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Masters Degrees in International Politics, Netherlands

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International Relations as a discipline is almost a century old. About its origins different interpretations exist, but in general IR emerged in response to the consequences of power politics in Europe, culminating in the First World War, and in response to specific research questions within Political Science. Read more
International Relations as a discipline is almost a century old. About its origins different interpretations exist, but in general IR emerged in response to the consequences of power politics in Europe, culminating in the First World War, and in response to specific research questions within Political Science. IR in Europe started as an interdisciplinary project, IR in Groningen still follows this tradition.

International Relations and International Organization, a specialization of the Master International Relations, offers a comprehensive study in theory and practice. Theretofore, IRIO uses a 'self-service' model. Besides the mandatory course on advanced theory and the master thesis, you can select from specialized capita and research seminars in four essential areas of Internationals Relations: International Security, International Political Economy, European Integration, Global Governance and East Asian Studies. Moreover, to prepare for an international career you can organize an internship at a public or private organization in the field of international relations, where you can apply your knowledge and skills in a 'real-time' environment.

Why in Groningen?

The Master's specialization IRIO offers: (a) flexibility in the selection of courses, enabling students to design a study programme tailored to their needs and interests; (b) a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff; (c) reserves room for a career-oriented internship that excellently prepares graduates for the labour market and (d) provides an excellent preparation for a variety of positions related to the broad field of international relations.

Job perspectives

The Master's specialization is broad in scope and gives students a solid foundation in international relations. There is consequently a wide range of employment opportunities for International Relations graduates. The most obvious profession is a policy advisor, but you could also become a researcher, lobbyist, diplomat, or PR officer. You can work in international business, non-profit or government organizations, in the media, and at a university or a private research institute.

Research International Relations and International Organization

Research conducted within the Department of International Relations and International Organization takes mostly place within the context of one of the four other specializations: Global Governance, International Security, European Integration and International Political Economy. We kindly direct you to those sites to get an impression of the research activities of the Department. In addition, you are invited to click on the link below to access an article published by staff of the Department.

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International Security, a specialization of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Read more
International Security, a specialization of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.

Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence, i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as environmental security (about climate change or industrial hazards), societal security (about group identities) and economic security (about welfare and development). These different types of concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.

Why in Groningen?

The Master's specialization International Security: (a) pays attention to the theoretical developments as well as the dimensions of the contemporary security agenda; (b) offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff; (c) includes a career-oriented internship that prepares graduates for the labour market; and (d) provides an excellent preparation for positions at a broad variety of security-oriented and conflict-management related institutions.

Job perspectives

The Master's specialization is broad in scope and gives students a solid foundation in international relations. There is consequently a wide range of employment opportunities for International Relations graduates. The most obvious profession is a policy advisor, but you could also become a researcher, lobbyist, diplomat, or PR officer. You can work in international business, non-profit or government organizations, in the media, and at a university or a private research institute.

Research International Security

The chairgroup International Security Studies (ISS) is part of the Department of IRIO. The six permanent staff members and over 10 PhD students all contribute to the Faculty's research theme Conflict Studies. This is done at various levels of abstraction, focusing on various issue-areas and on various political contexts.

At the theoretical level the chairgroup aims to contribute to a better understanding of conceptualizations of security in time and space. How have academic debates in security studies evolved and how do they relate to security policies? This implies a focus on securitization theory, regional security complex theory, strategic studies, critical security studies and peace research.
In terms of issue-areas the group presently studies developments in military & defence policies, terrorism, peace making, peace building &peace keeping - including security sector reform -, societal security in relation to social identities and state formation, and finally securitization in energy, food, and health policies.
In terms of political contexts, the group focuses on institutional and regional settings in which security policies are shaped and implemented. Developments in Intergovernmental Organizations are studied - notably, in the European Union, NATO and the United Nations Security Council, and also in Non-Governmental Organizations in close cooperation with the research projects related to the Network on Humanitarian Action. The chairgroup has regional expertise about security politics in Europe (including Turkey), the Middle East, parts of Sub-Sahara Africa, and China.

The chairgroup brings much of its research interests together in the specialization International Security of the MA degree program IRIO.

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Analysing conflict and cooperation in a globalising world. Tackling global issues in the 21st Century requires a deeper understanding of the essential players that shape global politics. Read more

Master's specialisation in International Relations

Analysing conflict and cooperation in a globalising world.
Tackling global issues in the 21st Century requires a deeper understanding of the essential players that shape global politics: governments, intergovernmental organisations, media, multinationals, and NGOs.
Our International Relations specialisation will provide you with an insight into these players and into fundamental questions of contemporary international relations: is the international community equipped to address violent conflict and (cyber) terrorism? Why do states intervene in some cases of human rights violations, but not in other? Will the competition for natural resources intensify domestic and international conflict? What are the political consequences of regional integration (in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia) and of the emergence of powers such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs)? What are the political ramifications of global trade and finance?
In our Master’s specialisation in International Relations you will learn to master different perspectives in order to understand the complexity of global issues and the dilemmas behind the political choices made by policy-makers. Our emphasis on both analytical skills and empirical knowledge will provide you with the tools to critically analyse contemporary global issues, thus preparing you for a career in international affairs and diplomacy.

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

Why study International Relations at Radboud University?

- Our programme is consistently ranked number one by leading Dutch ratings organisations in the field of higher education. The key to this success is the high quality and strong commitment of our instructors.
- We focus on current global and regional issues, helping you comprehend both the complexity and diversity of today’s global political arenas.
- Our programme also trains you to understand vital decision-making processes. We study how political choices are legitimised, discussing the power of persuasion, the role of norms and the impact of identity.
- We are also motivated by the challenges raised by globalisation and try to explain why some distributional effects of globalisation lead to political conflict while others do not. We also look at how national political systems deal with such conflicts.
- Our international staff has a wide range of expertise on international organisations, crisis management, gender, international political economy, foreign policy analysis, and ethics. The themes and issues discussed are cutting edge.
- We offer small, interactive classes. Students are taken seriously as young academics and reflective practitioners.
- Our programme is analytical as well as practice oriented. We have close links with public and private organisations, which students could use to find an internship position for themselves.
- Our Political Science Department thrives on a vibrant community of Dutch and international students, and welcomes active student involvement.

Disentangling structures of power

At Radboud University you’re taught to look beyond the daily news and to disentangle deeper global structures of power that underlie the causes and outcomes of global conflicts. You’ll be trained to not just develop possible options for a particular stakeholder, but to take it one step further and adopt different perspectives for different stakeholders, assessing whether they are willing and capable of pursuing those solutions.

Career prospects

Our alumni have positions as policy-makers 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 employed by banks and other financial institutions and by the media. This is because our graduates have the skills that employers want, namely sound research and analytical skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, and experience in working both in teams and independently.

Our approach to this field

We invite you to become part of our vibrant academic community in which we encourage independent critical thinking. Our committed staff takes the views and contributions of our students seriously. You will learn to:
- Distinguish, historically situate and apply a wide range of different theories and stakeholders’ perspectives.
- Develop sound judgments of existing research and become a confident researcher and responsible professional.
- Produce different types of written products with direct relevance to your future career and to develop the oral skills to handle these products in work-related settings.

We believe that by introducing students to the fascinating field of international relations new generations can meet the challenges of global politics in the 21st century. International Relations at Radboud University focuses on the following themes:
1. Security crises
2. nternational conflict and cooperation
3. Comparative regionalism
4. Global trade and finance
5. Global justice, human rights and development

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

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Within the one-year Master's degree in International Relations, you choose one of the following six Master's specializations. - International Security. Read more
Within the one-year Master's degree in International Relations, you choose one of the following six Master's specializations:

- International Security: its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.
- International Political Economy: it focuses on the interaction between states, markets and societies. Its primary aim is to increase our understanding of the dynamics of these three building blocks.
- European Integration: it explores the history, theory and policies of the European Union and her member states.
- Global Governance: it seeks to understand the role of international organizations in global politics from a world society perspective.
- International Relations and International Organization: combines and explores all four areas mentioned above.
- East Asian Studies: it focuses on the political economy of contemporary East Asia, in particular the political economies of China, Japan and Korea. (This specialization only starts in September!)

Why in Groningen?

- Choice between five specialisations
- Career-oriented internship
- A research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff
- Independent and innovative research
- Provides an excellent preparation for a variety of position related to the broad field of International Relations

Job perspectives

The Master's specialization is broad in scope and gives students a solid foundation in international relations. There is consequently a wide range of employment opportunities for International Relations graduates. The most obvious profession is a policy advisor, but you could also become a researcher, lobbyist, diplomat, or PR officer. You can work in international business, non-profit or government organizations, in the media, and at a university or a private research institute.

Research International Relations

Research conducted within the Department of International Relations and International Organization takes mostly place within the context of one of the four other specializations: Global Governance, International Security, European Integration and International Political Economy. We kindly direct you to those sites to get an impression of the research activities of the Department. In addition, you are invited to click on the link below to access an article published by staff of the Department.

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Why is violent conflict so pervasive? How can we explain the origins and intensity of violent conflicts? What are the conditions for an enduring peace?. Read more

Why is violent conflict so pervasive? How can we explain the origins and intensity of violent conflicts? What are the conditions for an enduring peace?

The Master's specialisation in Conflict, Power and Politics offers students insights into the origins, causes, and processes of conflict and conflict resolution. Recognising that contemporary conflicts cannot be understood without taking both domestic and international politics into account, the programme draws on comparative politics, international relations and conflict studies. Students will critically explore themes such as the determinants of political violence and warfare; the impact of political systems on the ways in which political demands are articulated; the links between ethnic violence, nationalism and war; how international regulations affect efforts to acquire peace; and which ethical dilemmas arise in such situations.

Combined vision

This Master’s programme is built around the basic notion that causes and (lasting) resolution of (violent) conflict can only be properly understood if we combine insights from international relations, comparative politics, conflict studies and international ethics: conflict may have domestic origins, but always has an international-political dimension; resolving such conflicts requires a proper grasp of the ethical and practical dimensions on intervention and peace building.

Our staff investigates the role of international organisations in humanitarian intervention and peace building (VerkorenVerbeek); the role of social and political movements in mobilising conflict (ZasloveLehrMalejacq); how changes in political representation contribute the (de)escalation of (potential) conflicts (Jacobsvan LeeuwenSwedlund); how major global power transformations affect the likelihood of local conflict (Eimer).

Why study Conflict, Power, and Politics at Radboud University?

  • This Master's programme was recently awarded the quality label ‘Top Programme' and rated best in their field in the Keuzegids Masters 2017 (Guide to Master's programmes).
  • Our students rate this Master’s programme 8,4 out of 10 according to the National Student Survey 2017.
  • We offer small, interactive classes. Students are taken seriously as young academics and reflective practitioners.
  • Our programme is analytical as well as practice oriented. We have close links with public and private organisations, which students could use to find an internship position for themselves.
  • Our Political Science Department thrives on a vibrant community of Dutch and international students, and welcomes active student involvement.
  • Best Master’s programme according to the Elsevier magazine’s survey Beste studies 2017.

Career prospects

Students in this Master’s programme prepare for a career as academic, (inter)national policy or decision maker, or journalist. Students acquire skills for positions as policy makers in NGOs, media international organisations, political parties, national ministries, and supranational institutions. They may also work as consultants for profit and non-profit organisations and as researchers at think tanks or universities. Our graduates obtain the skills that employers covet, such as sound research and analytical skills, excellent writing and oral communication skills, and experience in working in teams and working independently.

Find out more at http://www.ru.nl/masters/cpp



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The master programme in International Relations at Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities offers a comprehensive understanding of the complexities defining today's world, providing an outstanding platform for a career in the international arena. Read more

The master programme in International Relations at Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities offers a comprehensive understanding of the complexities defining today's world, providing an outstanding platform for a career in the international arena.

Define your area of expertise

Join the only master's programme in the Netherlands to offer five unique specialisations within the field of international relations. With a broad curriculum and flexible design, the International Relations programme allows you to tailor your degree to suit your career goals. Five specialisations are available, each with their own thematic focus, and each with further scope for customisation. You will be able to specialise in areas ranging from the European integration process to the global political economy.

Real-world Learning

At Leiden University, relevance and real-world issues are at the fore. During your master's programme, you explore the most current global events through a comparative, area studies lens. More than theory, you learn from professionals from some of the world's largest organisations. An important focus is developing your ability to conduct relevant, original and innovative research.

World-class expertise

The International Relations master is taught by leading academics at Leiden University as well as experts from our network of professionals. Small classes provide plenty of direct contact with all lecturers and a high-level of guidance and support. You will acquire the knowledge and critical-thinking skills that will help you excel in any given occupation.

Additional MA in International Affairs

During your studies, you are eligible to apply to the prestigious MA in International Affairs at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, Bologna.

Specialisations



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East Asia is the foremost dynamic region in the world. This Master's specialization is organized around the achievements, opportunities and challenges facing East Asia. Read more
East Asia is the foremost dynamic region in the world. This Master's specialization is organized around the achievements, opportunities and challenges facing East Asia. Taught by international staff affiliated with the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen this International Relations Master's programme focuses on the political economy and international relations of China, Japan and Korea.

The programme takes a multidisciplinary approach. Lectures and seminars are taught by experts in international relations, history, economy or law. You will gain knowledge on the top-three economies in East Asia and develop oral, writing and research skills to analyze developments from a local and global perspective. Work placement and study abroad are optional.

Why in Groningen?

- A unique International Relations Master's programme on the Political Economy of contemporary East Asia
- A multi-disciplinary approach towards developments in contemporary China, Japan and Korea
- Optional opportunities to study or gain hands-on experience in East Asia
- Private sector participation and guest speakers from East Asia
- Further opportunities to focus on Hong Kong, Taiwan or emerging countries such as Mongolia

Job perspectives

This degree has been designed for students who aspire to a career related to East Asia in international business, international cooperation, diplomacy, media and academia.

Job examples

- Business consultant
- Lobbyist
- Diplomat
- Policy advisor
- Researcher
- Manager

Research

Individual research topics of faculty members include: Economic Transition and Institutional Change in Asia, Political Economy of China, China and the World Economy, Land Tenure and Land Governance in China, Land Registration in China, International Trade Law and China, China-EU Relations, 19th Century Business Cycles in China, Religion in Modern China, Private International Law and China, Carbon Emission Trading and Competition Law in East Asia, Political Economies of Global Health in Asia, History of Japan, Foreign Policy of Japan, Japan-EU relations, Technology and Culture in Contemporary Japan, regionalization in Asia, Foreign and Security Policies of Korea, Visual Politics and North Korea, Foreign Policy of Mongolia.

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What is the meaning of citizenship in modern culture? What is the value of democracy? What does today's sociopolitical atmosphere mean for the future of liberty itself? Given the current international backdrop of cultural conflicts, political strife and radical new technologies, a thorough understanding of such issues is more urgently needed than ever. Read more

What is the meaning of citizenship in modern culture? What is the value of democracy? What does today's sociopolitical atmosphere mean for the future of liberty itself? Given the current international backdrop of cultural conflicts, political strife and radical new technologies, a thorough understanding of such issues is more urgently needed than ever. In the master's programme in Politics and Society, you will gain insight into how culture has become a source of concern and conflict in the national and international political arenas. You will also explore the different professional roles a student of politics and society can play in political organisations, in the media or in think tanks.

You can choose to follow this programme completely in English or completely in Dutch. You will get an MA in Arts and Culture with a specialisation in Politics and Society.

Why this programme?

Multiculturalism. Integration. Neopopulism. Meritocracy. These are some of the hottest topics around today, and they are all on the table in this programme. The common thread: how culture has become a source of concern and conflict in the national and international political arenas.

You will analyse these topics and new political developments from a broad range of perspectives. After all, this programme does not train you to become a political scientist, historian, philosopher or sociologist, but a generalist who can combine approaches from all these disciplines.

Political controversies in a social context

You will learn to critically diagnose contemporary problems and practices in the area of politics and society. This requires three crucial academic skills, which you will develop during the programme:

  • Historicising: placing ideas, concepts, problems as well as institutions in their historical contexts
  • Comparing: working in a comparative manner, not only by looking back, but also by looking elsewhere
  • Situating: placing things in a practical context, a ‘place’ where knowledge is deployed, used and applied

An integrated approach

Identifying and pursuing your own intellectual passions is a must. The overall aim is to get a grip on the pressing issues confronting Western societies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Since societal and political developments are interwoven, this integrated approach is crucial.

In this programme, you will:

  • Obtain a deep understanding of contemporary politics
  • Become experienced in working independently as a scholar
  • Gain insight into the professional fields open to you, e.g. in the media, consultancy, politics


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In today’s unpredictable political climate international relations are increasingly important. The MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy is uniquely designed to bring you multidisciplinary insights and practical skills essential to negotiation and diplomacy. Read more

In today’s unpredictable political climate international relations are increasingly important. The MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy is uniquely designed to bring you multidisciplinary insights and practical skills essential to negotiation and diplomacy.

In the current era of global interdependence, collaborative efforts are needed to meet the most pressing challenges in international politics, security and economics. This unique Master’s programme is collaborative in nature: taught jointly by Leiden University’s Institute for Security and Global Affairs (Faculty Governance and Global Affairs), Institute of Political Science (Faculty of Social Sciences) and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

Choose International Relations and Diplomacy at Leiden University:

  • Your understanding and practice of diplomacy are stimulated by a unique combination of academic insights into international relations and political science, plus essential practical skills.
  • Located in The Hague, this MSc puts you in the centre of European and global politics.
  • The shared knowledge and top reputation of Leiden University combined with the expertise and renown of Clingendael offers a prestigious programme that can really launch your career.


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With the so-called ‘transnational turn', American Studies increasingly looks across and beyond national borders. In this program, you will explore the politics, culture and society of the United States, both within and outside the national borders. Read more
With the so-called ‘transnational turn', American Studies increasingly looks across and beyond national borders. In this program, you will explore the politics, culture and society of the United States, both within and outside the national borders. A central theme is the exchange of cultural and political ideas between North America and Europe and related issues in the fields of Americanisation, globalisation, cultural mobility and political and cultural imperialism.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/americanstudies/political

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in American Studies or related area
You are required to have a Dutch Bachelor's degree (or equivalent, from a research university) in American Studies or a Bachelor's degree in English Language & Culture with a specialisation in American Studies. If you have specialised in English you can apply if you had at least 40EC in courses related to American Studies. If you have a different academic background, you will need to have achieved 60 EC in courses related to American Studies.

2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in the program, you need to have a sufficient level of English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following
- A TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), 100 (internet-based);
- An IELTS score of at least 7.0;
- A Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of B or higher.

Career prospects

There is a wide range of opportunities for graduates from the Master's program in North American Studies. Your broad interdisciplinary education and excellent command of English will help you find a job in an international setting. You could work in school or university education, in research, in journalism or other media, in publishing, museums, international finance, government, business, international affairs or as a diplomat.

Our approach to this field

With the so-called ‘transnational turn', American Studies increasingly looks across and beyond national borders. In this program, you will explore the politics, culture and society of the United States, both within and outside the national borders. A central theme is the exchange of cultural and political ideas between North America and Europe and related issues in the fields of Americanisation, globalisation, cultural mobility and political and cultural imperialism.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/americanstudies/political

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Rather than withering away under the impact of globalisation, borders have become privileged sites today for investigating the contemporary transformation of European governance, sovereignty, territory and identit(ies). Read more

Master's specialisation in Europe: Borders, Identity and Governance

Rather than withering away under the impact of globalisation, borders have become privileged sites today for investigating the contemporary transformation of European governance, sovereignty, territory and identit(ies). The masters specialisation Europe: Borders, Identities and Governance will focus on b/ordering processes occurring within Europe’s internal cross-border regions (or Euregions), taking into account the context of shifts in state sovereignty, territoriality, and cultural identity in Europe’s borderlands. Courses within this program will also train attention on the external bordering dimension of the European Union (ie, Eastward Enlargement, European Neighbourhood Programme), while also addressing the EU’s search for a broader role in the world. Key themes raised in this master specialisation are e.g.: cross-border governance, transnational and multi-level governance, European citizenship and ‘cosmopolitical’ identit(ies), critical border geopolitics, biopolitical b/orderings and border securitisation, European post-colonial b/ordering and ‘othering’, and the search for an ‘ethical’ dimension to European borders.

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

Career prospects

The Master's specialisation Europe: Borders, Identities and Governance provides graduates entry into rapidly growing sectors of the job market, be it government, business or academia. Students will be able to apply the scientific insights and practical skills acquired to topics as varied as Europeanisation, internationalisation, borders, identities, cross-border governance and international cooperation and politics.
With expertise gained through this master a graduate may work for a local, provincial, or national (e.g. Foreign Affairs section) government, becoming responsible for, sharing expertise in and delivering advice on cross-border cooperation, international mobility, the attraction of international firms and investments, or the acquisition of European Union funds.
Another major category of employment may be found in the field of consultancy.As a consultant or advisor, a graduate may help promote the internationalisation of a city or region, or assist regional and city governments in obtaining and managing EU- funded projects.
The master is also very well suited as preparation for an international career. A graduate may find employment with the European parliament, European Commission or related institutions, or work as a programme officer with a European organisation or as an International/European affairs expert in a firm. Opportunities also abound within the rapidly growing job market for academic researchers and/or lecturers with one of the many Dutch or international research institutes and schools focusing on European issues.

Our approach to this field

The Master's "Europe: Borders, Identities and Governance" is an engaged and inspiring master that offers state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in the field of European studies. As the European Union is a construction of politically engaged human beings, we will focus on this construction process first and foremost. We will try to find answers to questions like: why do we wish to have a European Union and in what form then, where are the borders of the European Union, how do the policies of the European
Union affect our daily lives, our national identities and national borders and how do the policies of the European Union affect the people outside the European Union, that is the neighbour countries as well as countries further away. You will be taught by distinguished and internationally recognised professors who
study these issues and publish their findings in international academic journals and contribute to the public debate. Our goal is to help you gain up-to-date insights and exchange views on this important knowledge field in a spirit of curiosity, openness and thoughtfulness. You will study theories, methods and instruments, but above all you will develop a knowledge-seeking and critical attitude.

The Master's ‘Europe: Borders, Identities and Governance’ includes a variety of cases, individual and group assignments, international excursions, lectures and seminars. This unique programme gives you the opportunity to share experiences with other students and to link theory Europe: Borders, Identities and Governance with practice. You can select the elective courses that you find interesting and important and you can choose your own topic for your master thesis. Furthermore, we offer to find an exciting and
challenging national or international internship in the field of your own interest.

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

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How can we understand the EU’s response to the financial crisis or to the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia? How do we account for the EU’s reaction to the refugee crisis provoked by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa? What is Europe’s peacekeeping role and capacity? The master's programme in European Studies trains you to answer these complex questions. Read more

How can we understand the EU’s response to the financial crisis or to the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia? How do we account for the EU’s reaction to the refugee crisis provoked by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa? What is Europe’s peacekeeping role and capacity? The master's programme in European Studies trains you to answer these complex questions. Because you cannot study Europe from just one angle, the programme examines global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. This student-centred, interdisciplinary programme is among the largest, and certainly the most international, in Europe and has an excellent reputation. You will study the internal and external dimensions of European policy, governance and administration. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture within the European milieu and between Europe and the wider world.

Why this programme?

The Master of Arts in European Studies focuses on the international dimensions of policy, governance and administration. The programme looks beyond the institutions of the European Union and the mechanics of European integration to examine global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context. The programme employs an interdisciplinary approach, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture. 

The programme offers three specialisations:

  • European Politics & International Relations: concentrates on the international position and politics of the European Union (EU) as a political entity
  • European Public Policy & Administration: focuses on the political and administrative mechanisms and balances between the institutions of the European Union, its member states and civil societies
  • Europe in a Globalising World: focuses on Europe and its member states’ shifting roles on the world stage in parallel to collective efforts to address global challenges such as international migration and development


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Are you a socially conscious, critical thinker? Are you interested in politics and technology? And does the connection between innovation and society intrigue… Read more

Are you a socially conscious, critical thinker? Are you interested in politics and technology? And does the connection between innovation and society intrigue you? Then the master’s European Studies on Society, Sciences and Technology (ESST) might be what you are looking for. As an ESST student, you will investigate the relationship between science, technology, and society, from a cultural, political, economic, and historical point of view.

This programme is offered together with 15 partner universities across Europe. You will spend your first semester taking courses at Maastricht University. During the second semester, you will select a specialisation and write your thesis either at Maastricht University or at one of the programme’s partner universities abroad.

Why this programme?

The emergence of new technology - such as smart phones, social networking, nanotechnology, robotics, sustainable energy, and disability and technology - opens up both opportunities and threats to modern societies and economies. Citizens, governments, businesses and universities face great challenges when trying to take advantage of the seemingly infinite opportunities of scientific and technological innovations, not least because of the unintended consequences that may accompany them.

Convinced that 'innovation' cannot be captured by economics alone and that a purely technical approach is not enough to understand today’s knowledge society, ESST focuses on governance, sustainability and cultures of innovation from a multidisciplinary approach. The ESST programme explores the interrelated worlds of the scientist, engineer, politician, and citizen by examining the values, language, history, politics, and economics of our modern cultures of innovation. Furthermore, the global, multicultural, and environmentally conscious perspective of the programme develops ethical awareness and public responsibility.



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The master's programme in European Public Affairs is designed to meet the growing need for professionals who have a solid understanding of the multifaceted dimensions of policy-making in Europe. Read more

The master's programme in European Public Affairs is designed to meet the growing need for professionals who have a solid understanding of the multifaceted dimensions of policy-making in Europe. As policy problems transcend national borders and national problem-solving capacities, there is a need for individuals who are familiar with the complexities of Europe and the European Union, and who can reformulate intricate problems in manageable and achievable terms.

From the perspectives of political science, law, economics, cultural science and public administration, the programme delves into contemporary policy problems. You will be encouraged to become familiar with national and regional differences within the European territory, and to search out commonalities and paths for integration.

The programme is organised in close cooperation with the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). EIPA is a professional organisation that provides training, research and consultancy within the field of European affairs. The many lectures and workshops by EIPA professionals underline the practice-oriented approach of the programme and allow you to become familiar with the complexities of transnational policy-making. You will be equipped not only with academic skills, but also the tools that you will need in professional practice.

Why this programme?

The master's programme in European Public Affairs (EPA) provides advanced professional training in both the theoretical and practical aspects of European policy-making. The policy context in the European Union is complex, and contemporary policy problems transcend national and disciplinary borders. You will therefore learn various academic concepts, theories and research methods from disciplines such as political science, law, economics, cultural science and public administration. You will use this knowledge to research, analyse and critically evaluate EU policy problems. You will also be encouraged to become familiar with national and regional differences within the European territory, and to search out commonalities and paths for integration. You will put this knowledge and these skills to work by teaming up with your fellow students to develop concrete solutions to real policy problems.



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European governance is a multifaceted programme that combines insights from economics, law and public administration and prepares you to deal and work with the complexity of European governance. Read more

European Governance

European governance is a multifaceted programme that combines insights from economics, law and public administration and prepares you to deal and work with the complexity of European governance.

From regulating financial markets to managing a transition to greener economies, and from fostering economic growth of welfare states to cross-border policing, this interdisciplinary, double-degree MA Programme in European Governance will equip you with the knowledge and skills to answer these questions and to formulate appropriate responses to the challenges they pose. In this way, it prepares you to deal with and work within the complexity of European governance – both in Brussels and at home.

Study and live in two different European locations

The Master in European Governance is a unique double-degree programme offered in partnership with Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic), the University of Konstanz (Germany) and University College Dublin (Ireland). As a student in this programme, you will study and live in two different European locations. This will allow you to experience European governance from two different perspectives in the context of a unique personal experience.

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