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MA International Relations

Leiden University Faculty of Humanities

Full time September, February MA Full-time: 1 year

About the course

The Master's in International Relations at Leiden University offers a range of specialisations that are unique in the Netherlands.

The MA programme offers a combination of fresh theoretical insights and practical knowledge and experience, giving ideas and beliefs the place they deserve in European and global politics. You will be able to choose from five specialisations which each offer a challenging mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience provided by specialist, academic researchers and experts with direct experience in policy-formulation and policy-making.

We are the only university in the Netherlands to offer this wealth of area specialists and the extensive range of contacts with national and international government and non-government institutions. Located close to The

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

For more information about programme-specific admission requirements, click here:
View Website

 Course Content

Where is Leiden University


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Student Profile(s)

Ayooshee Dookhee

Leiden University was one of the three places I applied to, the other two being Columbia in the US and the Graduate Institute in Geneva. In 2012, I had visited The Hague during my undergraduate studies and someone I had met at the International Criminal Court suggested that I consider Leiden University. At the point, I had never visited the city or looked at the university programmes. After my undergraduate, I worked for a year in London at a Political Affairs consultancy and it just wasn’t exciting enough! I then started looking into different master programmes; Leiden appealed greatly due to its reputation internationally and it had an International Relations program that wasn’t purely a Political Science degree. Being part of the Humanities department has really opened my eyes to the different ways one can study a social science. In deciding between Geneva, the US and Leiden it came down to two things: finance and the experience. I think Leiden University has a very down to earth appeal and so far, it has completely surpassed expectations. My experience as a Master student has been fun, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. One of the plus points of studying the MA International Relations is the freedom and autonomy students get in choosing the topic they want to research and write on. Due to this freedom, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing! My proudest moment is writing my thesis on the Islamic State and child soldiering. The structure of the programme and the different elective modules equipped me very well to write this Master thesis. I would recommend Leiden to anyone wanting to study a Masters here.

Dimas Ariestyo Pradana

I enrolled at MA International Studies at the Faculty of Humanities on September 2015. As a government employee who works in the Indonesia Foreign Ministry, the MAIS Programme was very beneficial yet challenging because it gave me better understanding and knowledge also how to be more critical in viewing current global and regional events. The programme also provided me different perspectives about the importance of theoretical and historical perspectives which influenced the nature of international politics, also the intense courses in this programme helped me to develop my study and work ethics. Overall, I had an impressive experience as an international student in Leiden University MAIS programme.


This scholarship is intended for:

1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017.
All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.

2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017.

Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law:

◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy

Additional requirements

1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship.

2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom".

3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such).

4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards:

•€ 10.000 of the tuition fee

•€ 15.000 of the tuition fee

•Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee

The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University.

Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017

•All programmes except law:
1 February 2017

•Law programmes:
1 March 2017

2. Upload all required documents.

3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately.

4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100.

7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

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