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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesGeopolitics & Connectivity
Header image Geopolitics & Connectivity

Geopolitics & Connectivity

In this master's track, students are stimulated to think critically about geopolitics by combining cutting-edge theoretical developments in the study of power, space, and connectivity.

Geopolitics has historically been understood within International Relations as the study of space and power, particularly in relation to conceptions of territory. Controversially, it has been assumed by some in the past to be a science that determines order in the world. This track analyses geopolitics from a different angle. It focuses on understanding how spaces are produced as a result of making things connect and disconnect. When the Panama Canal was opened e.g., it transformed existing spatial orders. It changed the terms of who connected, what was to be connected, how would that connectivity take place, at what speed, and very importantly, it radically changed power relations between the north and south of the Western hemisphere, the relations between the American East and West coasts, and global trade across the Pacific.

In this track, students are stimulated to think critically about geopolitics by combining cutting-edge theoretical developments in the study of power and space and by understanding the implications of employing different approaches for understanding connectivity such as the network. Courses use an extensive range of contemporary and historical case studies.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in International Relations
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60734
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?

The track G&C:

  • Enables to design a study programme tailored to your needs and interests.
  • Offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by committed staff.
  • Includes a placement that excellently prepares for the labour market.
  • Provides you with a research-oriented profile which makes you fit for participation in a Research Master and/or a PhD track.
  • Is embedded in a university that provides a genuine international environment in the sparkling city of Groningen.
Programme

This track within the Master's degree programme International Relations is 60 ECTS. The basic element is the module Advanced Theory of International Relations. This module must be followed by all students. You choose two research seminars (at least one of which in G&C) and you will follow a Capita G&C, all in your first semester. During your second semester, you will write a Master thesis (in the field of G&C) and you will do a placement.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Advanced Theory of International Relations (5 EC)
Research Seminar 1 (10 EC)
Research Seminar 2 (10 EC)
Capita Geopolitics & Connectivity (5 EC)
Master's Placement (10 EC)
Master's Thesis Geopolitics & Connectivity (20 EC)

Curriculum

Because the track starts in September as well as in February, all courses are offered both in the first and in the second semester.

Examples of Research Seminars Geopolitics & Connectivity are: 'Maps and Power', 'Political Geographies of Infrastructure', and 'Energy Security'. The topics of the research seminars differ every year, so these are merely examples.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is unaccommodated
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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. If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

previous education

University of Groningen: For students with a University of Groningen Bachelor's degree in American Studies, Communication and Information Studies, European Languages and Cultures (Profile Politics and Society), History, International and European Law, International Business, Media Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Minorities and Multilingualism, Psychology and Sociology a standard Pre-Master programme applies. Please use this step-by-step guide for your specific application procedure: http://www.rug.nl/let/how-to-apply-MA

Other universities and degree programmes: Students with either a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences (including - but not limited to - Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Geography), or an internationally oriented Bachelor's degree such as International Relations, Regional Studies, European/International Law, or (Modern) History can submit an application to the IR Admissions Board. Please use this step-by-step guide for more information regarding your eligibility and your specific application procedure: http://www.rug.nl/let/how-to-apply-MA

After you complete your application, the IR Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies, and the grades you have obtained.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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.

previous education

Students with either a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences (including - but not limited to - Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Geography), or an internationally oriented Bachelor's degree such as International Relations, Regional Studies, European/International Law, or (Modern) History can submit an application to the IR Admissions Board.

Please use this step-by-step guide for more information regarding your eligibility and your specific application procedure: http://www.rug.nl/let/how-to-apply-MA

After you complete your application, the IR Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies, and the grades you have obtained.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 June 202001 September 2020
01 November 202001 February 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 13500full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

The Master programme in International Relations 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.

Alumni Network Mitrany| We would also like to direct you to the IR Alumni Network or a survey they conducted amongst IR alumni.

Research

Research at the Chair Group on History and Theory of International relations revolves around two overlapping fields: Modes of Reasoning about order, power and governance; and The Politics of Global Connectivities. Common to them is a concern with understanding the making of orders of governance as well as advancing and refining traditional and alternative methodological approaches to the study of history and theory of international relations, such as Historical Epistemology.

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Master's WeekBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Geopolitics & Connectivity, please contact:

  • Admission Office
    Email: -
    Telephone: +31-(0)50 363 8976
  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Dieneke Zomer (Study adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
    Telephone: +31-50-3638986
  • Drs. Hidde de Haas (Study adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
    Telephone: +31-50-3638986
  • Renate Huttinga MA (Study adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
    Telephone: +31-50-3638986
  • 
						Testimonial of Maarten Meijer

    “I think it is important for students of IR not only to be able to talk about geopolitics, but also to thoroughly think about it.”

    – Maarten Meijer
    Read more

    "The rise of China, wavering American support for NATO, Russia encroaching on its neighbours – talk about geopolitics has a strong presence both in the news and in public debate. I think it is important for students of IR not only to be able to talk about geopolitics, but also to thoroughly think about it. The new MA-track Geopolitics & Connectivity will allow you to do just that, by integrating innovative thinking about space, power, order, and connectivity in the study of geopolitics.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Kristin Moppel

    “Geopolitics and Connectivity helped me to understand the the bigger picture and the small details of International relations at the same time.”

    – Kristin Moppel
    Read more

    “Geopolitics and Connectivity helped me to understand the the bigger picture and the small details of International relations at the same time. If forces you to think of the small details that may seem insignificant but influence the big picture a lot. I acquired skills how to dig deeper into topics and find out things that are underlying main topics. In addition, Geopolitics & Connectivity helped me to get familiar with different research methods and referencing sources.

    Currently, as one of the members of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of European Union organising team, we need to be aware of the Geopolitical topics of Europe and even further. Also, a dedicated and very helpful staff makes the studying process even more interesting.”

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Joost Ruiter

    “The course offered me the philosophical insights and practical examples to see the real working of geopolitics, specifically through infrastructure and global trade.”

    – Joost Ruiter
    Read more

    "For me, geopolitics is a topic that combines history, geography, global economy and human interaction. The topic interested me before I followed Geopolitics & Connectivity, but I never really knew how to analyse and interpret the world through Geopolitics. Only after I followed this track and wrote my Master Thesis on geopolitics, I really understood why the topic had interested me so much before.

    The course offered me the philosophical insights and practical examples to see the real working of geopolitics, specifically through infrastructure and global trade. Subjects like the power of maps, the influence of infrastructure projects like the Panama Canal (and its effect on economies throughout the world) and the linkage between logistics and political influence had one important thing in common. They all pointed to space and how it is constantly strategised.

    Besides all this, the course helped me to decide what I sought for in a possible job. For me, success in finding a job in the field of International Relations really depends on how good you are in explaining your interests and connecting a professional position to that interest. Geopolitics & Connectivity was an important part in my process to exactly that."

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Carlos Esteban Flores Terán

    “Learning how to think and engage with problematizations is not only useful in the professional environments. It also fosters our creativity and reflexivity in our solutions.”

    – Carlos Esteban Flores Terán
    Read more

    “This track revolves around a fascinating idea: that every national border, every map, every international treaty, as well as every transoceanic journey, and migration corridor, produces a specific political order in the world.

    This helped me understanding that aspects that we now see as natural, such as the using the Greenwich prime meridian, moving freely across the Schengen Area or consuming products manufactured in Asia or Latin America, are actually effects of political orders, power relations, and historical forces. This is a highly valuable idea for anyone who is interested in making sense of a in a heavily interconnected world and its multiple dimensions.

    In my experience, Geopolitics and Connectivity has proved to be valuable both in practical and academic spheres. Learning how to think and engage with problematizations is not only useful in the professional environments. It also fosters our creativity and reflexivity in our solutions. On the other hand, this seminar also exposed me to an extensive body of critical, interdisciplinary, and challenging literature. The latter provides a solid foundation to think and write about our world.”

    Close

University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.

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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/
Read more
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 program 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 problems.