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International Relations and International Organization

Are you interested in international issues? Would you like to study and work in an international environment? The IRIO Bachelor programme is a great stepping-stone to an international career.

In this three-year Bachelor's degree programme you will explore political questions on an international level. You will focus on international relations, especially on the role of international organizations.

During the programme, you will approach issues in the field of international relations from three perspectives: political, economic and legal. In addition, you will receive thorough training in a modern foreign language. You will acquire a broad understanding of international relations.

Within the programme you can compile your own profile by choosing a minor. This offers many options to dive into an aspect you may be especially interested in, for example Development Studies. You can also opt for courses at other Faculties or spend a semester abroad.

As the programme is taught in English, a good grasp of the English language is essential!

The Bachelor's degree in International Relations and International Organization is a quota study (numerus fixus). This means that only a limited number of students are accepted every year.

Facts & Figures
Degree
BA in International Relations and International Organization
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
50627
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Arts
Studie in CijfersStudie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?

IRIO in Groningen is a bachelor programme where international relations are not a specialization but core business. The main emphasis is on the functions of international organizations and the process leading to their creation. Attention is paid to research skills, language training, methodologies, historical context and theory. Last but not least: in Groningen you study IRIO with Dutch and international students!

Programme

The first year, the propaedeutic phase, will consist of introductory modules in the fields of international relations, law and economics. You will also study a language: you can either choose to start Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or choose to improve your English, French or German.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
History of International Relations 1 (5 EC)
International Politics (5 EC)
Introduction to International and European Law (5 EC)
Academic Skills for IR (5 EC)
History of International Relations 2 (5 EC)
Statistics for IR (5 EC)
International Organisation 1 (5 EC)
Introduction to Economics (5 EC)
Language Course 1a (5 EC)
International Organisation 2 (5 EC)
Language Course 1b (5 EC)
Political Science (5 EC)

In the second year you will deepen your knowledge of international relations, economics and law. Attention will be paid to decision-making processes on an (inter)national level; international relations will be placed in a theoretical and philosophical framework; you will study international monetary issues; and you will broaden your knowledge of the law of the European communities and European Union. Furthermore, you will complete your language modules.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Language Course 2a (5 EC)
Policy and Governance (10 EC)
Theory of International Relations (10 EC)
Language Course 2b (5 EC)
European Law (5 EC)
Language Course 3a (5 EC)
Methodology and Research Practice (10 EC)
IPE of Monetary Relations (5 EC)
Language Course 3b (5 EC)

In the final year of the programme, you can specialise by choosing a minor in a field of your interest; for example on Development Studies. You can also choose to spend a semester abroad. You will complete an International Law module and you will study international trade theory. Finally you will choose a core module: a tutorial that will examine a specific theme through literature and source research. You will conclude the core module by writing your Bachelor's thesis.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Minor (30 EC)
IPE of Trade (5 EC)
Core Module IRIO and Bachelor Thesis (20 EC)
International Law (5 EC)
Programme options
Minors (minor)

The fifth semester of your studies is dedicated to your Minor: a coherent set of future-oriented course units. It prepares you for a follow-on Master's degree program or for entering the labour market. You can opt for a Career Minor, a Minor abroad, a University Minor or a Faculty Minor.

More information about this option

University of Groningen Honours College (honours program)

The Honours College will give talented, motivated students the chance to be challenged even more by following Honours programmes and taking part in numerous other activities.

The Honours College consists of a broadening part and a deepening part and has a study load of 45 ECTS credit points on top of the 180 ECTS credit points from your regular Bachelor programme.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 16 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC
Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij
  • Economie & Maatschappij
  • Natuur & Gezondheid
  • Natuur & Techniek
  • HBO propedeuse

    Additional requirements English: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

The IRIO programme is taught in English. Dutch students with a VWO diploma do not need to submit proof of their English proficiency. For other EU candidates, the Admissions Officer will notify you if you need to provide test results. All non-EU candidates will need to provide test results. The minimum level of English proficiency is: TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

previous education

Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma (minimum score: 24), a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with a Dutch 'hbo propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned above.

other admission requirements

The IRIO programme of the University of Groningen has a selection procedure. This means that the IRIO department selects the candidates to be admitted to the programme. It has been decided to select in this way because we would like to admit the most suitable and best motivated students.

For details about the selection criteria and application instructions for the programme have to, please visit: http://www.rug.nl/let/irio-bachelor-admission. Participation in this selection is required for all candidates!

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

The IRIO programme is taught in English. Dutch students with a VWO diploma do not need to submit proof of their English proficiency. For other EU candidates, the Admissions Officer will notify you if you need to provide test results. All non-EU candidates will need to provide test results. The minimum level of English proficiency is: TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

previous education

Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma (minimum score: 24), a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with a Dutch 'hbo propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned above.

other admission requirements

The IRIO programme of the University of Groningen has a selection procedure. This means that the IRIO department selects the candidates to be admitted to the programme. It has been decided to select in this way because we would like to admit the most suitable and best motivated students.

For details about the selection criteria and application instructions for the programme, please visit: http://www.rug.nl/let/irio-bachelor-admission. Participation in this selection is required for all candidates!

Numerus Fixus

This programme has a numerus fixus with a maximum of 260 attendees a year.

More information on admission: http://www.rug.nl/let/irio-bachelor-admission

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students15 January 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 8900full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 9500full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

https://www.rug.nl/education/tuition-fees-halved

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After finishing the Bachelor's programme in IRIO, most students choose to continue their studies in a related Master's programme, which will enhance their employment possibilities. You can either choose a general Master in International Relations or choose to specialise in a specific field of IR.

With a Bachelor’s degree in IRIO, you have direct access to all six tracks of the Master International Relations at the University of Groningen: East Asian Studies, European Integration, Geopolitics & Connectivity, International Relations and International Organization, International Political Economy, and International Security.

Just like most other university Bachelor and Master programmes, the IRIO programme does not train you for one specific job. The IRIO programme prepares its students for professions and research careers where knowledge of international-political developments and the ability to analyse and assess complex issues and to form grounded judgements are relevant.

Many graduates become policy advisors for national governments, NGOs, and international organisations in international politics. An increasing number of graduates also use their analytical skills to advise international businesses. Research, media and communication are also prospective fields of employment.

For some examples of where our graduates work, please check our alumni flyer

We would also like to direct you to the IRIO Alumni Network Mitrany for a survey they conducted among IRIO alumni.

Job examples

  • International policy adviser
  • Lobbyist
  • International executive
  • Press officer
  • Journalist
  • Researcher
Research

Our education is strongly rooted in research. Right from the start of your degree programme attention is paid to academic research and development, since an analytical and critical mind and problem-solving capabilities are important qualities in any career our students aspire.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

If you want to know more about the programme International Relations and International Organization, please contact:

  • Alan Farricella (Student Ambassador)
  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Marit Marinus (Student Ambassador)
  • Admission Office (Admissions Officer (international students))
    Email: admission rug.nl
  • Bureau Studentzaken
  • Drs. Hidde de Haas (study advisor)
    Email: studieadviesibio rug.nl
    Telephone: +31 (0)503638986
  • Renate Huttinga MA (study advisor)
    Email: studieadviesibio rug.nl
    Telephone: +31 (0)503638986
  • Dieneke Zomer (Study advisor)
    Email: studieadviesibio rug.nl
    Telephone: + 31(0)503638986
  • 
						Testimonial of Isabell Burmester

    Experienced and renowned professors supply high quality academic knowledge

    – Isabell Burmester
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    I came to Groningen because I was interested in a study program that was not offered at universities in Germany at that time. I knew little about the Netherlands and the Dutch education system, let alone the language. More importantly, I did not know anything about the city that I would call home for the following three years and yet I immediately felt at home. Groningen charmed me with its geniality and openness, its vibrant student life and its “gezelligheid” (a Dutch word that you will hear a lot in the Netherlands and that can be loosely translated to gregariousness or conviviality).

    Most of the inhabitants are students that gather on innumerable patios to enjoy a drink in the sun during a study break or spend a day in the Noorderplantsoen (Groningen’s most crowded park in the summer). Many of the university buildings are spread over the city center and so it is not unusual to be greeted by a fellow student or a professor while you are biking to your next class. In fact your bike will be your most valued companion throughout your time in Groningen.

    All of this is of course an important part of the student life in Groningen, but what struck me most about my time here in Groningen was the quality of my academic experience. Experienced and renowned professors supply high quality academic knowledge and ignited my passion for academic research in my field of study. They provided me with important tools and skills that will be very valuable for my future career and personal life. Moreover, learning in a multicultural environment not only enhanced my academic performance; it also changed my view on many study-related topics and led me to become a more tolerant and open-minded person.

    Read more about Isabell and her student life in Groningen .

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  • 
						Testimonial of Dan Mocanu

    Along my studies my faculty actively cultivated in our classrooms reasoned debate, principled dissent, and incisive collaborative engagement with various issues

    – Dan Mocanu
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    In 2015, I started my undergraduate studies in the International Relations and International Organisation programme. In this holistic and pluri-disciplinary programme, I have been successfully trained - both theoretically and methodologically - to further pursue the set of problématiques that drive me intellectually.

    Along my studies, apart from the commitment to excellent research and instructive teaching, my faculty actively cultivated in our classrooms reasoned debate, principled dissent, and incisive collaborative engagement with various issues. The university prepares students to understand, adapt to and respond to contemporary challenges, providing an inclusive and multicultural environment where boundaries are continuously contested and redrawn through creative exploration, informed conversations, and world-class scholarship. Groningen offers a platform where academic experience is not only about getting an education, but also about acquiring a self, fostering an independent mind, building personal networks, and cultivating an active stance towards the daunting problems of our globalized age.

    Read more about Dan Mocanu and ask him your question about studying in Groningen

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  • 
						Testimonial of Ellen Ringnalda

    Every issue has many perspectives

    – Ellen Ringnalda
    Read more

    I currently work as a business analyst at the gas trading company GasTerra. I work in the commercial department that sells gas to energy providers. As a business analyst I support the account managers in the sales process.

    I like the dynamic environment in which GasTerra operates. Each day can be different in a rapidly changing market with many challenges. Every day I use the analytical skills I acquired during my studies. Knowing that every issue has many perspectives and involves interests is very valuable.

    I chose to study IRIO because it is a broad interdisciplinary programme with an international focus. I loved the opportunity to specialize in a certain subject by choosing the most interesting research seminars, thesis subject and electives and an internship abroad. In addition, Groningen is a very lively city that has everything – nice coffee bars, nightlife and a brilliant student life. I am very lucky to still live in this beautiful city.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Balint Horvath

    This programme combines my interest in history, geography and politics

    – Balint Horvath
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    After finishing school in Hungary, I took a gap year and was looking for programmes that combined my interest in history, geography and politics. The possibility of studying in English, along with the reputation and competitiveness of the university, convinced me to choose IRIO in Groningen.

    So far, the programme has lived up to my expectations. The biggest differences between secondary school and university are freedom and self-responsibility. Most of the students in the programme are passionate about their studies. Groningen is the best place to be a student: the city is always buzzing, and I love the way everyone cycles. It gives a really friendly feeling to the entire city.’

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Emi Visser

    This programme helps you understand how a policy should work and how an organizational structure should facilitate this policy

    – Emi Visser
    Read more

    I chose IRIO as I am passionate about making the world a better place. The course units that interested me most were those dealing with policy or theory. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme gives you the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to enter the world of policy-making at an international level.

    The IRIO programme helps you understand how a policy should work and how an organizational structure should facilitate this policy. If you can comprehend how these function, you will be equipped to work in this world.

    The knowledge I have gained during my degree has come into play in various parts of my life. For example, I am Chair of the Board of Clio and Treasurer of our alumni association, Mitrany. These board posts have enabled me to develop practical skills and learn to work in a team. After I graduate, I would like to work for a consultancy or the government.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Leander Lelouvier

    Being provided with the necessary tools

    – Leander Lelouvier
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    When I was searching for the right degree programme, a combination between law, economics and political science, I stumbled upon IRIO. So far, it is my experience that IRIO is more than simply combining these subjects: it provides us with the necessary tools to understand how they are all connected in this complex world.

    A personal challenge has been the responsibility of getting the weekly readings done, which requires some discipline, but also provides us with great freedom to make our own schedule. This comes in very handy considering that Groningen, which is as “studenty" as a place can get, offers everything you could ask for, including the friends from all over the world you are bound to make here!

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  • 
						Testimonial of Anton Wuis

    An international environment of likeminded academics

    – Anton Wuis
    Read more

    I chose the IRIO programme because I wanted to understand how the world around me works and, ultimately, to learn how to improve it. By learning how power structures work, how laws guide behaviour and how economic policies influence us, this programme seemed well-fit for me. Moreover, there is space to choose extra courses and to go abroad. Currently, I am writing my thesis on the effects of the euro area crisis on European Union policy and I am going abroad to South Korea next year.

    Next to studying, I have participated in the vibrant student life of Groningen by doing a board year as the Chairman of Study Association Clio and by being involved in the Erasmus Student Network. These were all great opportunities to learn how to work in an international team. Studying IRIO in Groningen will submerge you into an international environment of like-minded, yet wholly diverse students and academics. With the experience and academic skills from Groningen, I hope to work for an international organization or an NGO.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Alan Farricella

    IRIO is a programme that goes into the issues that I always wanted to have an answer for

    – Alan Farricella
    Read more

    About Alan Farricella

    Hi! My name is Alan, I am 24 years old and I am living proof that if you find what you like, it is possible to start over and actually start enjoying what you are doing. I have been studying something different before 2018, but it was when I started this programme that I found my calling and actually was able to dedicate more time and attention to my studies. As my folks like to say, better late than never.

    Outside of my study I really like movies, tv series and American Football. I love spending time with my friends and watching all my favourite comedians and late show hosts. Of course, I always have time to dedicate to my student association or to reading a book to relax.

    Why International Relations and International Organization?

    The first thing that struck me about this programme is the internationality and the global approach that this programme has. It is a programme that goes into the issues that I always wanted to have an answer for, like what are the reasonings behind some international issues (terrorism, war, humanitarian action, etc.) or why states act like they do. These two main reasons were the ones that actually brought me to this programme, and I definitely can say that both these two expectations have been met. IRIO is really a multicultural and international programme where you can learn a lot by studying, but also by talking with your classmates and learn about their experiences in their home countries.

    Read more about Alan Farricella and why he chose to study IRIO in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Alan an e-mail!

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  • 
						Testimonial of Marit Marinus

    I still hope that I can make the world a (even if only minimally) better place

    – Marit Marinus
    Read more

    About Marit

    Hey! My name is Marit Marinus and I am 19 years old. I am from Groningen and I am now in my second year of the Bachelor International Relations and International Organisation (IRIO). I started studying right after finishing secondary school. IRIO really fits my interest, meaning that I have never doubted my choices.

    In addition to my studies, I followed an Italian language course and participated in a Model United Nations program. I also play flute and follow Contemporary Dance lessons at the USVA. I am still considering to join a committee this year, and I work as the current student ambassador for IRIO!

    Why IRIO?

    There are a number of reasons for which I chose IRIO. Firstly, I always knew in middle school that I found national and international politics as well as social topics very important and interesting. After I had visited the university through the ‘Student for a Day’ program, I no longer had any doubts. I thought it would be fascinating to learn about a variety of different disciplines ranging from economics to political science. The international side also appealed to me as the study exposes you to a variety of different cultures. Moreover, you learn about world news in the context of your study, which allows you to see global events and the world around you in a different light. Finally, I still hope that I can make the world a (even if only minimally) better place. This study seemed to be extremely suitable for that goal.

    Read more about Marit Marinus and why she chose to study IRIO in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Marit an e-mail!

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Web Class

Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at university is like? The International Relations and International Organization (IRIO) programme is offering a web class! This online course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for secondary school students. Get to know IRIO by doing some reading and answering some essay questions or multiple choice questions. The course takes about 10 hours in total.

If you are interested in an IRIO web class, register here.

Read more

Study associations

Clio

Clio is the Study Association of International Relations & International Organization at the University of Groningen. Clio has 1200 members and is one of the largest students' associations in Groningen, and the largest students' organization at a Dutch faculty of Arts.
Clio has 1100 members and is one of the largest students' associations in Groningen, and the largest students' organization at a Dutch Faculty of Arts. Clio organizes numerous events including parties, workshops, excursions and offers services like high-quality summaries, the internship database and various discounts around Groningen.
https://www.clio.nl/

Mitrany

Mitrany is the Alumni Network for all graduated students of International Relations and International Organization.
Mitrany was established in February 2013 in order to facilitate the contact between alumni and the Department of IRIO. Mitrany offers events tailored to graduated IRIO students concerning career paths and connects graduated IRIO students to its alumni network.
http://www.mitrany.eu/
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(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be issued a binding study advice after the first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned 45 ECTS or more out of a total of 60 ECTS. If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative binding study advice: you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system.

Study support

If you have any questions or doubts about your studies, you can always contact the study advisor. He or she knows all the ins and outs of the programme, minors, study abroad and personal planning. Study advisors are impartial and everything that is discussed is treated confidentially. They can also help you find the right institutions and student desks for your problem

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