Political Science: Nederlandse Politiek (The Hague), 2018-2019

In deze masterspecialisatie staat de dynamiek van de Nederlandse politiek centraal. In het hart van de nationale politiek leer je de strijd om de macht in Nederland te doorgronden.

Wat is er toch aan de hand met Nederland? – die vraag klinkt steeds vaker in nationale en internationale kringen. Vroeger leek Nederland zo stabiel met zijn consensuspolitiek. Nu beleeft het turbulente tijden met de opkomst van populistische partijen, beweeglijke kiezers, moeizame coalitieonderhandelingen, islam-discussies, vallende wethouders, euroscepsis en ga zo maar door. De masterspecialisatie Nederlandse politiek biedt je de uitgelezen mogelijkheid om grondig te analyseren wat er nu écht gaande is, zodat je vervolgens als journalist, consultant, parlementair medewerker, ambtenaar, diplomaat, raadslid of leraar daarmee je voordeel kan doen. Je wordt begeleid door kenners van nationale en lokale politiek. En dat in het centrum van de macht: Den Haag. Daar kan je je wetenschappelijke inzichten meteen toetsen aan de praktijk. Voor het programma is kennis van het Nederlands nodig. Daardoor kan je je goed verdiepen in de veerkracht van politieke instituties in het heden en verleden, en in de uitdagingen voor de landelijke en lokale democratie. Het programma biedt daarnaast gelegenheid om de internationale positie van Nederland te analyseren, ook in vergelijkend perspectief.

Preliminary Info

We advise you to try to complete your Studielink registration as soon as possible in order to be able to use all university facilities and to complete your course registration in uSis. Your acceptance to the university should be “unconditional” before your classes start.

Registration for courses (February 2019 start)

In their first semester students follow two Mandatory Courses and two Seminars. Registration for these courses will be taken care of by the SSC in January 2019.

In the second semester (September 2019-January 2020) students follow a Thesis Seminar (20 EC) plus a Core Course (10 EC).

Please note that official course registration in uSis does not lead to automatic Blackboard enrollment. You must enroll yourself on Blackboard for your courses. Click this link for instructions.

Registration for courses (September 2018 start)

In the 1st semester students follow two Common Courses, one Core Course and one Seminar. Registration takes place by the Student Services Centre (SSC) in the Hague in August 2018.

In the 2nd semester students follow one Seminar, the Thesis Seminar or the Internship Project and Seminar. Students register themselves for the Thesis Seminar of their specialistion from 17 December 2018, 10:00 a.m. until 26 December 10:00 a.m.

Please note that official course registration in uSis does not lead to automatic Blackboard enrollment. You must enroll yourself on Blackboard for your courses. Click this link for instructions.

Course and Examination Regulations


Career Preparation Module


You have chosen the Master Political Science. But what’s next once you are a freshly graduated political scientist? Where do we find political scientists on the job market? Political Science does not lead to one specific profession. You find political scientists in many different fields on the job market. Political Science alumni work for the Dutch government, for the media, in international organisations, at embassies, in academia or they start their own business in consultancy. Preparing for the job market starts during your studies by reflecting on your own wishes, your possibilities, and of course your capacities. There are many choices to make on the basis of that. The choices you make, already during your studies – the courses you take, the (research) assignments you conduct, the (extra) activities you do, the questions you ask yourself – all give direction to your future career. This module on Career Preparation pays attention to important components of a student’s career orientation and preparation for the job market.


Important questions to ask yourself when preparing for the job market are: ‘What do I want?’; ‘What abilities do I already have?’ ; ‘What capacities should I obtain?’ and ‘How do I achieve my goals?’ The objectives of this module on Career Preparation are:
• Teaching students practical skills - academic skills that help them to complete their studies successfully and professional skills that help them prepare for their further career.
• Learning about the different fields that political science graduates find jobs in, and on the basis of this knowledge, making informed choices in one’s study career that correspond to one’s personal capacities and wishes for one’s future career.
• Gaining work experience and obtaining job search and application skills such as composing a good CV, writing an effective application letter, building a network, and doing a successful job interview.
• Learning to reflect upon one’s abilities and learning how to successfully link the knowledge, skills and experience (such as work experience from an internship at a relevant organisation) that one obtains during the master studies to one’s possibilities and wishes for a future career.

Methods of Instruction

The module on Career Preparation consists of several components spread throughout the whole year of the master studies: an Introductory session, various workshops and events, a Skills course, an optional Internship Track, assignments and activities within regular master courses, and elective modules and workshops that students may take in the extra-curricular space. Within each component the focus lies on different questions and topics. Partly, the assignments and activities are integrated in regular courses of the master programme, for instance by means of the Advanced Academic and Professional Skills course (5 EC) during the first semester of your programme; or by Political Science alumni offering guest lectures during a master seminar, telling students about their experiences on the job market; or by practical assignments such as writing policy papers, advisory reports, case studies, etc. Also the opportunity of doing the Internship Track (30 EC) during which students do an internship for three months, giving students the opportunity to gain practical experience in an (international) organization, is a component of the master programme that fits into the module on Career Preparation. This component i.e. the Internship Track is further described below and in the e-Prospectus on the website.

Programme Module Career Preparation:

The Module on Career Preparation exists of four components, each of which will be elaborated on below. The four components are:

1) Plenary sessions (co-curricular)
2) Skills education (curricular)
3) Courses that include components that are linked to Career Preparation (curricular)
4) Workshops and events (extra-curricular)

Useful links:

Career Service Leiden University
Leiden University Career Zone
Career Services Workshops & Events
Application Skills

Ad1. Plenary sessions

In the 1st week of September a welcome meeting with the Director of Studies takes place. Within this plenary session the Director of Studies introduces the Political Science master programme and the Module on Career Preparation with a specific focus on the Skills course within the curriculum and the career events and activities that are organized by the student association SPIL. Representatives from SPIL will introduce themselves and tell about their activities during this plenary session.
Trainings are organised by the Career Service of the Faculty of Social Sciences. They are all about teaching students the practical skills that they need to be able to powerfully present themselves in an application letter (and in their LinkedIn-career profile) and during a job interview, and to enhance their chances on the job market and as such help them reach their goals.

Ad2. Skills education

Advanced Academic and Professional Skills (5 EC)
Within the course “Advanced Academic and Professional Skills” students train a set of practical skills that are essential for their future career. Whether one pursues a career in academia or in politics, in government or in NGO’s, in media or consultancy, these skills are imperative for any graduated political scientist.
During this skills course students learn to develop thoughtful, interesting, and well-designed research projects and to improve their skills in persuasively presenting the ideas behind, as well as the findings resulting from, their research.
Students work together on developing compelling research questions, devise sound schemes for conducting the research necessary to answer those questions, and, ultimately, follow through with the research itself. Students will acquire the skills required to give a talk in front of a critical audience by giving a presentation, while being recorded, based on their own research and discuss it with peers.
Students also practice their writing skills in a specific political genre; they learn how to write a policy paper which is the core course assignment.

Optional Internship Track (30 EC)
Students who choose for the Internship Track within the master Political Science will be given the opportunity to do a research internship with for instance an NGO, interest group, government or international organisation, political party or media organisation (see the Course Information on Blackboard). This is the perfect opportunity for students to gain practical experience and to set up a network that can help them later on when they start as applicants on the job market after graduating from their studies.
During their internship at the organisation students implement a research project relevant to the organisation or its activities. The internship is concluded with an internship report that includes a reflection on the internship in light of the academic study of political science, and on the contribution of the internship to the development of professional skills. It is followed by a three month internship project seminar in which the student will write his or her thesis on the research project. This research paper invokes theory to help answer a clearly formulated question (or hypothesis) on the basis of data that was systematically collected at the internship organisation.

Optional Skills Lab modules in the extra-curricular space:
The Faculty of Social Sciences offers a Skills Academy where you can pick workshops that best match your career goals. Do you want to explore your personal trajectory toward meaningful work? Gain insight into your personal competences? Train practical skills in consultancy, project management, entrepreneurship, and leadership? Join the Skills Academy! The course ends with formulating your vision on your future. Upon successful completion of the academy you receive an official certificate. Read more.

Ad3. Courses with components that are linked to Career Preparation

Several courses from the Master Political Science contain components (i.e. lectures about the working field by political science alumni) and/or assignments (i.e. writing of policy memos, case studies, advisory reports) that are relevant to the students’ orientation on the job market and preparation for their further career. Please find an overview of these courses as an Appendix to this document.

Ad 4. Workshops and Events

On top of the curricular and co-curricular activities students are invited within the Module on Career Preparation to take part in the following events:
1) Workshops such as ‘Self-Assessment’ and ‘Career Orientation’ and the Career Colleges such as ‘Working as a Trainee’, ‘Working as a researcher’, ‘Working in Policy’, and ‘Working in Consultancy’, offered by the Career Service.
3) The SPIL-LAP Career Event where students are speed dating with Political Science alumni and as such can build a network with alumni from several parts of the job market. This event is organised by the political science study association (SPIL) and the Political Science Alumni Association (LAP). This event is organized in April;
4) The Career Orientation Day (FLO) of the Faculty of Social Sciences, offered by the Career Service, where special attention is paid to helping students to develop a strong career profile for the job market. This day is organized in March.


The module on Career Preparation is a compulsory component of the master programme. Courses or programme components in which professional skills are taught and practiced are mandatory for students. Attendance is required and assignments (if applicable) need to be successfully completed. Students are expected to attend components such as the plenary session and the Career Day, but these are not rewarded with credits. The master courses in which academic and professional skills are taught and practiced, such as Advanced Academic and Professional Skills and the (optional) Internship Track do generate credits for students. Also components offered in regular master courses that are linked to career preparation (such as the writing of policy memos, case studies, advisory reports, etc.) are rewarded with credits via successful completion of those courses.

Study materials

There is no need to acquire study materials for the Module on Career Preparation. Information and assignments are provided during the meetings (or through E-mail/Blackboard).


Career Preparation Political Science (CPPS-POL-0000FSW)


Drs. A. Caubo (Leiden master specialisations), caubo@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
Drs. E. Blom (The Hague master specialisations), e.j.m.blom@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

NB. The activities on Career Preparation are organised in cooperation with the Career Service of the Faculty of Social Sciences. For more information or specific events of the Career Service

Leiden University Career Service
Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences Career Service
Leiden University Career Zone

Appendix: Master courses that include components linked to Career Preparation

Several courses from the Master Political Science contain components (i.e. lectures about the working field by political science alumni) and/or assignments (i.e. writing of policy memos, case studies, advisory reports) that are relevant to the students’ orientation on the job market and preparation for their further career. Examples:

  • The Politics of Policy-Making: guest lectures
  • Great Debates in Political Science: guest lectures
  • Crisis Management: Assignment crisis simulation
  • Applying Game Theory in International Relations: Assignments application of game theory on problems and situations in the field of International Relations

Start September 2018

Welcome meeting master NP and IO:

We would like to invite our new MSc students to a welcome meeting on Monday, September 3, 2018. The meeting will take place from 10.00-10.30 a.m. in Wijnhaven Building, room 3.60. During this meeting you will be informed about the Institute and the programme.

The first lecture , 'Great Debates', will be also on Monday 3 September, 11:00-13:00 in Stichthage building, above the Central Station (13th floor). This is within walking distance from Wijnhaven.

For information about registration please consult the Preliminary Info

Start February 2019

Welcome meeting Master NP and IO; February start:

We would like to invite our new MSc students to a welcome meeting on Monday, 4 February 2019. The meeting will take place from 10.00-10.30h in Wijnhaven Building, room 2.58. During this meeting you will be informed about the Institute and the programme.

The first lecture , 'Great Debates in Poliitcal Science', will also be on Monday 4 February, 11:00-13:00 in Schouwburgstraat B4.02, a few minutes walk from Wijnhaven. The first lecture of 'The Politics of Policy Making' follows from 15:00-17:00 on the same day in the same room.

As of the academic year 2019-2020, the specialisation Nederlandse Politiek will be offered from our main campus in Leiden. This means that your core course Nederlandse Politieke Instituties and your Thesis Seminar Nederlandse Politiek in semester 2 (Academic year 2019-2020) will be offered in Leiden.

For information about registration please consult the Preliminary Info

Competency Requirements

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.