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MSc International Relations and Diplomacy

Course Description

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.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/international-relations-and-diplomacy/en/introduction

Course detail

The Master of Science in International Relations and Diplomacy is a programme taught jointly by Leiden University’s Institute for Security and Global Affairs (Faculty Governance and Global Affairs), the Institute of Political Science (Faculty of Social Sciences) and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

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. The resulting challenges to global governance can be met most effectively by patterns of international and transnational co-operation and diplomacy.

The location of The Hague is beneficial for this master’s programme in terms of substantive focus and the various links to international institutions located in this city. As one of the partners, Clingendael’s objective is to promote the understanding of international affairs, and the institute devotes special attention to European co-operation, international security, and diplomacy.


Students attend core courses in the fields of international relations and political science. They also take quantitative and qualitative methodological courses. Furthermore, students are provided with specialised knowledge and hands-on experience in the area of diplomacy and international organisation, and insights into the actual practice of international negotiation and diplomacy.

Teaching in this programme is highly interactive. Most classes are taught in a seminar format. Students are expected to actively prepare for and participate in classes. Because this programme involves classroom work, individual research, and written assignments, there is close consultation between students and staff.

Work placement

In the IRD programme, students have the opportunity of completing an internship at an international organisation (or attending additional specialised courses). The programme’s internship co-ordinator can assist students in finding suitable positions, but the responsibility to find an organisation lies with the student. The programme is concluded with the writing of a master’s thesis on a topic in international relations, international organisation or diplomacy.


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

In view of the range of courses they attended, their analytical and research skills, possible internship experience, master’s thesis, and contact with experts in relevant fields, graduates of this programme possess a high level of academic education and preparation for relevant positions in international organisations, international politics, and diplomacy.

The programme also aims to prepare students for possible continued academic training within the framework of a doctoral programme.

How to apply: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/arrange/admission


For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

Visit the MSc International Relations and Diplomacy page on the Leiden University website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Leiden Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

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 requirements1.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.

Further Information


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.

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