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MSc Political Science and Public Administration (research)

Leiden University
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Start dates
September 2019  (English)
September 2020  (English)
September 2021  (English)

Program Description

political science program

Earn an MSc in Political Science and Public Administration (research) at Leiden University

A unique, two-year master’s programme designed for students willing to challenge themselves and take their studies to the next level: this is the Research Master’s (MSc) in Political Science and Public Administration. The programme offers you unsurpassed and thorough academic training that will provide useful no matter what your future career intentions are. A strong focus on skill development and the ability to conduct independent research is at the core of this research master’s.

The programme distinguishes between four types of courses: substantive courses, methodological courses, advanced research seminars and finally thesis preparation in the Thesis Laboratory.

The programme features a selection of two specialisations: Political Science or Public Administration. While each course or seminar within the specialisations deals with a specific topic or field of research, the programme grants you considerable freedom to pursue your own specific interests. Regardless of the choice of specialisation, you will attend several courses on the philosophy of science and courses on both qualitative and quantitative methods of research. In addition, there are specific courses aimed to enhance skills such as presentation and reporting.
The end product of the programme is a thesis meeting the criteria for publication in a scholarly journal, as well as a proposal for further research that conforms to the standard criteria of funding agencies.

Two Specialisations
Students can choose from two specialisations (tracks: Political Science or Public Administration). Please indicate your track of choice on the application form.

Admission requirements

  • A bachelor’s diploma (from a recognised university, as defined by the university) in Political Science or in Public Administration, or a bachelor’s degree with a major in either of these fields, obtained with excellent results.
  • In addition, students holding a degree in another scientific field may also be accepted to the program if their prior studies or other relevant experience can be considered equivalent.
  • Demonstrable affinity with an area of research in the program, as evidenced for instance by a bachelor’s thesis or by a paper (preferably in English).
  • Transcript (average grade at the bachelor-level of ‘8’ or higher (rounded to a whole number) in the Dutch grading system or equivalent in other grading systems) and/or other indicators (relevant extracurricular activities, honors program, etc).
  • Training in research methods and techniques and statistics at the bachelor-level should minimally account for 15 ECTS.
  • Demonstrated English-language proficiency as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 625 (paper based)/ 263 (computer based)/ 110 (internet based), an IELTS score of at least 7.5, or the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE-C).
  • Your motivation letter
  • Your CV
  • Your academic transcripts/lists of courses taken (including the average grade/GPA)
  • Two recommendation letters (preferably from academics, at least one from your former university, and at least one letter writer should hold a PhD)
  • A copy of the bachelor’s degree (if available) or a statement from the applicant’s university with the expected graduation date
  • A completed application form

*This requirement does not apply for students who have completed their (undergraduate) education in any one of the following countries: USA, UK, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, or who have obtained an (all-English) International Baccalaureate diploma.

Degree & diploma

Master of Science in Political Science and Public Administration (research)

Download Brochure

Want to find out more about this program? Fill in your details below and receive the brochure.


With a long and rich history, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Students may choose to study from 7 faculties and 3 campuses, watch this video to learn what Leiden can offer you!

Leiden University

Leiden University

Services & Facilities

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programs. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world.  The university is comprised of...

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Location & accommodation

leiden the Netherlands

Leiden, Netherlands

Leiden, the Netherlands

Life in Leiden is greatly influenced by the relatively large number of students, as most of them both live and study in the historic city of Leiden, which has approxomately 120.000 inhabitants. Leiden University does not have a campus, but the city is it’s campus. You will almost always run into someone you know when you go shopping or when you go out at night. Since Leiden is...

Contact information for Leiden University

Leiden University

Rapenburg 70
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

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Request Brochure

Want to find out more about this program? Fill in your details below and receive the brochure.


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