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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, 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
    In the first year, students attend courses on such as international relations theory and methodology. The Clingendael Institute will offer courses on diplomacy and practical negotiation trainings. The students 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 etc.. The students practice research design, develop a thesis proposal and present their independent research in a thesis.

The programme also offers various electives for both the years. These electives cover niche subfield such as non-western approaches to diplomacy, advanced research methods to name a few. The students get to choose one elective in the first year and two electives in the second year. Electives are subject to change and their availability is contingent upon minimum threshold of 5 students registering for the course being passed.

All students are required to complete an internship . 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 assists students in finding internships and is available for consultation.
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 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 The Hague

Koningin Julianaplein 10 (13th floor)
2595 AA The Hague

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