Universiteit Leiden

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Content of programme

The Pre-PhD Programme has two tracks. In both tracks, the main focus is in the second semester (February-July).


  1. Track 1: the duration of this track is six months and must be completed during your master programme. During this track, you follow two (compulsory) courses, participate in research meetings (e.g. writing a research proposal, academic integrity and drawing up a data management plan) and do a science internship.
  2. Track 2: the duration of this track is six months and can be followed alongside regular work activities. This track is intended for employees of the Faculty of Law with the ambition of obtaining a PhD who have not yet been appointed as (external) PhD candidates. This track can be followed as a continuation after Track 1. Track 2 consists of following two courses and participating in research meetings.

Track 1

Master students (Track 1) and staff (Track 2) can choose from the following four courses:





Philosophy of Science


Carel Smith January
Legal Methodology

Arie-Jan Kwak


Qualitative Empirical Research Methods in Law


Various teachers


Quantitative Empirical Research Methods in Law


Koen Caminada



If you follow Track 2 as a continuation of Track 1 then you can only take the two courses not already taken as part of Track 1.


As part of Track 1 of the PPP, students complete a research internship to get acquainted with conducting research under the supervision of a faculty member with a PhD.

The internship can take different forms, such as:

- writing a research proposal for a PhD project;

- writing a scientific article under the supervision of or together with a staff member;

- editing a scientific collection under the supervision of or together with a staff member;

- organising a scientific conference or other type of scientific meeting under the supervision of or together with a staff member.

This list is not exhaustive. Students may propose other research-related activities in consultation with their supervisor.

Participants should submit a proposal for a research internship to the academic coordinator of PPP by 1 April.

The internship activities must be completed during the academic year in which the PPP is followed. The research internship within Track 1 must therefore be completed by 31 August. Participants must have submitted a final report by 31 August at the latest. Successful completion of the research internship is a prerequisite for receiving a Track 1 certificate.

For questions about the academic internship, please contact the academic coordinator of the PPP.

The PPP consists of several research meetings. These meetings cover, for example, writing a research proposal, acquiring grants, preparing a data management plan and (empirical) research skills.

Successful completion of the two compulsory courses, the research internship and attending the research meetings leads to a Track 1 certificate. No final certificate is issued for Track 2. For completion of the courses in the PhD programme, a partial certificate will be issued if the compulsory attendance and assignments have been met.

Doing a PhD at Leiden Law School

The PPP prepares well for doing a PhD-research in Leiden. Participants of the PPP can, for example, aim to obtain a PhD position (such as the Meijers PhD position). An institute may also decide to fund a PhD position itself for a candidate. Naturally, the number of places in Leiden is limited. The PPP also provides a good preparation for doing your PhD elsewhere.

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