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Education Bachelor's degree programmes International Relations and International Organization
Header image International Relations and International Organization

International Relations and International Organization

Can the EU survive the rise of euroscepticism and populism? Why has international cooperation on global environmental issues proven to be difficult? How can we address other issues in an increasingly globalized world?

IRIO in Groningen is a truly multidisciplinary English-taught degree programme in which you will explore political questions on an international level. You will focus on the place of politics, history, economics and law in international relations but also the crucial role of international organizations. You will also learn or improve your proficiency in a modern foreign language and will be able to choose a minor that fits your profile.

If you choose IRIO in Groningen, you choose:

- a challenging programme with a strong theoretical focus as well as a variety of practical assignments

- a programme with three decades of experience, that enjoys the support and expertise of many renowned international lecturers

- a programme in which you will acquire analytical, practical and methodological skills that are considered highly valuable in fields as diverse as policy advocacy and consultancy, governmental and civil services, public affairs, risk analysis, journalism, international aid/development work and diplomacy.

- an international environment and a global perspective: your lecturers and classmates come from all over the world.

Please note: IRIO is a quota study: only a limited number of students are accepted every year.

Apply now for the Online Bachelor Week of 31 January - 4 February!

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 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 place of politics, history, economics and law in international relations but also the crucial role of international organizations. 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 and staff!

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)
Political Science (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)
Statistics for IR (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

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek

    If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid

    If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij

    If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

  • HBO propedeuse

    Language requirement 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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180. For more information, see: https://www.rug.nl/let/studeren-bij-ons/bachelor/aanmelding-en-inschrijving/language-requirements-ba

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). 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!


Numerus Fixus

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

Selection procedure

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

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students15 January 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202301 September 2023

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).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.

Selection procedure

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

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students15 January 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202301 September 2023
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2021-2022€ 1084full-time
non-EU/EEA2021-2022€ 8916full-time
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 10189full-time

The Dutch government is halving tuition fees for first-year students in higher education.

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

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
Online Bachelor's WeekBroerstraat 5More information
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • 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 MA (Study advisor)
    Email: studieadviesibio rug.nl
    Telephone: + 31(0)503638986
  • Hugo Sarraude (Student Ambassador)
  • Sofie Raven (Student Ambassador)
  • Admission Office (Contact form) (Admissions Officer (international students))
  • 
						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
    Read more

    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

    Close
  • 
						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.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Balint Horvath

    This programme combines my interest in history, geography and politics

    – Balint Horvath
    Read more

    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
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  • 
						Testimonial of Leander Lelouvier

    Being provided with the necessary tools

    – Leander Lelouvier
    Read more

    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!

    Close
  • 
						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.

    Close
  • 
						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 20 years old. I am from Groningen and I am now in my third year of the Bachelor International Relations and International Organisation (IRIO). Therefore, I am taking classes in the minor's programme Politiek en Bestuur this first semester. 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.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Sofie Raven

    By offering subjects on history, politics, law and economics, the programme makes you gain insight into all aspects of the international world.

    – Sofie Raven
    Read more

    My name is Sofie, I am 19 years old and since 2020 I have been studying International Relations & International Organization (IRIO) at the University of Groningen. In my spare time I play tennis at tennis club Veracket, do a committee at the study association Clio and take part in activities of my student association Dizkartes.

    Why IRIO?

    I chose IRIO because I am interested in how the international world works. I would like to learn how countries and international organizations interact with each other, how international cooperation arises, and what causes international conflicts. IRIO seems the best study for this, because it has subjects on history, politics, law and economics. Because of these different perspectives, you gain insight into all aspects of the international world. Moreover, these perspectives result in a varied programme that is never boring! I am also very enthusiastic about the foreign language as part of the IRIO programme, because I believe foreign language skills can be very useful in an international career. Ultimately, an international career is my ultimate goal and the IRIO study seems like a good starting point to achieve that.

    Read more about Sofie and why she chose to study International Relations and International Organization in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Sofie an e-mail!

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Hugo Sarraude

    You meet people from all over the world and get to know more about different cultures.

    – Hugo Sarraude
    Read more

    Bonjour! My name is Hugo; I am from the southwest of France and 21 years old. I am currently in my second year of the Bachelor International Relations and International Organization (IRIO). Next to my studies, I try to have a complete social life in which I practice several sports: football, rugby, rock climbing and surfing. I also enjoy making music with my guitar, piano, ukulele or harmonica.

    I like attending events that are organized by my programme’s study association CLIO, in which I was involved in the photo and multimedia committee last year. Finally, I am now excited to start as a student ambassador for IRIO within the university.

    Why IRIO?

    After studying French law for almost two years, I was looking for a broader programme where I could fully study in English and that would give me the possibility to learn about various subjects, such as law, economics, history, politics. However, the feature that convinced me to apply for this programme were the compulsory language courses that allow me to learn a foreign language intensively. I picked Chinese and studying this language is so much fun!

    The international aspect of the programme is also extremely interesting. You meet people from all over the world and get to know more about different cultures, which is exactly what I needed after spending 20 years in the same town. During your studies, you learn about the world and how it is constructed. You will start to feel closer to this world, which at first seems so unreachable.

    In my opinion, one of IRIO biggest strengths is the variety of assignments. You will have to choose your own topics to write your essays, but you will also have to shoot videos, prepare presentations, and write papers in groups.

    Read more about Hugo and why he chose to study International Relations and International Organization in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Hugo an e-mail!

    Close

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 and International Organization at the University of Groningen.
It has around 1000 members and is one of the largest study associations in Groningen and the largest study association at a Dutch Faculty of Arts. Clio organises 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/home

Mitrany

Mitrany is the Alumni Network for all graduated students of International Relations and International Organization.
It 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.
https://www.clio.nl/association/mitrany-alumni-network
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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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