Your first year

In your first year, you will receive a thorough introduction to security studies. You will learn everything about the concept of ‘security’. What is security? What is safety? Who does it involve? What threats and approaches can be distinguished? You will be introduced to the various vulnerabilities and threats, different stakeholders involved, and different approaches that play a role in the interpretation of issues.

Case studies
You will also explore two contemporary cases in your first year: Syria & Iraq and Fukushima.

Skills lab
A skills lab is offered in these first three blocks of the first year. During these meetings and under the guidance of the tutor, you will work on your study skills, deepen your knowledge of the corresponding courses, and acquire and develop academic and professional skills. This skills lab is organised in tutor groups consisting of about 15 students and a tutor that meet twice a week.

In the first year you will also train your knowledge and skills in academic research, which continues throughout the programme for three years.

The first year concludes with an introduction into individual research assignment and a group project. In both courses you will apply the knowledge and skills you acquired thus far to a security or safety case.

First-year courses and credits
The academic year is divided in two semesters and each semester holds two blocks in which two courses are given. For each course you pass, you will be awarded a number of credits. One credit equates 28 hours of study (this includes e.g. lectures, exams, and self-study). The complete first year will amount to 60 study credits.

Course name Semester – Block Credits
Introduction into security & safety 1 – 1 10
Skills lab 1 1 – 1 5
Case study: Syria & Iraq 1 – 2 10
Skills lab 2 1 – 2 5
Case study: Fukushima 2 – 3 10
Skills lab 3 2 – 3 5
Integrated project 1 2 – 4 10
Research methods 1 2 – 4 5

Binding Study Advice
The Binding Study Advice entails that you need to earn at least 45 out of the 60 study credits at the end of the first year to be able to continue in your second year. If you do not meet this criterion, you will not be able to carry on with your study at Leiden University. In formulating this study advice, any relevant circumstances, such as sickness or other personal factors, will be taken into account.