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International Relations and Diplomacy (Political Science)

The Master of Science in International Relations and Diplomacy programme offers a unique blend of academic education in international relations and political science with practical graduate education and training in the areas of international negotiation and diplomacy. In the current era of global interdependence, collaborative efforts are needed to meet the most pressing challenges in international politics, security and economics. Increased transnational channels of communication, global trade and capital flows characterise an increasingly interconnected world of both nation-states and non-state actors. Resulting challenges concerning global governance can be met most effectively by patterns of international and transnational cooperation and diplomacy.

This Master’s programme prepares students for careers specifically in international diplomacy, international governmental and non-governmental organisations, national and international public administrations, ‘think tanks’ and research institutions, international interest associations or international business.


Course overview

The academic year is divided into two semesters: September to January and February to June. The duration of the programme is 2 years.

First Year
In the first year, students attend predominantly courses in political science (theory and methodology) and international relations, with an emphasis on IR theories and Methodology. The first year also includes two modules from Clingendael and the internship.

Second year
The second year provides students with knowledge in more specific subfields such as political economy, civil wars/insurgency and in the area of diplomacy and international organisations as well as insight into the practice of international negotiation and diplomacy.

All students complete an internship at an (international) organisation. Both the Political Science Department and Clingendael have contacts with international and domestic organisations including the institutions of the European Union and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme’s Internship Coordinator will assist students in finding internships and is available for consultation from the beginning of the first year for those with clear ideas of their internship objectives or for those seeking guidance and advice.

The Department reserves the right to alter or cancel courses. Participants will receive due notice of any changes in the programme that may be deemed necessary.

Please note that due to a change in the curriculum, the second year program for the cohort of 2011-2013 differs slightly from the one to be offerend for the cohort 2012-2014.


The course load is specified in terms of European Credit Transfer System (EC) points. One credit point is equivalent to 28 hours of study, including lectures, reading, preparing for tests and examinations, and writing papers. A typical course consists of either 10 or 5 EC. One year of study usually totals but can exceed 60 EC.

Most classes are taught in a seminar format where participants are required to prepare for and attend all class sessions. Since the programme involves classroom work as well as individual research, there is often close consultation between students and faculty.

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

Please note that some courses will take place at locations of Campus The Hague (at which you also need to be able to show your student card or ID):

Stichthage (is located on top of the Central Station)
Koningin Julianaplein 10
2595 AA Den Haag
13th floor (take the escalator (moving staircase) in the Central Station up to the reception (on the left!) and then take the elevator to the 13th floor)

Lange Houtstraat 5-7
2501 EE Den Haag

Lange Voorhout 44
2501 EE Den Haag

First Year

This is the first year programme for students who will start the International Relations and Diplomacy Master programme in September 2012.

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

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block 1

International Relations: Theory and Approaches 10
Qualitative Research Methods 5

Block 2

Conflict and Conflict Resolution 10
Quantitative Research Methods 5

Block 3

Trends in Diplomacy Today 5
International Negotiation 5
European Integration 5

Block 4

Internship 15

Second Year

This is the second year programme for students who started the International Relations and Diplomacy Master programme in September 2011. Please note that this program only applies to the cohort 2011-2013

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

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Block 1

Civil War 10
Global Governance and the Future of the State 5

Block 2

International Law 10
Diplomacy in East Asia 5

Block 3

International Political Economy 10
International Relations and Diplomacy Master Thesis Lab 5

Block 4: Thesis

International Relations and Diplomacy Master Thesis 15

More info

Our two-year programme is offered jointly by the Political Science Department of Leiden University and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael in the Hague. Leiden has long pursued an international orientation and The Hague hosts a large number of international institutions and organisations, among them the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the Yugoslavia Tribunal, and Europol.