Universiteit Leiden

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Welcome to Leiden University

You’re about to start your studies in Leiden or The Hague. Make sure you are well prepared and get your studies off to a good start!

To arrange before your studies

An introduction week is the best way to get to know your new city, student life and your fellow students.

Read more about introduction weeks  

As a student of Leiden University you’ll receive a student account (ULCN account). This gives you access to the university’s systems and work stations. You'll first need to activate your ULCN account.

Read more about ULCN accounts

Your LU card is your university ID card. It gives you access to a range of facilities. Make sure to request your LU card before starting your studies.

Read more about the LU card

You can enrol for courses and exams via uSis or at your education administration office.

Read more about course and exam enrolment

Make sure you know where you have to be and when on your first day.

Read more about schedules and classrooms

Find out which study materials you will need and how to obtain them.

Read more about books and study materials 

Familiarise yourself with the study facilities

Your student card is your proof of registration as a student of Leiden University.

Find out how and when you will receive your student card

All the details of your studies are recorded in uSis. From your first registration as a student until your graduation.

Read more about uSis

Blackboard is Leiden University’s online learning environment.

Read more about Blackboard

In the Prospectus you can find information about the courses within your study programme.

Take a look in the Prospectus

As a student of Leiden University you will be issued with a university email address: uMail. All correspondence from the university will be sent to this address. You can set up your uMail account so that all mails will be forwarded to your own email address.

Read more about uMail

The indispensable app for Leiden University students. Here you can find all your personal study information in one place. Log in once and access your schedule, results, available computers and university news anytime and anyplace.

Download the app

Here, on the student website, you can find a wide range of practical information about your studies. By selecting your programme when logging in, you can view information that is relevant to you. 

Find out how to get the most out of the student website

Get more out of student life

By joining an association you'll meet lots of people and get more out of student life. As well as student and study associations, there are also a range of social associations in Leiden and The Hague, for example sports, religious or cultural associations.  

Read more about associations

As a student of Leiden University, you have access to a wide range of affordable sports via the University Sport Centre (USC) in Leiden and The Hague.

USC Leiden

USC The Hague

Pre-arrival information

Get to know The Hague and your fellow students

Start of courses


Course information

Mentoring programme

Study materials

Communication tools

Social media

Association for/of Political Science students: SPIL and CIROS


Pre-arrival information

Please make sure you have completed the admissions procedure and that you have provided all information required for an unconditional acceptance (diploma/transcripts, English proficiency test). Also, take a moment to review:

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Get to know The Hague and your fellow students

Leiden University The Hague Introduction: HOP Week

We strongly encourage you to attend the HOP Week, which is organised for Leiden University students studying in The Hague at the end of August. Registration is mandatory.


IRO Orientation Day

Thursday 29 August 2019 marks the formal start of your studies: the IRO Orientation Day for all IRO students at Campus The Hague (Wijnhaven building, Turfmarkt 99 Den Haag/The Hague). This event will take place from 9:00 until 17:00. During this event you will receive important information required for a good start of the programme and you will get to know your future classmates.

Mentor groups

All first year students are placed in a mentor group and each mentor group has its own schedule of mandatory Work Group Sessions. During these sessions, the content of IRO courses will be covered, as well as academic skills such as text analysis, debating, and academic writing. You will receive more information about your schedule during the Orientation Day.

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Start of courses

You are expected to attend the IRO Orientation Day on Thursday 29 August 2019.

Your first lecture—Introduction to International Relations with Dr. Blarel—will be offered on Monday 2 September 2019, from 13:00 to 15:00 in room 2.01 of the Wijnhaven building. You will be able to access your course schedule in uSis during the IRO Orientation day.

Your first work group will take place, depending on your group number, on Tuesday 3 September 2019 from 09:00-11:00/13:00-15;00 or 15:00-17:00.


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An overview of the timetables for your lectures, work group sessions and exams can be found here:

Timetables BSc Political Science: International Relations and Organisations

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Course information

All course information including textbooks and other literature used is available in the Prospectus.


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Mentoring programme

The Leiden Study System with its Binding Study Advice ensures that first year students are provided with good study guidance. This guidance is given by the staff of your programme: the study advisers and Academic Skills workgroup instructors. In return you are expected to meet certain academic requirements: the so-called Binding Study Advice (BSA) requirement. As full-time student you are expected to complete a minimum of 45 study credits (EC) out of the 60 study credits by the end of your first study year.

During the first and second semester of your first year you will have weekly workgroups. During these workgroups you will practice academic skills that are essential to social scientific study and research: These skills will form the foundation of your study throughout the bachelor in Political Science - International Relations and Organisations (IRO). The instructor of the Academic Skills workgroup will help you to acquire important academic skills (from searching for and correctly referring to literature, to writing an academic essay).

The study advisers are there to help you with other study related questions (study planning, study delay, study challenges, rules & regulations or personal circumstances, career planning and preparation). The study advisers will keep track of your study results during the first academic year because of the Binding Study Advice.

The study advisers offer an interactive Mentoring session each block. During these interactive sessions they will provide tools to manage your study and develop your personal skills and academic career. Current IRO students will contribute to the session and share their experience with the programme.

You will find further details about the mentoring programme in the Prospectus. The dates can be found in your student schedule in uSis.

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Study materials


A reading list per course is listed in the Prospectus. Make sure you have the required textbooks and course syllabi before the start of the academic year. Members of the study association SPIL can purchase textbooks discount by mid–August. You are free to purchase your books through other channels (second year IRO students, (online) book shops), but please make sure you buy the correct edition of your books to avoid confusion. Take into account that it may take some time before you will receive the books.

Books and other study materials (student website)


You can read more about how to order syllabi and readers on Reader online. We advise you to order syllabi as soon as you activate your ULCN account, because it will take at least 2 to 3 days before you actually get them.

Books and other study materials (student website)

Laptop, electronic devices

The university has facilities to charge your devices, please make sure you have the right adapter for the Dutch electricity system. Most students bring their preferred notebooks, laptops and other devices to take notes during the classes. The University does not require or prefer certain brands or models. Note that in your first year, Statistics I and Statistics II are part of the core curriculum and you are supposed to work with SPSS Statistics software. Please inform yourself about the minimum system requirements for this software.

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Communication tools

The university will provide you with a student account (ULCN) including log in details for the Leiden University digital systems. Our most important digital channels of communication are:

  • Leiden University App lists all your personal study information in one place. Log in once and access your timetable, grades, PC availability and the latest news, anytime and anywhere.

    ICT services (student website)
  • uMail is your university email box to which all official emails will be sent. Once your programme has started, we will only send messages to your uMail address, not to any other account. Frequently check your uMail account, and/or activate the automatic forwarding service to forward your uMail messages to your private email address.

    ULCN email forward manual (PDF)
  • uSis is used for the registration of courses and exams. You can look at your results, modify your address and register for courses, workgroups and exams. (Note: We will register you for your lectures and workgroups in block 1 in uSis. See also: Course and exam enrolment.)
  • Blackboard gives you online access to the course materials placed in the Blackboard modules by lecturers and tutors. The exchange of messages and documents between tutors and students, and among students themselves is also possible in Blackboard.

Manuals and instructions for Leiden University’s online tools

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Social media

Officially, we do not use social media as a communication tool for the interaction between students and instructors and other university staff. Official information will be always provided by email (and sometimes by regular mail). We do use social media, however, to keep you informed and involved.

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Association for/of Political Science Students: SPIL and CIROS


Since its foundation in 1981, SPIL—the student association for Political Science students—has become one of the largest, and most active, student organisations in Leiden and The Hague. SPIL organises both social and academic events, and offers plenty of opportunities for extracurricular development.



CIROS is a student-led organisation based in The Hague. CIROS stands for Community for International Relations and Organisations Students. Its main goal is to create a strong network for current and prospective IRO students.



  • Have you consulted the IRO FAQ yet?
  • With study related questions of a personal nature, you can contact your study adviser.
  • Questions related to the study programme and academic skills can be directed at your mentor in the Academic Skills courses.
  • If you have questions related to your admission to the programme, please contact the Student Affairs Front Office.
  • If you have questions related to your course or exam registration, or other questions related to practical aspects of your programme please contact the Student Services Center: ssc.pol@leiden.edu; phone: +31 (0) 70 800 9098 (Mon, Wed + Thu 10:00-12:00).

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