Political Science and Public Administration (research)

Specialisations

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.

Master details

  • Degree Master of Science in Political Science and Public Administration (research)
  • Mode of study Fulltime
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60421

What our students say

Thijs van Rijn

“I want to know everything and see the big picture”

“I decided to study Political Science because I’m interested in comparing political processes. Then when I was thinking about which master’s to take, this Research Master’s really appealed to me. It’s a comprehensive and broad programme that gives you the chance to study a subject in depth while at the same time developing the skills and methods that help you to see the bigger picture. We learn to think about political processes in abstract terms; even after four years of Political Science, I still find that fascinating.

We are a small group of just ten people, which means you can have some good discussions, and you really feel your opinion is taken seriously. This programme gives you a lot of freedom: first of all, you can put together a programme that matches your specific interests, and you also have the independence to choose your research topic as well as how you put into practice the academic methods you have been learning. Of course, that also means a lot of responsibility. Many students carry on to do a PhD, but I’m considering taking a second master’s, this time in Comparative Law.

I am particularly interested in federalism and decentralisation, and have already written a paper on how government bodies work at regional level. The standard of research is very high: the aim is to write papers that can be published. One of the advantages of the Research Master’s is the budget that each student has for relevant extra-curricular activities; it gave me the opportunity to take a Summer Course at the Central European University in Budapest. That was a great way to get to know students from all over the world.

Through the Research Master’s I am now lecturing bachelor’s students of Political Science on ‘Comparative Analysis of Political Systems’, my own field of research. For me, this is a very relevant programme because it’s important to understand where you can make improvements the world, and to do that you need to train people to recognise the key themes in what’s going on. That’s why this is the ideal programme for students who don’t want to pin themselves down to a single field, but who prefer to take a broader approach and learn to see how different issues are connected.”

Find your master's at Leiden University