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MSc in Comparative Politics


Course Description

Master's specialisation in Comparative Politics

Analysing the challenges facing 21st Century (non-)democracies
Is immigration a threat to democracy? Is Europe witnessing a surge in populist sentiment? How can governments reform their welfare states to deal with the growing costs of an ageing population? Contemporary governments face these and other political challenges in an increasingly globalised world. In the Master's specialisation in Comparative Politics, you’ll examine the configuration of political power within countries as well as analyse how and why political responses to contemporary challenges vary across countries.
The specialisation provides students with strong theoretical foundations and substantive empirical knowledge in subjects such as representative and deliberative democracy, political parties, democratic reform, the welfare state, gender and immigration policy. Our emphasis on both theory and empirical knowledge provides the tools to critically analyse contemporary problems facing democracies, both within and outside of Europe. It will also train you to assess the effects of proposed policy solutions. You will be prepared for a career in leading positions in both the public and private sector.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cp

Why study Comparative Politics at Radboud University

- Our international CP staff has a wide range of expertise, including, political parties, electoral politics, gender, inequality, welfare states, immigration and populism. Staff members integrate their latest research and those of their colleagues into their seminars.

- Our programme is consistently ranked number one by the most influential Dutch higher education rating organisations. The key to this success is our emphasis on small and interactive classes and the quality of our instructors.

- Radboud University boasts a strong international community.

- Staff members are actively involved in advising governments, societal and political organisations, incorporating practical experience and insights into their teaching.

Change perspective

The Comparative Politics Master’s will provide new insights into configurations of political power around the world. Politics is much more than elections; it’s also about grass roots mobilisation, mediatisation, and conflicts over values.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Political Science or a related discipline from a recognised, academic university.
A substantial part of the courses in your Bachelor’s degree should be in your preferred specialisation: International Relations, Political Theory, Comparative Politics or Public Administration (COMPASS).

2. Competency in Social Science Research Methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
Due to the strong academic nature of this programme, it is essential that students have the necessary basic research skills. Applicants with little or no Social Science Research Methodology in their previous education may get admission, provided they first complete an (oral) examination in research methodology. The oral exam can be held in person in Nijmegen or via Skype.

3. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers* of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- a. TOEFL (iBT) Certificate: minimum overall score of 90, with subscores not lower than 18, or
- An IELTS score of >6.5 with subscores not lower than 6.0, or
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) ): minimum score of C, or
- Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): minimum score of C.

Career prospects

Our graduates have the skills that employers want: sound research and analytical skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; and experience in working in teams and independently.
These skills and knowledge will prepare you for positions in policymaking, administration, and project management in the public and private sector, as well as in research settings. Our alumni have positions as policymakers in international organisations, political parties, government ministries, market authorities, the European Parliament and the European Commission. Our alumni also work as consultants for profit and non-profit organisations and as researchers at think-tanks and universities. They are also employed by banks and other financial institutions and by the media.

Our approach to this field

Comparative Politics at Radboud University focuses on the following aspects:

- Political conflict in the age of globalisation
Opening up the newspaper or turning on the television it would be hard to miss recent developments such as Catalan and Scottish demands for independence, challenges to authoritarian regimes (i.e. the Arab Spring), the persistence of populist parties (in Europe and elsewhere), debates on immigration, and demands by young people for employment and a better future (e.g. the indignados movement). We are interested in uncovering the social, economic, and political causes of such developments, while also questioning whether events such as these are destabilising or whether they will be accommodated into existing institutional structures.

- Alternative forms of representation
Democracies face unprecedented challenges in areas like migration, environmental degradation, and demographic change. However, democracies must also cope with electorates that are increasingly dissatisfied with government performance and legitimacy. Some citizens withdraw from political participation, some turn to populist and anti-establishment parties, while others become even more politically active. In comparative politics we utilise a variety of theoretical perspectives to analyse these trends, while we also seek to propose possible solutions to these problems.

- Political challenges to political reform
We study the politics of reform across a wide range of social policies, targeting inequalities while seeking to learn from the best comparative work available on the welfare state, gender equality, migration and integration and sexual equality.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cp

Visit the MSc in Comparative Politics page on the Radboud University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Lauren Bruffaerts

"I knew I'd made the right choice."
Within the first month of starting the International Relations Master's programme at Radboud I knew I'd made the right choice: the faculty staff is excellent and the classes are small and taught in faultless academic English. The International Relations specialization instantly drew me in, because it exposed the intricacies involved in IR theory debates, conflicts, and the global political economy. These lessons, alongside the strong emphasis placed on learning research methods, have been invaluable whilst constructing my Thesis. Additionally, writing a policy brief for an unconventional stakeholder (a terrorist group) and participating in a memorable simulation game that saw us negotiating the EU High Representative's draft statement on the Kosovo conflict proved to be a highly stimulating way of gaining insight into the potential future pathways open to Political Science M.Sc. graduates.

(Student Profile)

Wouter Saes

'This programme bridges core fields in Political Science'

"I find the Political Theory Master's programme at Radboud University most appealing, because it does not only critically evaluate political theories on a philosophical level, but also evaluates the practical implications of those theories. The variety of theories and research subjects is not only fun in itself, but it also enables me to approach important political debates from different points of view and by doing so, to shed a new light on them.

"The programme bridges core fields of political science (e.g. International Relations or Comparative Politics), because it is able to cover a wide range of topics, from justice in war to deliberative democracy and animal rights. This specialisation allows you to normatively evaluate all kinds of contemporary problems, which is invaluable in your later career."

(Student Profile)

Indra Römgens

'This Master's programme gave me the perfect foundation'

"At the moment I work as a junior researcher at SOMO, a foundation for research on multinational corporations. As a member of the Economic Justice team, I work on a number of projects that deal with issues such as food and commodity speculation by large companies and other financial players; the Netherlands as a tax haven, and tax avoidance by multinationals. This job suits me very well. I really enjoy doing research! I think it is important that research is not just an end in itself, but is used as a foundation for change or to spark improvements on the issues we examine at SOMO.

My work at SOMO
"On an average working day I study articles, news items, reports, etc. As SOMO's research is specifically aimed at companies, I also study annual reports, financial statements and statements from the Chamber of Commerce. Writing reports is also part of the job. Furthermore, I attend a lot of meetings, at SOMO or at organisations we work with. I quite often visit conferences or meetings on specific topics that I'm working on.

An excellent framework
"The Radboud Master's programme in Political Science has given me the perfect foundation for my job as a junior researcher. The research skills in particular have taught me how to set up a survey or study, how to formulate the right questions, what research methods to use, how to collect data, etc. And what's more, the knowledge I acquired on politics and economics during my course provides me with an excellent framework to interpret and understand all the information (which is a lot!) I collect.

"I would highly recommend that students define their own path for their studies by selecting issues for their papers that really interest them. The same applies to the elective courses. Don't be put off by what people call "mainstream". Rest assured that the choices that suit you will help you to find the job that's best for you."

(Student Profile)

Lotte Melenhorst

‘Doing my own research feels like a dream come true'
‘Just before finishing my master's degree in Comparative Political Science at Radboud University, I was offered a PhD at the University of Leiden. Here I'm researching politics and media, focusing on the impact of media attention on the law making process. My research is part of a VIDI project, led by the Flemish researcher Dr. Peter van Aelst. As a result I am also a member of the Antwerp research group Media, Movements and Politics. Being a researcher suits me perfectly, so needless to say, I'm very happy with my job. It does feel a bit strange though, to work at a university without actually being a student. As a bachelor student I discovered I had a passion for research, so being able to do my own research, feels like a dream come true. And the opportunity to travel abroad to attend conferences and seminars is the icing on the cake!'

From student to researcher
‘At Radboud University I was trained to be a critical scientist. While the bachelor's programme provided me with solid research skills and in depth knowledge on the different subfields of Political Science, the Master's in Comparative Political Science allowed me to specialise. This prepared me perfectly for my current job, which is pretty much like having to write another master's thesis, except this time there are no deadlines and there is plenty of time.'

‘What really inspires me?'
‘I expanded my Political Science curriculum with many more courses that interested me, such as American Studies, Cultural Studies, Parliamentary History, Governance Science (Utrecht University) and Journalism (VU University Amsterdam). This allowed me to develop a broader view and to better value the strengths and weaknesses of Political Science. A clearer view on science definitely enhanced my job prospects as a PhD student. That's why I recommend (future) Political Science students to keep asking themselves: what really inspires me? What subjects do I want to know more about? Where can I get the answers to my questions about these subjects? If you follow your heart, you will gain new experiences and opportunities. And of course that does not necessarily mean pursuing a PhD.'

(Student Profile)

Vincent Hurkens

‘I enable MEPs to do their job'

"As a policy officer I advise Members of the European Parliament on a large number of files the European Parliament has to deal with. My average working day in Brussels starts with scanning the international newspapers. Which subjects are on the news? How can we contribute as a political party to the issues that are on the political agenda? My colleagues and I discuss the best way to tackle these issues. As a policy officer I enable MEPs to do their job as well as possible. I provide them with background information, facts, figures, arguments and the strategic advice they need to define and defend their positions.

What is fair?
"During my studies I specialised in Political Theory. A perfect preparation for my current job! As a policy officer I try to contribute to a fairer Europe. But what is fair? I used to discuss issues like this with my fellow students and teachers. By doing this students learn how to form an opinion, how to debate and how to translate this into scientific publications. The structure of the European Union is relatively complex. Governments, political parties, profit and non-profit organisations, trade unions, media; as a political scientist I have to understand the relationships and interests of all these different groups. This is crucial to understanding why certain decisions are made and why they are made by certain parties.

‘Experience abroad is as informative as studying'
"Don't be pushed into graduating as quickly as possible! Try to take part in an exchange programme like Erasmus for a term or year. To me, living and studying abroad - in a different context - was just as useful as the rest of my studies."

(Student Profile)

Jeroen Romeijn

"I was able to write about a subject that really interested me."
I chose the Master's in Comparative and European Politics hoping that it would be both academically challenging and interesting -it sure lived up to my expectations! Additionally, the programme Comparative and European Politics addresses the subjects that first attracted me in studying political science: subjects ranging from changes in modern democracy and elections to immigration and equality policies.
The combination of dedicated teachers and small and interactive classes means that the education at the Master's level is both intense and rewarding. Furthermore, the program has a strong focus on academic skills, methods and thinking. This focus also helped me to integrate and quickly understand the many different subjects covered in the program. Of course, the most memorable part of the Master's is the thesis. For my thesis I did a quantitative analysis on the introduction of same-sex marriage in Western-European countries. I especially enjoyed being able to thoroughly study a topic I found interesting and to write a thesis that is actually related to current academic publications. The liberty afforded me in choosing a topic and methodology means that I was able to write about a subject that really interested me.
I am currently studying in Sweden and I find that the methodological and analytical skills I acquired during my Master's at the Radboud University are very helpful in quickly grasping the core of large amounts of information. I hope that in the coming years these skills will enable me to pursue a PHD in the field of comparative politics.

(Student Profile)

Jeroen Toet

'The discussions and debates inspired me'

"The Master's specialisation in Political Theory appealed to me the most because it offered me the possibility to explore important social and political matters in more depth and to go beyond mere data. The variety of theories and research subjects that were covered by this specialisation was not only fun in itself, but it also enabled me to approach important political debates from different points of view and by doing so, to shed a new light on them. The qualitative character of the Master's was a great addition to the solid quantitative and theoretical nature of the Bachelor's. For me, that qualitative focus of the Master's ultimately offered me the possibility to explore my subjects of interest more freely than in any other Master's specialisations. Above all, the discussions and debates with the professors and my fellow students inspired me tremendously.

"Studying Political Theory not only was a lot of fun, it also was of much use in developing valuable professional skills that helped me in my career. In Political Theory one learns to reduce problems to their kernel and to really touch the heart of the matter. It very much honed my skills of structure and presenting lines of argument more coherently and accessibly. Also, one is challenged to probe deeper into the matters than one would normally do, to really go beyond what at first meets the eye and come up with creative analyses and solutions: skills that are invaluable in today's world."

(Student Profile)

Ruud van Druenen

"Graduate students of Comparative Politics from Nijmegen stand out"
The Comparative Politics programme offers a lot of freedom to choose your own topics for essays and papers. This enables you to explore specific subjects of interest and to specialize in a specific discipline.

What I like most is the contact with the accessible, knowledgeable and international staff that are all top scientists within their discipline. In my view, these dedicated teachers significantly contribute to the added value of Comparative Politics in Nijmegen.

Furthermore, the Master’s programme offers a solid preparation for one’s first steps into the labour market. I think graduate students of Comparative Politics from Nijmegen stand out for their analytical skills; an indispensable asset for a future career in public administration, academia, or the private sector.

(Student Profile)

Wim Tonissen

"I have been able to develop my analytic and tactical skills"
Through this Master’s programme I have been able to further develop my analytic and tactical skills. These come in very handy now that I work as a policy advisor for the parliamentary group of the political party D66. Every year I transfer my knowledge and experience to new Master students when they visit me in the Hague for ‘a day on the job’ in the House of Representatives.


(Scholarship)

Radboud Scholarship Programme - 20+ Awards

The Radboud Scholarship Programme is very selective and is only intended for talented students who have obtained outstanding study results and are highly motivated to pursue a Master's degree programme at Radboud University. You must have finalized your request for admission via our online application system OSIRIS Incoming Students before 1 April.The scholarship is not paid in money but instead covers the additional non-EEA expenses.
For example: a grant holder in 2017/2018 will pay a tuition fee of only €2,006, instead of €9,432 or €10,360. In addition the Radboud Scholarship also covers costs such as those for visa, residence permit, health insurance and liability insurance. This amounts to about €725.Each year about 30 Radboud Scholarships are awarded to selected talented non-EEA students for the duration of one of the Master's degree programmes *Learn more about other applicable scholarship programmes on the website of Radboud University.

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

The Radboud Scholarship Programme offers a selected number of talented prospective non-EEA students the opportunity to receive a scholarship to pursue an English-taught Master's degree programme at Radboud University Nijmegen.Selection criteria:1. talent: this means that you must have outstanding study results in your present field of study;
2. expected to be a promising students in your desired field of study at Radboud University;
3. proven academic quality and good results of your prior education for example through grades, test scores, publications.
4. quality of the recommendations in the two letters of recommendation;
5. motivation: based on your motivation letter.

Application Procedure

The application for admission and the application for the scholarship is fully integrated, there is no separate procedure for the scholarship. You apply for a Radboud Scholarship by indicating during your application for admission that you wish to apply for a Radboud Scholarship. You will then be requested to upload three additional documents: two recommendation letters and a curriculum vitae.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/rsp


(Scholarship)

Fullbright-Radboud Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The Fulbright Center, sponsored by Radboud University, is offering scholarships to excellent American students for study and research purposes at graduate and PhD levels at Radboud University Nijmegen. The Fulbright Center's mission is to promote mutual understanding between Dutch and American citizens by providing financial assistance for study, research and teaching. To qualify for a scholarship, applicants must have American nationality, have excellent academic marks, engage in extracurricular activities and be admitted to Radboud University Nijmegen.The grant will be paid in 12 monthly instalments of €1050. International travel will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €900. The cost of the residence permit (approximately €350) will be covered as well. An extra allowance of €1150 will be paid on arrival, and can be used to cover the cost of the tuition fee or the costs of settling in. Tuition fees are not waived, and differ per program.
Application for 2016-2017 opens on 1 May 2016 and closes on 13 October 2016.

Value of Scholarship(s)

12 monthly instalments of €1050 + extra allowance for travel and additional costs

Eligibility

For American students.
The Fulbright Centre, sponsored by Radboud University, is offering scholarships for talented American students to study at Radboud University.

Application Procedure

For more information please see the Fulbright website.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/masters/fulbright


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - Brazil Programme - 10 Awards

Through the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) programme, Dutch higher education institutions offer incentive scholarships to attract highly qualified Brazilians to follow a study programme at Master's level.Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2017/2018). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

For students from Brazil who study at Master's level at Radboud University.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for the Orange Tulip Scholarship Brazil is 1 April. For more information about how to apply, please visit Nuffic Neso Brazil's website.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/brazil


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - Mexico Programme - 5 Awards

Through the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) programme, Dutch higher education institutions offer incentive scholarships to attract highly qualified Mexicans to follow a study programme at Master's level. Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2017/2018). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered.

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

For Mexican students who study at Master's level at Radboud University.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for the Orange Tulip Scholarship Mexico is 1 April. For more information about how to apply, please visit the Nuffic Neso OTS Mexico website.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/mexico


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - Indonesia Programme - 6 Awards

For Indonesian students, Radboud University offers one Orange Tulip Scholarships which are available for all English-taught Master’s programmes at Radboud University (with the exception of Erasmus Mundus Master's programmes, joint or double-degree Master's programmes and the Master's programme in Theology).Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2017/2018). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered .

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

For Indonesian students who study at a Master's level at Radboud University.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for the Orange Tulip Scholarship Indonesia is 1 April.You can find more information about the Orange Tulip Scholarship Indonesia, and how to apply, on the Nuffic Neso Indonesia website.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/indonesia


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - China Programme - 6 Awards

The Orange Tulip Scholarship programme (OTS) was launched by Nuffic Neso China in 2008. The success of the programme relies on the support from not only the Dutch academic sector, but also the Dutch business sector in China. The purpose of this initiative is to offer valuable study opportunities for young Chinese talents to study in the Netherlands through joint contributions from the Dutch higher education institutions and China-based Dutch companies.Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2017/2018). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered.

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

The Orange Tulip Scholarship China programme is only open to qualified students from Mainland China who study at a Master's level at Radbout University.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for the Orange Tulip Scholarship China is 1 April.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/china


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - Korea Programme - 3 Awards

Nuffic Neso South-Korea launched the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) in January 2010 to provide opportunities for talented Korean students to study in Holland. The scholarship is available for all English-taught Master’s programmes at Radboud University (with the exception of Erasmus Mundus Master's programmes, joint or double-degree Master's programmes and the Master's programme in Theology).Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2017/2018). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered.

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

For Korean students, Radboud University offers three Orange Tulip Scholarships.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for the Orange Tulip Scholarship South Korea is 1 April.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/korea


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - Russia Programme - 8 Awards

For the first time, Nuffic Neso Russia has launched the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS), a special programme for talented Russian students to study in Holland. It is available for all English-taught Master's programmes at Radboud University (with the exception of Erasmus Mundus Master's programmes, joint or double-degree Master's programmes and the Master's programme in Theology).Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2016/2017). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered .

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

For Russian students, Radboud University offers eight Orange Tulip Scholarships.

Application Procedure

The deadline for applications for the Orange Tulip Scholarship Russia is 1 April. In order to apply for the scholarship, you must have already applied for a Master's programme at Radboud University. In order to receive the scholarship, you must be admitted to a Master's programme.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/russia


(Scholarship)

Orange Tulip Scholarship - Vietnam Programme - 3 Awards

The Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme gives excellent students coming from one of these countries the opportunity to study at Radboud University. Radboud University participates in the OTS programme with several benefits for international students. Instead of the institutional tuition fees, non-EEA students pay the legal tuition fees (€2,006 in 2017/2018). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance and health insurance are covered .

Value of Scholarship(s)

legal instead of institutional tuition fees

Eligibility

For Vietnamese students, Radboud University offers three Orange Tulip Scholarships.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for the Orange Tulip Scholarship Vietnam is 1 April. For more information about how to apply, please visit Nuffic Neso Vietnam's website.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/ots/vietnam


(Scholarship)

The Holland Scholarship Programme - 12 Awards

The Holland Scholarship (HS) gives excellent students the opportunity to study at Radboud University. The HS is open to students with the following nationalities: Canadian, American, Indian and Turkish. All English-taught Master’s programmes are eligible for the HS and amount to € 5,000.-

Value of Scholarship(s)

The scholarship amounts to £ 3.700

Eligibility

The HS is open to students with the following nationalities: Canadian, American, Indian and Turkish. All English-taught Master’s programmes are eligible for the HS.

Application Procedure

You can apply for the Holland Scholarship at Radboud University when you apply for a Master's programme in Osiris. That means that the application for admission and the application for the scholarship are fully integrated.
The application deadline is 1 February. If not all scholarships will be given out, the second deadline is 1 May.

Further Information

http://www.ru.nl/holland-scholarship



Entry Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from a Dutch university, or the equivalent (including courses in research methods and statistics). Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor’s degree or VWO diploma need one of the following: •TOEFL (iBT) Certificate: minimum overall score of 90, with subscores not lower than 18, or •IELTS Academic Certificate: minimum overall score of 6.5, with subscores not lower than 6.0, or •Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): minimum score of C, or •Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): minimum score of C.

Course Fees

€2,006 (from EEA-countries): €9432 (from non-EEA countries)


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