BA International StudiesAdd to shortlist

Social Sciences

Politics & International Relations

BA International Studies

3 years

€2143 pa

Programme profile

This programme offers you a unique combination of regional studies, placed in an international setting and provides you with the opportunity to learn a foreign language.

After a broad introductory semester, you specialise in one of nine world regions and one of its languages. You analyse your area of choice from cultural, economic, historical and political angles and compare them within an international perspective.The programme is designed around three elements: core courses that introduce disciplinary concepts and that analyse the international setting, area courses that analyse the situation in a selected region from a disciplinary, and increasingly interdisciplinary, perspective and language courses that prepare students for access to the cultural context in the relevant language.

The core concepts, ideas and methods are taken from four broad disciplinary approaches: History (mostly modern history); Cultural Studies (modern cultural phenomena in their societal settings); Economics (and the concepts from International Political Economy); Political Science (and Sociology and Anthropology).

The regions offered in the degree, and their corresponding languages are: East Asia [Chinese, Japanese, Korean]; Latin America [Spanish, Portuguese]; Middle-East [Arabic, Persian, Turkish]; North America [French, Spanish]; Russia and Eurasia[Russian]; South Asia [Hindi]; Southern Africa [Afrikaans, Swahili]; South-East Asia [Indonesian, Spanish] Western Europe [Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese].

In some cases, it is possible for students to study two languages.

Note: if you need accommodation through the university's Housing Office, you must apply by 01 April

Programme content

In the first year , all students engage in the same core courses on economics, history, culture and politics. Through the core courses, a clear shared base for further studies is established. Moreover, you will start to develop your academic skills: reading and thinking critically, writing and speaking clearly and concisely. In the second semester you start to specialise in the region of your choice through courses that focus on its history and culture; and begin your language training.

In your second year, you will deepen your knowledge of your chosen area and learn more of the area's economic and political situation, as well as gain a global perspective on cultural interaction. You continue to improve reading, writing and speaking skills in your chosen language, and select your first thematic seminar from a broad range.  In the second semester you learn about international relations and global political economy, and you have the opportunity to practice your research skills in a second Thematic seminar.

In the first semester of the third year you choose between an international exchange, an internship, or a university minor. The second semester is where you show off your practical and academic skills: you compete in teams to solve real cases presented by such organisations as Unilever, Workplace Pride, the European Space Agency and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Further, you write a final thesis with a topic agreed upon by you and your supervisor.


The university offers related Masters programmes, taught through English, in the following areas:

Public Administration;
Public International Law;
International Relations and Diplomacy;
Political Science;
Area [Regional] Studies

Entry Requirements

3 A-levels [Minimum Grade C]. Subjects to include Maths, preferably at a minimum of GCSE at A Grade

At least four Scottish Highers and/or Advanced Highers in A-B for the Higher and A-C for the Advanced Higher subjects

Six subjects at Leaving Certificate including 3 at H5. Minimum points: 400. (Note: some LC subjects are deemed not sufficiently academic by Leiden are not counted. Check with EUNiCAS)




01 October

15 June