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Political Science: International Relations and Organisations

Are you fascinated by global affairs and the dynamics of international cooperation and conflict? Do you have an interest in themes such as war and peace, poverty, refugee crises, humanitarian cooperation, nuclear weapons reduction, globalisation, international cooperation and diplomacy? Would you relish the opportunity to study these subjects from a social sciences perspective, delving into the research methods associated with a scientific programme?

This programme combines theoretical insights with a strong focus on current world affairs with a particular emphasis on the role played by major powers such as the US, China and Russia, as well as organisations such as the EU, IMF, NATO, the UN and the World Bank. This programme helps you learn more about the real story behind today’s headlines and make an impact on the world of tomorrow.

Why study International Relations and Organisations in The Hague?

  • An international classroom and environment in The Hague: city of peace, justice and security.
  • Study and work with experts in academic research and political fields.
  • An analytical approach to International Relations: research and methodology are important components.
P25 testimonial

 Niels van Willigen 
Associate Professor 

‘Thorough knowledge of the theories and insights that explain political behaviour enables you to understand for example why Russia invaded Ukraine, why Brexit happened and how the UN tries to fight poverty. Our programme not only teaches you about international politics, but also provides basic knowledge of international law, history, and economics.’

Curriculum: BSc Political Science: International Relations and Organisations

International Relations and Organisations 2023 vs 4

Is this the programme for you?

The bachelor's programme Political Science with the specialisation International Relations and Organisations is the right choice for you, if you are:

  • Open-minded, inquisitive and critical;
  • Motivated to work hard and acquire new insights and skills;
  • Aware of what is going on in the world;
  • Comfortable in an international environment;
  • Well-versed in the English language.

Academic and research skills

This programme is a Bachelor of Science; you will approach international relations from a Political Science perspective. Social scientific research methodology is a key element of the programme. Training in academic skills such as text analysis and interpretation, literature review and argumentation is offered in the first year of this programme. Research skill development continues through the programme culminating in your bachelor’s thesis project.

Teaching methods

Various methods of teaching and learning are used throughout the bachelor’s programme. During lectures, a lecturer provides in-depth insights into predefined study material and you have the opportunity to pose questions. Politicians, diplomats, journalists and other practitioners make regular appearances as guest speakers. In small work groups, you can discuss and contemplate subjects with your fellow students, guided by a tutor. You will also be expected to write papers, and do presentations. A third form of study is self-study, in which you learn about relevant subjects either alone or with your fellow students. This can be done at your own pace at one of the faculty’s many workstations, in the library or at home.


In your third year, you can, based on your preference, broaden and deepen your knowledge in the Elective Space. You can choose either to study a minor, choose electives, complete an internship or study abroad. Leiden University has several agreements with partner universities abroad.

Your future career 

This bachelor’s programme provides the ideal basis for continued academic education and a professional career. Typically, students with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Political Science/International Relations find jobs in media, government departments, multinationals or non-governmental organisations and other international organisations. They work in policy-making, strategic analysis, research and education, management, consultancy, diplomacy, administration and politics, for example.

Selection & Placement

The BSc in Political Science, including the International Relations and Organisations specialisation, is a ‘numerus fixus’ programme. This means that there is a maximum number of places available. Being admissible to the programme does not guarantee placement! Placement will be determined through a selection procedure, which is outlined on our website.
This fixed quota ensures that we can offer the
best quality of education to our students.

Applications are submitted in Studielink.
The application deadline is 15 January 2024,
so make sure you’re on time.


Location: The Hague


year programme, 180 ECTS


English-taught programme established




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