Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
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 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 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 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.

Register now for the Online Bachelor's Week from 30 January until 3 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
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.

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.

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 300 attendees a year.

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

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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.

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.

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 300 attendees a year.

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

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 10189full-time
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 11200full-time

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

Practical information for:

After your studies

As a graduate of International Relations and International Organization, you may choose to continue your studies, as most students do, by enrolling for a Master's programme. With a Bachelor's degree in IRIO, you have direct access to the following Master's tracks at the University of Groningen:

If you are in possession of an excellent academic record, you are also eligible to apply to the following Master’s tracks that are offered at the Faculty of Arts (please note that a selection takes place):

Job prospects

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 BachelorweekMore information
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

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

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 email!

Read more

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

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 email!

Read more

Join the IRIO Webclass!

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. Try out what it takes to study IRIO by participating in this 4-week long course filled with various academic materials and completing assignments about the main topics of this bachelor programme.

The course takes about 10 hours in total and you can receive a certificate upon the completion of the online course.

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

Read more

I knew I wanted to continue my studies in the direction of sustainability after I attended one of the alumni talks organized by Clio

What did you do after you graduated from the BA IRIO programme?

After I graduated from my BA programme, I went on to study the Master’s programme Sustainable Development (with a focus on Earth System Governance) at Utrecht University. After studying IRIO—and thereby understanding how the world can be perceived—it made sense to me to study how the world could or should be.

Having said that, I could have gone many other directions with my BA. As IRIO offers an interdisciplinary programme, you can truly forge your own path. I have friends who went on to study law, political economy, crisis management and even one who ended up studying marketing.

Where do you work and how did you end up there?

Currently I work as a sustainability advisor at Rijkswaterstaat (an executive organization of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management), with a focus on climate adaptation and riverine litter. After finishing my Master’s, I started with the traineeship of Rijkswaterstaat and ended up staying in my current position. It was actually my sister who suggested the organization might be a good fit for me.

What skills have you developed during your BA that you use in your current job?

I think one of the main benefits of studying IRIO is that you learn to assess the world around you from different perspectives, due to IRIO’s interdisciplinary courses. Other skills that you develop during IRIO are analytical thinking and writing, which I both apply daily. The ability to write comprehensively is key in a governmental organization, where being able to type up a good briefing can make the difference in leveraging your goals.

Another benefit of my BA is that I understand the broader policy context which I now work in. As an executive organization of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, we execute both Dutch and European policies. It’s really interesting to see how this broader policy context interacts with the work we do at Rijkswaterstaat on a daily basis, and that it’s not just a one way street but the interaction goes both ways.

Do you have any tips or tricks for current students?

Be open to different experiences during your BA, in order to figure out the direction you want to take after your BA (but also for the sake of fun :)). I think most students only start to think about their future after their BA as they reach their final year, but you should really use the years leading up to that to attend activities and try out different types of experiences. There’s exchanges, internships, extra courses or something as simple as attending activities by IRIO’s Study Association Clio.

During my BA I took extra courses, went on an exchange to Queen’s University in Canada—which was a very formative experience—and was very active at the Study Association Clio and participated in many of their activities. I knew I wanted to continue studying in the direction of sustainability after I attended one of the alumni talks organized by Clio. Sometimes opening yourself up to those types of activities can provide new insights.

Therefore, my advice would be: do not only focus on your study books, but go out and experience IR in practice!

Read more

Study Association 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 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/home

Read more

Study associations

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
Read more
(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

Related master's programmes