M.Sc. Political Science

Radboud University | Nijmegen, Netherlands
The Master's programme in Political Science offers a unique opportunity for students to prepare for a rewarding career in leading positions in the public and private sector. There are four specialisations: International Relations, Political Theory, Comparative Politics or Comparative Politics, Administration and Society (COMPASS).
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Description of Political Science

Power shapes politics, but what shapes power in the 21st Century? The Radboud University’s Master's programme in Political Science offers a unique opportunity for highly motivated students to prepare for a rewarding career in leading positions in the public and private sector.

Four specializations

The Master's programme in Political Science offers a choice of four specializations:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Comparative Politics, Administration, and Society (COMPASS)

All specialisations are flexible allowing students to specialise in their chosen field of study. More information on the specializations can be found in the Contents section of this website.

High-quality education ensured

For the second year in a row, the Radboud Master's Programme in Political Science was ranked number one in the Netherlands in 2014 by Keuzegids (Guide to Master's Programmes). In 2013 it was ranked among the Spitzengruppe in the German weekly Die Zeit. 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.

Quality label

For the third time in a row, this programme was rated number one and was awarded the quality label ‘Top Programme' in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline EEA: May 1; Non-EEA: April 1
Tuition fee
  • EUR 9232 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 1984 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 60 ECTS
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

Before the programme starts you will choose a specialisation:

International Relations

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 Politics

This specialization focuses on challenges to contemporary democracies. It includes courses on representative and deliberative democracy, political parties, democratic reform, the welfare state, gender and immigration policy.

Political Theory

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. This enables you to help civil and governmental institutions to imagine and design policies and ambitions that are both viable and defensible.

Comparative Politics, Administration, and Society (COMPASS)

This specialization helps you to develop the skills needed for working in contemporary government. The courses focus on, for instance, the barriers to and facilitators of reform, Europeanization and compliance with EU directives, and the challenges government is facing in this century.

More information on the different specializations can be found on the programme's website!

English Language Requirements

Requirements for Political Science

There are three specific requirements for admission:

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Political Science or equivalent

A Bachelor degree in Political Science or a closely-related discipline from a recognized, academic university.

2. Competency in Social Science Research Methodology

All applicants should have sufficient knowledge of Social Sciences Research Methodology (quantitative and qualitative).

3. Proficiency in English

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) (minimum score of C), Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) (minimum score of C), TOEFL iBT (overall score at least 90, subscores not lower than 22), or IELTS Academic (overall score at least 6.5, subscores not lower than 6.5). In some cases you may be exempted from providing proof of English language competency (see the programme's website).

Please visit the programme's website for more detailed information on requirements!

The information on Radboud University and its study programmes published on this website has been composed with the greatest care. No rights can be derived from this content.

Work Experience for Political Science

No work experience is required.

More Information


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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