Brussels is the centre of European decision making. It is estimated that 60% of national legislation of EU member states originates, in some form, in Brussels. Anyone wanting to enter a career in civil service, either at the EU level or in a national government in Europe, must gain a strategic understanding of the scope, content, decision-cycle and implementation of policy in Europe.
In a quickly changing world, the European Union is a key actor. As the largest economy, it is the first trading partner for many countries around the world. But by developing its own foreign and defence policy, it equally seeks to become a crucial diplomatic player.
This MA programme responds to an increasing need to study the EU’s external relations at an advanced level. The EU is studied in its different dimensions, such as foreign policy, security and external relations law, but also from an outsider’s perspective in a context of global change and regional instability.
The programme draws heavily on the presence of the EU and other institutions in the proximity of the Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) and builds on the tradition of inviting high-level diplomats to share their views with students. Key modules are taught by leading experts in the field from both the Brussels and Canterbury campuses of the University of Kent.
By taking an interdisciplinary and critical look at the EU’s international role, this MA programme prepares students well for careers in diplomacy, research and employment in diverse organisations that deal with the external dimension of the EU.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time (standard version); 18 months full-time, three years part-time (extended version)
- Extended programme The extended programme allows students the opportunity to study their subject in greater detail, choosing a wider range of modules, and also provides the opportunity to spend one term at the Canterbury campus. The extended programme is ideal for students who require extra credits, or would like to have more time to pursue an internship.
About the Brussels School of International Studies
The Brussels School of International Studies is a multidisciplinary postgraduate School of the University of Kent. We bring together the disciplines of politics, international relations, law and economics to provide in-depth analysis of international problems such as conflict, security, development, migration, the political economy and the legal basis of a changing world order.
We are a truly international School: our students are drawn from over 50 countries. The strong international composition of our staff and student body contributes significantly to the academic and social experience at BSIS. Being located in Brussels allows us to expose students to the working of major international organisations, such as the EU and NATO, and to the many international and non-governmental organisations based here. Students also have the opportunity to undertake an internship with one of these organisations.
We are committed to offering flexible study options at the School and enable you to tailor your degree to meet your needs by offering start dates in September and January; full- and part-time study; split-site options, and allowing students to combine two fields of study leading to a degree that reflects both disciplines.
The MA in EU External Relations allows students to choose secondary areas of specialisation from the range of programmes offered at BSIS (http://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/studying/index.html). Thus, a focused programme of study can be constructed by studying EU External Relations in the context of International Relations; Conflict and Security; Human Rights Law and other subject areas we cover.
This leads to the award of an MA degree in, for example, 'EU External Relations with Human Rights Law'.
This programme aims to:
- provide you with a research-active teaching environment which ensures a good grounding in the study of social science in general, in public policy and its formulation, and in European public policy in particular
- offer a critical perspective of the interplay between international relations, European politics, and European integration, as they relate to the inputs, processes, systems and policy outcomes at the European level
- ensure that you acquire a solid understanding of methodologies for the study of social science in general, and in the application of those understandings to the study of European public policy in particular
- ensure that you acquire a solid understanding of the major theoretical approaches to policymaking and policy analysis, the historical development of the contemporary European policy landscape, and the application of theoretical and historical knowledge to the analysis and understanding of contemporary issues and cases in the field
- ensure that you acquire the necessary skills for the advanced assessment of contemporary problems in European politics, society, and economy, and their solutions
- develop your general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills)
- produce the policy-relevant knowledge, as well as analytical and research skills, which are valued in employment contexts linked to EU- and national policymaking.
The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Placements and Internships Officer who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.
Many students at our Brussels centre who undertake internships are offered contracts in Brussels immediately after graduation. Others have joined their home country’s diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have chosen to undertake a ‘stage’ at the European Commission, or another EU institution.
Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.