For more information about Political Science - International Relations, Security and Global Order at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, please visit the webpage using the button above.
How long you will study
Domestic course fees
EUR 1084 per year
How you will study
International course fees
EUR 15546 per year
Become an expert in the topic of your own choice
VU's Political Science Master has a unique curriculum. You will become an expert in a topic of your own choice. After two months discussing the core debates in political science and how to apply them, you will opt for an elective to give you a feel for the topics you are interested in.
Perhaps you are interested in the global political struggle of transitioning to a green and sustainable society? If so, then Global Environmental Governance, Sustainability and Climate Change might be for you. If it is global power struggles that interest you, competition about who owns today's technologies, security conflicts, or the role of intergovernmental organisations like the United Nations, you might be better opting for International Relations, Security and Global Order. The third alternative, Democracy, Power and Inequality, will suit you if you want to learn more about the impact of different governmental models, the rise of populism, or the state of democracy in the European Union. Your professors will inspire you and help you make an informed choice.
Whichever theme you choose, you will immerse yourself in methodologies and theories and learn how to apply them. You will follow a short course on the philosophy, design and practice of political research, giving you the theoretical tools and insights to prepare for your thesis work. Working in small groups you will choose and formulate your research question, review literature, design your research, and collect and analyse the data you need.
In the last period, you will work on your Master's thesis, supervised by a lecturer from one of our international team of researchers. When you graduate, you will have gained not only a helicopter view of today's complex political environment but also an understanding of the interconnectivity between the main players - from governments, banks and multinationals, to NGOs and social movements; you will also have acquired expertise in global politics, environmental governance, and political institutions. You will be able to conduct analyses, collect and process data as part of your own independent research, write essays, papers and blogs, understand policy documents and outcomes and argue effectively and persuasively.
Completing VU's Master programme in Political Science you will be well-equipped to work in complex environments, where understanding the different interests behind societal problems is key, and with sharp research skills, a range of career paths will be open to you. You could become a politician, work for local government, a human rights organisation or a multinational company - perhaps in an advisory or policy-making role. You could go into journalism. Or stay in academia and take part in a reputable international PhD programme.
To gain admission to the Master's programme, you must hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, International Relations or a related discipline from an accredited research university (such as public administration, communication science, sociology, journalism, anthropology, etc.).
The Admission Board will review all courses in your Bachelor's degree. In some cases, you may be asked to demonstrate your abilities in an individual assignment if relevant core methodology courses are lacking from your previous degree, such as quantitative and qualitative methods.
You should demonstrate a strong working command of English by means of minimally one proof of academic writing that shows your ability to reflect, judge and reason in a well-structured and evidence-based manner. This proof of academic writing must include a clear research question, an explicit research methodology, a theoretical framework and academic literature references.
On the basis of the documents you submit, the Admission Board will make a merit-based selection of students applying the following criteria:
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