M.Sc. Political Science

Radboud University Nijmegen

Application deadline: May 1; Non EU: April 1
Tuition fee:
  • € 1,906 / Year (EEA)
  • € 9,570 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014
Credits: 60 ECTS
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Political scientists analyse political behaviour, ideas, events and institutions. At the heart of politics lies power. Power relations shape the design and effectiveness of political institutions, structure patterns of cooperation and govern conflict in global politics.

Three specialisations

The Master's programme in Political Science offers a choice of three specialisations:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory

All specialisations are flexible allowing students to specialise in their chosen field of study.

Political Science in Nijmegen

The Master's programme at Radboud University has been ranked as the Netherlands' best Master's programme in Political Science by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Association and by students in Elsevier's Higher Education Supplement. The key to this success is our emphasis on small, interactive classes, our challenging programme, the expertise and effectiveness of our internationally oriented staff, and our location in a lively, student-friendly, cosmopolitan city.


Before the programme starts you will choose a specialisation:

International RelationsWhy are there violent conflicts within and between states? How can these conflicts be resolved? What is the role of international organisations, corporations and NGOs in a rapidly changing world order? What are the political consequences of trade and finance? What explains regional integration in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia? And how do we account for the growing influence of Brazil, Russia, India and China?

The courses in this specialisation focus on these questions. The courses are designed to sharpen your analytical reasoning and prepare you for a career in international affairs and diplomacy. You learn to analyse conflict over resources, the changing nature of war, EU politics, processes of globalisation, socio-economic inequality, and questions of identity

Comparative and European PoliticsDemocracies currently face unprecedented challenges. Are immigrants a threat to democracy? Is Europe currently witnessing a surge in populist sentiment? How can governments reform their welfare states to deal with the growing costs of an aging population? Do parliaments and political parties have a future? And, what role will radical right-wing parties play in these socio-political developments?

This specialisation focuses on these and other challenges to contemporary democracies. It includes courses on representative and deliberative democracy, political parties, democratic reform, the welfare state, gender and immigration policy. The analytical skills and knowledge you learn in this specialisation prepare you for positions in policy and program development in national, EU, and international public and private sector organisations, as well as a wide range of academic research opportunities.
Political TheoryPolitical theorists do not ask what is, but what is sensible. Is there a moral foundation for national sovereignty or self-determination? What can and should be our ambitions for local community building? When does a political theory become a weapon, a form of power? Can authority ever be legitimate? Do we owe anything to future generations, animals, the global poor, and minorities?

This specialization offers students an unprecedented opportunity to learn to assess political values, aspirations and dreams in terms of their desirability and reasonability, rather than in terms of hard (or soft) facts only. You will also discover how political theoretical work can be introduced fruitfully in other relevant contexts, enabling you to help civil and governmental institutions, not to mention the public at large, to imagine and design policies and ambitions that are both viable and defensible.


The admission requirements for students are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree in Political Science at Radboud University Nijmegen or Bachelor's diploma from a similar degree programme from a Dutch university or from a university outside the Netherlands. Additional conditions may apply.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English. In order to meet these requirements international applicants should have:

TOEFL a minimum score of >232 (computer based) or >90 (internet based)
IELTS score of >6.5
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Proficiency in English (CPE), with a mark of C or higher

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: 60 (Grade C)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 575
TOEFL iBT® test: 90


There are various scholarships available for studying at Radboud University Nijmegen. Please check which scholarship is applicable in your case.
Radboud Scholarship Programme and other scholarships at Radboud University
Radboud Scholarship ProgrammeFor non-EEA students, only for certain programmes. The Radboud Scholarship Programme is offered by Radboud University Nijmegen and provides a select number of talented non-EEA students with a scholarship to study at Radboud University.

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

Erasmus Mundus ERANET-MUNDUSFor Russian students. ERANET-MUNDUS offers a select number of Russian students a scholarship to pursue an English-taught Master's degree programme at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for PLANET Europe Master'sFor EEA and non-EEA students, only for the PLANET Europe programme. This scholarship is offered to talented students for the Joint Master's Programme PLANET Europe.

The Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme (OTS): Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and ChinaFor Students from Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and China. The Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme gives excellent students from Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia or China the opportunity to study at Radboud University.
Brazilian students
Mexican students
Indonesian students
Chinese students

Orange Tulip Scholarship Indonesia: KOMINFOFor Students from Indonesia, see below for programmes. This scholarship is offered by Radboud University and the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information (KOMINFO) to Indonesian students who want to pursue a Master's in Computing Science, Information Science or International Business Communication.

Programmes from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

Netherlands Fellowship ProgrammesThe NFP offers scholarships to students from a number of countries who are interested in selected programmes at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Dutch Student FinanceEU/EEA students who wish to take a degree programme in the Netherlands can sometimes be eligible for a Dutch student grant or loan.

StuNedThe Stuned programme is applicable to midcareer professionals from Indonesia.

Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange ScholarshipFormerly known as the China Programme, this focuses on excellent Chinese students who want to study or do research in the Netherlands for at least one academic year during or after their studies in China.

Scholarships from other countries and organisations

Studienstiftung des deutschen VolkesThe Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes offers funding for talented German students.

Ford FoundationSometimes private foundations may be willing to fund your study period abroad. The international Fellowship Programme from the Ford Foundation is one example.

Soros FoundationsGrants, scholarships and fellowships are available for students and researchers coming from 23 countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.

HECThe Higher Education Commission was set up by the Government of Pakistan and has created a scholarship programme for students from Pakistan.

ColfuturoThis programme is available for students from Colombia.

Nuffic Grantfinder and other useful websites

Nuffic GrantfinderPlease check the grantfinder from the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC). It enables you to find scholarships applicable to students from particular countries.

Grant Finder EU scholarshipsA centralised European platform providing information on all scholarships offered for study in Europe. The database contains over 700 programmes and in total there is an estimated EUR 15.6 billion of scholarship funds available annually. Students, including PhD candidates, can now find and compare relevant programmes based on their nationality, background, and where and what they want to study, among other search criteria.

Student GrantsStudent Grants is a fund focused on improving international student mobility by donating a €1000 student grant four times a year to the students going abroad to study, either through an exchange program or as a free-mover. There is a small €2,5 application fee.



NVAO is entrusted by law (the Higher Education and Scientific Research Act) to accredit all existing Bachelors and Masters degree courses and to validate new study programmes at government-funded institutions of higher education and at institutions approved (but not funded) by the Dutch government. Institutions that have neither government funding nor approval can apply for accreditation of post-initial Masters degree courses.

With regard to the nature of accreditation in higher education, the Netherlands and Flanders (Flemish-speaking Belgium) have opted for accreditation at the level of study programmes. NVAO has laid down accreditation frameworks for this purpose for Flanders and the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands and in Flanders, accreditation is a precondition for government funding of a Bachelors or Masters degree programme, for the right to award recognised diplomas and, in the Netherlands, to grant financial assistance to students. In the context of the internationalisation of education and the labour market, accreditation provides for an equivalence of quality assurance in higher education.

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