M.A. Political Science

VU University Amsterdam

Application deadline: 1 June for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April for non-EU-students.
Tuition fee: Visit Programme Website
Start date: September  2014
Credits: 60 ECTS
  • Dutch
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The Master's programme in Political Science provides you with a broad view of the political process and a distinctive combination of ingredients.

Political Science teaches you the key issues of transnationalization and multi-level governance within the context of interrelated disciplinary traditions: general political science, comparative politics, international relations and European integration studies. At the same time, the programme reflects the ways in which the boundaries between these domains are being dissolved by the effects of globalization. With its strong focus on the combination of theoretical knowledge and skills (reasoning, writing, presenting and research techniques), this programme offers you a thorough methodological training. This equips you with the necessary tools for a research-oriented career. The programme is developed and taught by a highly motivated, world-renowned team, with extensive international contacts. The quality of their teaching is evidenced by positive assessment results, including evaluation by independent experts from NVAO, the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders. The Master's in Political Science is a one-year full-time programme, taught entirely in English.


Programme internationalization:

    This programme has a workload of 60 ECTS.


    Comparative and European Politics:

    As the processes of globalization and Europeanization deepen, politics and policy-making becomes less and less the exclusive domain of the national state. Indeed, politics increasingly takes place at different layers simultaneously. The so-called multi-level governance system of the European Union is a case in point. The processes of transnationalization profoundly affect patterns of political representation and the role of political parties and public policy-making. Social phenomena such as the pressures facing national welfare states and the subsequent controversial welfare reforms; the rise of alternative social movements or popular extremism; the erosion of established mass parties across Europe; and the waning power of trade unions in some countries: all need to be better understood as they are shaped by processes taking place outside and across national state structures. The Political Science Master's programme: specialization in Comparative and European Politics analyzes the characteristics and diversity of nation states within their global context, with a particular focus on those in a European context.

    Global Environmental Governance:

    Scientists today see mounting evidence that the entire Earth system now operates well outside the normal state exhibited over the past 500,000 years, and that human activity is generating change that extends well beyond natural variability - in some cases, alarmingly so - and at rates that continue to accelerate. Increasingly, traditional approaches towards solving global environmental problems (in particular international treaties and conventions) have been complemented and in some cases substituted by novel arrangements that are private and sometimes deliberately exclude the nation state. In addition, global environmental governance is characterised by the involvement of a host of non-state actors such as transnational corporations (TNCs), NGOs,networks of scientists and international organizations that attempt to govern global environmental problems. The Political Science Master's programme: specialization Global Environmental Governance seeks to understand these transformations and the way they reach beyond the confines of the nation state and the international system.

    International Relations and Transnational Governance:

    Political activity now takes place in an increasingly transnational context. The roles played by transnational corporations (TNCs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Greenpeace, international organizations like the World Bank, and criminal or clandestine networks, embody this trend. The transnationalization of economic, social and political issues ± including financial markets, migration, human rights, internationally organized (and/or politically motivated) crime, and climate change is reflected more and more in the emergence of new institutional forms of regulation. Seeking to understand this contradictory and conflicting dynamics of ongoing globalization and the way it cuts across the boundaries of national, European and international politics is what lies at the heart of the Political Science Master's programme: specialization International Relations and Transnational Governance.


    A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science honours degree or equivalent in Political Science, International Relations or a related discipline. You must have had Social Sciences research methodology. The Examination Board evaluates all applications on an individual basis.

    English Language Requirements

    IELTS band: 6.5
    CAE score: (read more)

    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

    60 (Grade C)
    TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
    TOEFL iBT® test: 92


    NFP Netherlands Fellowship programme

    The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are demand-driven fellowship programmes designed to foster capacity building within organizations in 57 developing countries by providing training and education to their mid-career staff members. Information on the application procedure can be found on the NUFFIC website.

    VU Fellowship Programme

    VU University Amsterdam provides a small number of scholarships for excellent international students through the VU Fellowship Programme.
    The application deadline for the VU Fellowship Programme 2013-2014 is 1 March 2013.

    Please note that applicants for the VU Fellowship should also submit their complete application for the master’s degree programme, including the application fee, before 1 March 2013.


    For a complete overview of scholarships available to master’s degree students, please visit www.grantfinder.nl.



    Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

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