masters in Leiden.

More information about a variety of subjects can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Please contact the Student Services Center Faculty of Social Science for administrative affairs such as a certified transcript or a statement of registration.