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International Relations and Diplomacy

The two-year MSc Programme in International Relations and Diplomacy offers a unique blend of academic education in international relations and political science with practical graduate education and training in international negotiation and diplomacy. The progamme is offered jointly by Leiden University‘s Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Institute of Political Science and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’.
The programme is administered and managed by the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs located in the The Hague Campus. The lectures take place 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.

Format of the courses and course overview

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

First Year
The first year, students attend courses on a.o. international relations theory and methodology. The Clingendael Institute will offer courses on a.o diplomacy and practical negotiation trainings. The students will also conduct an internship.

Second year
The second year provides students with knowledge in more specific subfields such as international political economy, conflict, civil war and mediation. The students will practice research design, develop a thesis proposal and present their independent research in a thesis.

All students complete an internship at an (international) organisation. Both Leiden University 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.

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


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


The courses will mainly take place at various locations in the The Hague, mainly:

Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs
Location Wijnhaven
Turfmarkt 99 2511 DV The Hague

Location Schouwburgstraat
Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA Den Haag

The Netherlands Institute of International Relations
Clingendael 7
2597 VH Den Haag

Please note that you need to be able to show your student card or ID to access the University buildings in The Hague.