International Studies

The last intake for this specialisation will be February 2017. If you are interested in following this programme from September 2017 onwards, we suggest you check out the following specialisations:

The master’s specialisation International Studies at Leiden University focuses on the diversity and complexity of today’s rapidly changing world. Our specialisation is primarily concerned with the interrelationship between global, regional and national ideas and policies, across time and space.

About International Studies

Our international contacts give you the chance to become acquainted with both the theoretical and practical aspects of international relations. Our interdisciplinary programme in International Studies stems from a multidisciplinary faculty, as we are firmly anchored within the humanities. Our humanities’ approach makes a difference. We focus on multiple levels of analysis to bridge the gap between relations among states (international relations) and developments within states.

Real world people and policies are central to our curriculum, but we also engage with models and theories from around the world to consider how different people conceptualise global politics. Our programme therefore extends beyond the policies and institutions of the Western world, and encourages you to foster a critical and comparative approach in your study of international relations.
Most importantly, International Studies takes very seriously the cultures, the ideas and beliefs that underlie the current processes of global change.

Reasons to choose International Studies at Leiden University:

  • Our integrative study of the changing nature of global politics gives you a clear focus on the historical and actual dimensions of the ideas and beliefs that underlie current processes of change;
  • Our starting point is the assumption that national and international factors today are inextricably linked. The distinction between domestic and international politics is becoming increasingly artificial;
  • You will develop a critical, cross-cultural and comparative approach to the study of international relations as we go beyond the well-known policies and institutions of the Western world;
  • You will acquire a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience;
  • You will benefit from the close contacts between the University and national and international government institutions in The Hague, as well as the unique wealth of area studies at Leiden University.

Check out the programme in International Studies

Master details

  • Dit is een afstudeerrichting van: International Relations
  • Graad Master of Arts in International Relations
  • Onderwijsvorm Full-time
  • Duur 1 year
  • Start September, February
  • Taal English
  • Vestigingsplaats Leiden
  • Croho/isatcode 50429

A word from dr. A.M. O'Malley

“History is a crucial component of international studies. Every query about the nature and form of international relations begins with a solid understanding of the historical context of the question.

I am Assistant Professor of International Studies, teaching a range of courses on the history of international relations as part of the MA International Relations: International Studies programme. History is a crucial component of international studies. Every query about the nature and form of international relations begins with a solid understanding of the historical context of the question. It is particularly important for the International Studies programme given our innovative approach to international relations and the critical focus on non-Western approaches to international issues.

I teach specific electives on the History of the United Nations and 20th Century International Relations. Both of these classes encourage students to question interpretations of the past that have been inscribed into ideas and practices of international relations today. This process of challenging how we think about past events opens up questions about how international norms have been created and whether or not they are universally applicable within international society.

The primacy on the role of history also points to the interdisciplinary nature of International Studies. This a second core component of the programme. It is designed not just to teach students about international relations but highlights how history and political science can be combined to shed light on how the international order is structured and the means by which it can be changed. Working for such a forward thinking programme is a daily challenge in thinking about how international relations work and how to revise my own interpretations of historical events; an exciting and rewarding endeavour.”

International Studies on Facebook

Join us on Facebook

Vind jouw master aan de Universiteit Leiden