Political Science (Leiden), 2010-2011

General Information

The Leiden Master programme in Political Science aims to provide its students with a deep and comprehensive understanding of political issues, studied from the perspective of one of its subfields. Due to its wide scope of academic expertise, the Department of Political Science is capable of offering students an in-depth training in the most important (empirical and normative) subdisciplines of political science. In this programme we give students, within the one-year curriculum, the opportunity to study a specialisation within a broader subject area. Thus, students will be well prepared for a variety of careers in politics and public service, the media, non-profit organisations, consultancy, and (inter)national business, as well as further academic work in Political Science (e.g. a PhD programme). The so-called ‘tracks’ are the following:

• Dutch Politics
• Comparative Politics & Democracy
• International Relations
• Political Philosophy
• Political Behaviour & Communication

In this Master’s programme, students acquire knowledge of the state of the art in Political Science. Alongside the current approaches and theories in the main subfields, the new insights or paradigms that may replace more traditional concerns will be addressed. The programme starts with courses on the current level of scientific advancements and achievements in Political Science and its subdisciplines. Students will become acquainted with important classical and recently published studies and the milestones of contemporary work in the main subfields of Political Science. They will examine the frontiers of theoretical knowledge in Political Science. A combination of seminars and the thesis work will provide students with a strong critical grounding in the core issues of both political science and politics. In this way, they acquire the capacity for actively engaging in explaining and/or evaluating political phenomena. Their comprehensive knowledge and critical insight into their field of study enable students to formulate key questions in political science. Students learn to view theory and theory-testing as an integral part of understanding politics. The result of the programme will be that they are capable of producing instead of consuming knowledge.

At the end of the programme, students obtain a Master of Science degree in Political Science. The diploma supplement includes the specific subfield in which they have specialised (Dutch Politics, Comparative Politics & Democracy, International Relations, Political Philosophy or Political Behaviour & Communication).

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 .

Program Information

The Master program in Political Science contains five sub-disciplinary tracks of which students choose one:

• Dutch Politics
• Comparative Politics & Democracy
• International Relations
• Political Philosophy
• Political Behaviour & Communication

The tracks offer students the opportunity to specialize in one of the subfields of political science. The specialization within the master’s program requires a minimum of 45 ects in one specific sub-discipline or track. At least two out of three seminars should be within one track, including the seminar in the third block, plus the colloquium (second block) and the thesis seminar.

At the start of the academic year students will be asked by the secretariat to submit their choice for one of the five sub-disciplinary tracks. At the end of the first block, i.e., at the end of October, students who want to change from one to another track have the opportunity to do so. Changes later in the academic year are not possible.

Seminars in the first block will be relatively broad and do count for at least two tracks; seminars in the second block may count for two or more tracks but do not necessarily do so; seminars in the third block are track-specific and count for one track only. As a result the program offers a relatively broad start and the opportunities for specialization are optimized by the funnel-shaped structure below.

Registration

Students have to submit their choice for a seminar course in block I to the secretariat before the start of the academic year. You can send an e-mail with your choice to onderwijspol@fsw.leidenuniv.nl between 16 August 10.00 a.m. and 27 August 4.00 p.m. If fewer than 5 students register for a seminar, we cannot guarantee that it will take place.

Please note that seminars have a maximum of 20 students. Assignment to a particular seminar is on a first come first served basis. The time at which your e-mail is received by our secretariat is crucial. It will be handled in the order in which it is received. E-mails received before 10 a.m. will not be handled.

General structure Leiden Master of Science in Political Science, academic year 2010-2011

block 1

Political Science: State of the Art

Seminar 1

block 2

Colloquium *

Seminar 2

block 3

Thesis seminar I: Research design and thesis proposal < track>*

Seminar 3 *

block 4

Thesis seminar II: Thesis *

Specialization in one political science sub-disciplinary track requires completion of the courses marked with an *, plus at least one of the two remaining seminars within the specific subfield.

Thesis Information

MSc Thesis Seminar Procedure 2010-2011

To ensure timely completion of the Master thesis, it is essential for students to follow the steps as described subsequently and as shown in the time table below. Attendance is compulsory in all meetings of the thesis seminar. It is strongly recommended that students start thinking about the topic of their MSc thesis at an early stage.

Working on the research proposal

During the study period in January, students are expected to read the literature for their thesis seminar as announced on Blackboard by their thesis seminar teacher. Students should also individually search for literature and background information concerning their specific research topics. Students must use the assigned literature to start working on their research proposal that will be further developed in the first part of the thesis seminar (block 3). Actual supervision starts in February with the start of the thesis seminar classes (block 3).

Thesis seminar classes

Attendance is compulsory in the thesis seminar classes. Participation in the thesis seminar classes, the assignments for these classes, and the final version of the research proposal constitute the ‘practical part’ of the course and are all mandatory. The final grade for the thesis seminar is based on the grade received for the thesis. It is of utmost importance that students attend all seminar classes and have a thesis proposal of high quality and academic standards finalized during the first part of the thesis seminar (block 3).

Submitting final version of research proposal

The deadline for submitting the final version of the research proposal (through Ephorus and in print) is Friday, March 18, 2011. An approved proposal is essential for the start of the thesis-writing process. Although students may continue working on their thesis without a formally approved proposal, they are then doing so ‘on their own’ (thesis seminar teachers are no longer obliged to provide supervision) and without a formally approved plan for their thesis backing up their research. The proposal must be approved by the supervisor and by a second reader. The second reader will be designated by the Director of Studies. Once the supervisor and second reader accept the research proposal (on or before Friday, March 25, 2011), a copy of the proposal, signed by the supervisor and the second reader, is submitted to the Political Science secretariat as part of the student’s file of academic records. If a proposal is not completed in time or not approved, a record on this will be deposited in the student’s file of records.

Working on first complete draft of the Master thesis

After the approval of the research proposal by their supervisor and the second reader, students work on their thesis individually for about six weeks. During this phase, students have individual and/or group meetings with their supervisor. A number of meetings and subsequent revisions may be needed before the thesis is considered to meet the required academic standards. The deadline for submitting the first complete draft of the thesis (through Ephorus and in print) is Friday, May 6, 2011.

Submitting final version of Master thesis

In the days following submission, until Monday, May 16, the thesis seminar teacher will read the first complete draft of the thesis (from 16 until 18 May feedback and comments on the first complete draft will be given). During this period, students can double-check various aspects of their thesis, such as references, bibliography, data or facts, preparing for last corrections on their work. Between May 20 and June 6, students revise their thesis according to the comments and feedback received by their supervisor. The deadline for submitting the final version of the Master thesis (through Ephorus and in print) is Monday, June 6, 2011. Students submit this final version to their supervisor and to their second reader. Students also submit one extra bound hardcopy to the secretariat. The supervisor and second reader (both members of the departmental faculty) together decide on the final grade for the thesis. This final grade is communicated to students by Monday, June 27, 2011.

Final meeting with supervisor

On June 28 or 29, students have a final meeting with their supervisor to discuss the thesis and its assessment. The final grade received is submitted to the Political Science secretariat by the supervisor and is added to the student’s file of academic records.

Important!

It is extremely important that students follow the deadlines as indicated here (also see the time table below). If the thesis (seminar) is not finalized with a passing grade before the end of June, students will have to retake the complete thesis seminar in the 2nd semester of the next academic year. If the student is unable to complete the master thesis by the deadline due to circumstances beyond his/her control, a suitable solution will be sought by the Exam Committee after consultation with the student.

In exceptional circumstances, students may be allowed by the Exam Committee to complete the thesis seminar in the autumn, provided that they have met all other obligations of the master and the thesis seminar, as demonstrated amongst others by an approved research proposal and the submission of a first complete version of the thesis. Where necessary, the supervision of the master thesis may be continued by someone other than the first supervisor, and the research proposal may have to be adjusted in consultation with the new supervisor.

Time Table MSc Thesis Seminar 2010/2011

January 2010

Students study literature list (announced on Blackboard) and start working on their research proposal.

Monday 31 January 2011

Start of thesis seminar classes and actual supervision (block 3).

Friday 18 March 2011

Deadline Students submit revised and final version of research proposal to the thesis seminar teacher and second reader.

21-25 March 2011

Final version of research proposal approved by thesis seminar teacher and second reader.

26 March-5 May 2011

Time period devoted to individual work on the thesis, including individual and/or small group meetings.

Friday 6 May 2011

Deadline Students submit the first complete draft of their Master thesis.

16-18 May 2011

Feedback and comments on first complete draft thesis by supervisor.

19 May-5 June 2011

Revision of the thesis.

Monday 6 June 2011

Deadline Students submit the final version of the Master thesis to the supervisor and the second reader.

Monday 27 June 2011

Supervisor and second reader decide on the grade for the thesis, sign the evaluation report and inform the student about this outcome.

Tuesday 28 or Wednesday 29 June 2011

Final meeting with supervisor.

Requirements

• The MSc Political Science program requires the writing of a thesis (20 ECTS points) as the final product of a thesis seminar, in addition to successful completion of the five courses. In general, the number of words of the thesis must be between 16.000 and 20.000, including tables, footnotes and bibliography.

• Working on the MSc thesis starts with writing a research proposal. The research proposal must include a problem statement, theoretical foundation, conceptualization and, if applicable, operationali¬zation of key variables, and present the methodology and techniques for data collection and analysis.

• The MSc thesis needs to comply with high standards of academic research and writing. It is important that the thesis is consistent, clear and original in the sense of constituting an own contribution to ongoing research. In various courses offered in this program, students learn how to conduct research and how to write academic papers. Among the criteria used to evaluate the thesis are its originality, consistency, academic (and, if applicable, societal) relevance, the choice of an adequate theoretical framework, the correct application of analytical methods, the quality of the data collection, and the presentation of the text.

Comparative Politics

This information is subject to change. Please check the Political Science website regularly before the start of the new academic year.

Dutch Politics

This information is subject to change. Please check the Political Science website regularly before the start of the new academic year.

International Relations

This information is subject to change. Please check the Political Science website regularly before the start of the new academic year.

Political Behaviour & Communication

This information is subject to change. Please check the Political Science website regularly before the start of the new academic year.

Political Philosophy

This information is subject to change. Please check the Political Science website regularly before the start of the new academic year.

Competency Requirements

This information does not apply to former Leiden Political Science bachelors

The Master Political Science Admission Committee requests that applicants demonstrate competency in several sub-fields of Political Science and in Research Design & Measurement in the Social Sciences. You can find the specific competency requirements that were assigned to you on your Statement of Admission.

As regards the Research Design and Measurement in the Social Sciences, 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 courses from the regular Master of Science programme. The full conversion course comprises 5 ECTS. This conversion course is not part of the regular curriculum of the Master of Science programme. Information on its contents and schedule is displayed in the course description .

As for the other sub-fields of Political Science competency should be demonstrated by taking an exam on the basis of a literature list (self study). Examination is either by oral or by written exam.

Examination

Exams take place on 7, 8, 9 or 10th of September 2010.

Re-examinations take place on 17, 18 or 19th of January 2011.

Students must contact the professor (see below) for the specific time and place of the exam. Please note that it is the responsibility of the student to arrange the appointment for the exam (and re-examination) on the dates mentioned above.

Competency requirement: Comparative Politics
Teacher: Prof. Dr. I. van Biezen
Mail address: i.c.van.biezen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self-study of the following literature:
Gallagher, Laver en Mair (2006). Representative Government in Modern Europe. McGraw Hill, 4e ed.

Competency requirement: Dutch Politics
Teacher: Dr. K. Vossen
Mail address: kvossen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self-study of the following literature:
R.B. Andeweg & G.A. Irwin, Governance and Politics in the Netherlands. London/New York, 2009 (3e druk)

Competency requirement: International Politics
Teacher: Dr. L. Seymour
Mail address: seymourljm@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self-study of the following literature:
Christian Reus-Smit and Duncan Snidal (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, Oxford University Press, 2008; Chapters 1, 7, 11, 15, 17, 42.

Competency requirement: Political Psychology
Teacher: Prof. Dr. R.B. Andeweg
Mail address: andeweg@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self-study of the following literature:
Cottam, M. L. and B. Dietz-Uhler, E. Mastors, Th. Preston (eds.) (2004), Introduction to Political Psychology, Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, ISBN 0.8058.3770.1

Competency requirement: Political Philosophy
Teacher: Dr. P. Nieuwenburg
Mail address: pnieuwenburg@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self study of the following literature:
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 1971; Chapters 1-3; chapter 4, sections 33-5; 39; 40; chapter 7,sections 66-7; chapter 8, section 77; chapter 9, sections 78-9; 82;85-6.

Competency requirement: European Integration
Teacher: Dr. H.V. Vollaard
Mail address: vollaard@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self study of the following literature:
M. Cini (ed.), European Union Politics. Oxford University Press.

Competency requirement: Rational Choice Theory
Teacher: Dr. H. Pellikaan
Mail address: pellikaan@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Self-study of the following literature:
Andrew Hindmoor (2006) Rational Choice. Palgrave Macmillan: Political Analysis serie

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