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Masters in Political Science: International Relations and Transnational Governance

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
On campus
01 September 2022

About this program

Masters in International Relations and Transnational Governance

Are you interested in international and European politics, environmental governance and policy making? Then welcome to the Master’s in Political Science! You will become acquainted with current academic research in the field of political science, while exploring a specialization of your choice and learning about the most important research traditions, theories and approaches. The program has been developed and is taught by an internationally renowned team with an extensive international network. Approximately 25% of students come from abroad.

International Relations Curriculum

The program has a unique cumulative structure, in which you continue to specialize month by month. You start the first semester with two basic courses in the major sub-disciplines of the field: International Relations and Comparative Politics (or Public Administration for the Policy and Politics specialization). In smaller groups, you then focus on contemporary issues and approaches within your specialization as well as a selected issues course from one of the other specializations.

In the final phase of the masters program, you concentrate exclusively on your own specialization with a workshop and your individual Master’s thesis. This Master’s therefore provides you with a solid foundation in all aspects of Political Science, as well as a clear specialization. Throughout the program, you benefit from highly interactive tutorials, workshops and intensive individual supervision

What you'll get

Issues of war and peace, terrorism, globalization and economic crises are not restricted by national borders. They therefore require an international or transnational approach. As a result, politicians and diplomats ever more frequently find themselves dealing with multinationals, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank. This results in a shift in political power. In this specialization, you analyze these issues and get to grips with theoretical approaches and current research in the field of international relations.

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Admission requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree in Political Science, International Relations or relevant field from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.
  • Motivation, background and personality (motivation letter, CV and personal reference)
  • Proof of sufficient proficiency in English.

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Scholarships & funding

With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique oppurtunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university. The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.


  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 15,546


MSc in Political Science

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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