Security and safety challenges rank among the most pressing contemporary issues for individuals, organisations, businesses, and nation states. They must deal with both real and perceived threats at local, regional and international levels. These threats include international terrorism, organised crime, cyber incidents, civil unrest, riots and natural, health or industrial crises. Both technological and social developments have led to a rise in the number of complex security and safety challenges that may affect people across the globe. Addressing these challenges requires an academic approach, a critical attitude and knowledge of all relevant factors related to specific security and safety challenges.
At every stage, you will learn by ‘Exploring, Understanding, and Doing’ security. That means that throughout the programme, you will aim to:
Programme director and lecturer
‘The focus of Security Studies is on contemporary security issues, which range from intentional ones such as terrorist attacks and hacks to non-intentional ones such as epidemics and hurricanes. To understand and study these kinds of security issues, you need knowledge and skills that transcend disciplinary boundaries. You need to look at a problem from diff erent angles to understand it and be able to do something about it. Our programme therefore takes an interdisciplinary approach. Economics, international relations, sociology and philosophy but technical matters too: all elements are addressed. This will help us gain a better understanding of contemporary security issues.’
During the course, you will study two real-life cases. You will learn how to understand and explain these cases from different perspectives. You will analyse cases such as the Syrian conflict and the Fukushima nuclear disaster and you will acquire knowledge and understanding of several basic security and safety concepts. By applying interdisciplinary thinking, you will learn how to understand and explain causes and factors driving and sustaining conflict and disaster, as well as the effects and implications for government and citizens. You will learn to review an event, or set of events, through the lenses of various academic disciplines and gain the ability to apply this skill to other cases.
In the first semester of their third year, students can choose either to study abroad, follow electives, study a minor or complete an internship. Leiden University enjoys partnerships with over 600 universities abroad where students can choose their study abroad experience. Possible internships are to be found in ministries, embassies, local governments, ‘think tanks’, private security companies, the police, and other organisations in the security domain such as Europol, the Ministry of Justice and Security, research institutes, and consultancy organisations.
Graduates are encouraged to complete their academic education with a master’s programme. Security Studies guarantees entry to one of the six specialisations of the MSc in Crisis and Security Management (CSM) at Leiden University and qualifies you for a wide range of other master’s programmes at Leiden University and elsewhere.
It is important to us that you are sure Security Studies is the right programme for you. To this end, you will follow an online matching procedure that compares your expectations and skills with the content of the programme. The compulsory matching takes about 8 hours to complete and it involves watching videos and completing assignments. It results in a non-binding advice as to whether the programme is a good fit for you. We encourage you to apply early and participate so you can begin making concrete plans for your future.
Location: The Hague
year programme, 180 ECTS
English-taught programme established
largest lecture size
maximum tutorial size