M.Sc. Political Science

Radboud University Nijmegen

Application deadline: EEA: May 1; Non-EEA: 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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Power shapes politics, but what shapes power in the 21st Century? The Radboud 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.

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

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory

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.

Political Science in Nijmegen: 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.

Non-EEA residents
who apply before 1 April will be guaranteed accommodation, support with visa and residence permit. If you apply after this date, we will still consider your application but we cannot give any guarantees.
For Master’s students from one of the EEA countries, the deadline is 1 May of each year. You will receive an admissions decision approximately 4-8 weeks after you have sent in your request for admission.


Before the programme starts you will choose a specialisation:

International Relations: Why 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 specialization 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 Politics: Democracies 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 specialization 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 specialization 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 Theory: Political 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.

More information on the different specializations can be found on the website.


There are two specific admission requirements for admission to any of the specialisations to make sure that you have a background to successfully follow and complete this programme:

  • A completed Bachelor's degree in Political Science
  • A proficiency in English

A detailed description of these requirements can be found on the website.

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 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

Programmes from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

  • Netherlands Fellowship Programmes: The NFP offers scholarships to students from a number of countries who are interested in selected programmes at Radboud University Nijmegen.
  • Dutch Student Finance: EU/EEA students who wish to take a degree programme in the Netherlands can sometimes be eligible for a Dutch student grant or loan.
  • Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange Scholarship: Formerly 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 Volkes: The Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes offers funding for talented German students.
  • Ford Foundation: Sometimes private foundations may be willing to fund your study period abroad. The international Fellowship Programme from the Ford Foundation is one example.
  • Soros Foundations: Grants, scholarships and fellowships are available for students and researchers coming from 23 countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • HEC: The Higher Education Commission was set up by the Government of Pakistan and has created a scholarship programme for students from Pakistan.
  • Colfuturo: This programme is available for students from Colombia.

Nuffic Grantfinder and other useful websites



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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