M.Sc. Political Science

Leiden University

Application deadline: September start: June 15 (Dutch applicants); April 1 (International applicants); February start: December 1 (Dutch); October 15 (International)
Tuition fee:
  • € 1,906 / Year (EEA)
  • € 15,800 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The MSc in Political Science aims to provide its students with a deep and comprehensive understanding of political issues, focusing on the theme of Conflict and Cooperation.

Conflict and Cooperation
Conflict and cooperation, however opposed these concepts may seem, are the most important ingredients of politics. This holds true whether you look at the political order from a national or an international perspective. The Institute of Political Science of Leiden University is proud to present a Masters in Political Science with the theme of Conflict and Cooperation (start September 2013). This Masters programme offers students modules and seminars with an (inter)national Conflict and Cooperation focus.

Why Political Science in Leiden?
* We offer a programme that presents the opportunity to create your own profile.
* This Masters has a unique curriculum in the sense that it gives you the possibility to advance your academic and professional skills.
* Every seminar or module of the Masters programme is approached from a disciplinary focus, including the methods employed in political science.
* As one of the largest institutes in Europe, Leidens Institute of Political Science encompasses a wide range of research interests.
* The academic staff teaching at the Institute of Political Science is international and skilled in many different areas of political science.
* The city of Leiden is a very popular student city, with a vibrant student life.

Because of its wide scope of academic expertise, the Institute of Political Science is capable of offering students an in-depth training in the most important subdisciplines of political science. The programme posits that functions in various applied settings academia, government, public administration, politics, international organisations, media, consultancy, interest associations, non-governmental organisations, and business demand academic training that includes sound analytical skills. All courses of the MSc Political Science curriculum thus seek to encourage the real-life application of the academic knowledge and training they provide. The high percentage of foreign teaching staff underscores the international outlook of the programme which prepares students for an increasingly international labour market in the Netherlands and elsewhere.


Any mixture of conflict and cooperation; this is a well known definition of politics by Michael Laver. Political conflicts may range from election campaigns between political parties to Huntingtons global clash of civilizations and from disagreement over global warming to interstate or civil war. Conflict is inherent in politics, whether nationally or internationally, but so is cooperation in order to solve conflicts.

In todays globalised world, conflict has far from receded. In western liberal democracies political conflict has expanded from the classical ideological cleavages to clashes over multiculturalism or sustainability and dissatisfaction with the functioning of existing democratic institutions. In the non-Western world, violent (ethnic or religious) conflict often involves the very legitimacy of existing states and borders. Globalisation in some cases increased conflict of values, perceptions of inequality or exclusion of segments of the worlds population. At the same time, globalisation also brings people and cultures together and ushers in old and new forms of international cooperation, from organisations for regional economic integration to the effort to develop new norms in the context of global civil society.

The notion of conflict is also at the heart of modern political philosophy. A major challenge for politics, as cogently formulated by Thomas Hobbes, consists in designing institutions for individuals who, without them, are incapable of living peacefully together. Thinking of solutions that are legitimate and just to prevent abrasive civil conflict has been an important task in political philosophy, as is thinking about war and its justification, which has been revived and redefined during the last decade. Is it at all just to wage war, and if so, under what conditions? Does a warlike condition suspend the normal democratic institutions and procedures?

Specialisation through Choice: Build your own Profile!
The Masters programme in Conflict and Cooperation allows students to build their own curriculum by choosing specific seminars (subject to availability) on political conflict and cooperation in national or international contexts. Through the seminars students will gain advanced knowledge on a variety of empirical or normative approaches in political science. Seminar topics range from civil war, ethics of war, economic conflict and regimes, and international organisations, to political conflict and the media, elections and coalitions in a national context and multiculturalism. Students may opt to complete the programme with a thesis or an internship which includes a substantive research report. Students complete their thesis within the thesis seminar of their own choice, subject to certain conditions and availability.


Scholarships / Grants:
Leiden University:For additional information: Website



Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

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