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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes International Relations (60 EC) International Political Economy
Header image International Political Economy

International Political Economy

The world has become smaller. Markets operate in Spartan competition and states and societies face the endeavour to cope with on-going globalization. IPE addresses these marvels.

International Political Economy is a track within the Master's degree in International Relations.

Since the 1970s, IPE has developed as an independent sub-discipline in International Relations (IR). It focuses on the interaction between states, markets and societies. Its primary aim is to increase our understanding of the dynamics of these three building blocks. In doing so, IPE is interdisciplinary by its self-same nature.

Why is it fascinating coming to grips with a globalizing world economy? While states cannot be conceived of as homogenous actors that perfectly take care of the preferences of all of their citizens, one can nevertheless reveal degrees of freedom for negotiation about regional and international cooperation in the fields of trade, production, finance and knowledge. It is a scholarly exertion to reveal the complicated nexus of states, markets and societies.

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 IPE:

  • 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

The Master's degree programme International Relations is 60 ECTS. During your first semester, you take the module Advanced Theory of International Relations. This module must be followed by all students. In addition, you choose two Research Seminars (at least one of which in International Political Economy) and a Capita IPE. During your second semester, you will write a Master Thesis (in the field of IPE) and you will do a Placement.

You must find and apply for your Placement yourself, on the basis of your interests and skills. The Placement should last at least 7 weeks full-time. If you choose to do a Placement that takes longer than 7 weeks, it might be difficult to finish the programme within one year, and you will have to register for the extra months.

For examples of Research Seminar topics, please go to the Course Catalogue (link below). If you start the Master programme in September, you choose Research Seminars from semester I. If you start in February, you choose Research Seminars from semester II.

Because the programme starts in September as well as in February, all elements of the programme are offered both in the first and in the second semester. Please note: because the topics of the Research Seminars depend on the expertise of the lecturers, the list may be subject to change and differs each semester/year.

Please note that some changes to the length and the organisation of the courses may take place per September 2023.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Advanced Theory of International Relations (5 EC)
Research Seminar 1 (10 EC)
Research Seminar 2 (10 EC)
Capita International Political Economy (5 EC)
Master's Placement (10 EC)
Master's Thesis International Political Economy (20 EC)
Programme options
Master's placement (specialization)

A placement is a recognised component of this Master's track.

It is your responsibility to find a placement yourself, but the Office for Student Affairs can offer help with this where necessary.

Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme is developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.

It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is unaccommodated
Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
International Relations and International OrganizationAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

University of Groningen: Students with a University of Groningen Bachelor's degree in European Languages and Cultures (Profile Politics and Society) who started in 2016 or later have direct access through the IR Admissions Board. Please use this application guide for your specific application procedure: http://www.rug.nl/let/how-to-apply-MA For students with a University of Groningen Bachelor's degree in American Studies, Communication and Information Studies, 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 application 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 application 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.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180. If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

Registration procedure

Please note: Would you like to start this degree programme on February 1 2023, by means of the temporary suspension of the Bachelor's-before-Master's rule? Then please contact the study advisor (under the "Contact" button) for more information.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202301 February 2023
15 August 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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 application 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.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Registration procedure

Please note: Would you like to start this degree programme on February 1 2023, by means of the temporary suspension of the Bachelor's-before-Master's rule? Then please contact the study advisor (under the "Contact" button) for more information.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202301 February 2023
15 August 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 14570full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Upon graduation students hold a (60 ECTS) MA degree in International Relations with a track in International Political Economy from the University of Groningen. The Master programme in International Relations prepares its students for professions and research careers where knowledge of international-political developments and the ability to analyze and assess complex issues and to form grounded judgements are relevant.

Although not limiting you to a specific field, your track choice strengthens your profile in International Political Economy and benefits you when applying for specialized jobs in that field.

During the programme you will complete an internship: this will provide you not only with an insight into the job-market, but also further develop your professional skills as well as expand your network.

Many graduates become policy advisors for national governments, NGOs, and international organizations in international politics. An increasing number of graduates also use their analytical skills to advise international businesses, or work as lobbyists, international executives, press officers, journalists, and researchers.

Alumni of the International Political Economy track work at:

Government:

Policy Officer European Space Policy - Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (The Hague)

International Organizations:

Business:

  • Analyst Private Real Estate – PGGM (Amsterdam)
  • Sustainability Advisor – ASN Bank (The Hague)
  • Supply Chain Specialist – Hilti NL
  • Project Manager - World of Walas (Vancouver)

Lobby:

Research

IPE Research

In Groningen, IPE research focuses in particular, but not exclusively, on processes of institutional change. Rather than scrutinizing the impact of given institutional settings on the interplay of states, markets and society, the leading research thread is the dynamics of institutions. What explains the emergence of institutions in the realm of international political economy? The overarching idea is to come to grips with converging institutional settings in on-going globalization.

Groningen IPE research on institutional change distinguishes two themes.

The first is designed around the topic of transformation & integration. It focuses on the transition to a market economy embedded in a democratic order in the regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. (See e.g. Herman W. Hoen (2011), “Crisis in Eastern Europe: The downside of a market economy revealed?”, European Review, 19(1), 31-41.) In this research, which is partly financed by the Volkswagen Foundation, there is close collaboration with the universities of Göttingen and Indiana (Bloomington) and the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (Regensburg).

A second research line addresses the problem of convergence. At a regional level, the studies zoom in on the emergence of and changes in trade, investment, and labour regimes. At the enterprise level, the research focuses on ‘corporate governance’ and the extent to which it converges between Europe and the United States.

For an impression of the research activities on International Political Economy, please see the Chair Group International Political Economy in the Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR).

For more information about the IR department, please visit: Afdeling IBIO

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Drs. Hidde de Haas (Study Adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
  • Renate Huttinga MA (Study adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
  • Dieneke Zomer MA (Study Adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
  • Admission Office (Contact form) (For questions on the admission requirements and application procedure)

Junior Consultant at Hiemstra & de Vries

My interest in social and political issues led me to pursue the specialization International Political Economy of the Master International Relations. Specifically, the role of a changing government in its interaction with society and the private sector is something that fascinates me. This has been a focus during my studies at global and European levels. It is also something I find back in my work. This time at the local level.

An advantage of the Master's track in International Political Economy is that you can put together your own programme. The programme is interdisciplinary, which has taught me to approach issues from a legal, political and economic angle. You learn in a relatively short time to find your feet in all sorts of topics. In my case ranging from the European Union to international political economy, political power and democracy. You also have the opportunity to gain practical experience. I did an internship at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok. Working at an Embassy gave me insight into the daily issues in international affairs and the role of various players in the field.

I currently work at Hiemstra & De Vries. This is a consultancy agency that carries out assignments in the public sector. Mostly, for municipalities and provinces, but also for health-care and educational organizations. This year, I was involved in projects with quite a diverse character. Ranging from projects with a retrenchment character to projects assisting governmental organizations with the transition of care to municipalities.

I really enjoy this job. For me, the dynamic of different projects, focus on social and political issues, and being in contact with people, is a perfect combination.

Read more

As one of the Top 100 universities worldwide the UG has an excellent international reputation

After finishing high school I took a gap year and moved to Australia and New Zealand to work and travel before starting my bachelor's in European Studies at the University of Passau. During my bachelor's, I studied Business Administration and Management in Spain for one year. In addition, I worked at the Goethe-Institute in Madrid. While pursuing a master's degree in International Political Economy, I worked in the economic affairs department at the Representation of Thuringia to the European Union in Brussels.

Feeling the need to gain more practical experiences, I decided to do a second master's placement at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York City, which perfectly complemented my studies in Groningen. Within my course programme, I specialized in Trade, Investments, Sustainability, and European Policy-Making.

Read more about why Dominic chose to study International Political Economy in Groningen!

Questions? Send Dominic an e-mail!

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In the future I hope to spend my time working for a cause that will make the world a better place

My name is Paul Haseloop, and currently I study International Political Economy (IPE). Previously, I did the bachelor International Relations and International Organization in Groningen, with minors in intelligence studies, religious studies and Dutch public administration. IPE offers me unique perspectives on issues such as, for example, international cooperation, trade relations, and the power of multinational corporations in shaping international policy. In addition, it helps me in analyzing the interplay between politics and economics, and the effect this has on societies, markets and states.

Why International Relations?

IPE in Groningen can be seen as a track within the master International Relations. The advanced course on IR theory contributes not only to knowledge on IR, but also helps in discussing problems found in international political economy. This connectedness of IPE and IR, in combination with the internship possibilities the UG offers, convinced me to sign up for this master. As a part of the master, I will do an internship at the Dutch embassy in Helsinki, which will definitely be an amazing experience.

In the future I will hope to spend my time working for a cause that will make the world a better place, using the skills I have acquired during my time in Groningen.

Read more

The programme forces you to critically think about the role the economy plays in international as well as local politics

My name is Iris Staalman and I study International Relations with a Master's track in International Political Economy (IPE). I previously obtained my bachelor in Psychology, with a focus on social and cultural psychology. Curiously I was never very interested in politics when I was younger. During my bachelor however, I went on exchange to Uppsala, Sweden, and took a course in development theory and colonial legacy. Here my interest grew, particularly concerning colonial history and its effects on international politics today. Career-wise I am looking to play a role in the development of the African continent, through improving the international trade relations of its countries.

The IR master is a good programme for those with strong opinions as well as those who are still looking for their voice. Debate is constantly present in our classes and in the discipline in general. The programme highlights many different perspectives, none of which you necessarily need to agree with. This is one of the things I enjoy most in our programme, because I believe interacting with different opinions can teach you a lot more than only encountering similar-mindedness.

Why International Political Economy?

Due to my previous education it was necessary for me to follow the pre-master programme before starting the masters. Initially I had intended to specialise in International Security, but during the pre-masters it became clear to me that if I wanted to focus on development in ways other than foreign aid, I needed to look at international trade. Therefore I decided to specialise in IPE. This track does not merely teach you about the economic system that is in place, it also shows the various perspectives on IPE that are present, it questions the morality of it and forces you to critically think about the role the economy plays in international as well as local politics.

Read more

“The master is challenging, deepening and multidisciplinary.”

My name is Janna Bots and I am a 22-year-old master's student International Relations and International Organizations (IRIO) with a specialization in International Political Economy (IPE). The reason I chose this master is because I have always been interested in the relationship between politics and economics and how politics is affected by and affects the economy.

To summarize the master in three words; challenging, deepening and multidisciplinary. The master broadens your knowledge about the theories and topics related to IR and especially teaches you to think critically. The specialisation in IPE offers me the right combination of global issues seen from an economic as well as political perspective and teaches you the interconnectivity that exists between the economic realm and the political realm in International Affairs.

The reason I would recommend the master IRIO at the University of Groningen is because it gives you the possibility to broaden your knowledge and explore yourself as a researcher in IR, while at the same time spending time abroad or at a ministry, doing an internship. Besides, Groningen is a wonderful student city and the best if you want to study in the Netherlands!

Read more

University of Groningen Orange Tulip Scholarship/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, 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.

Research Master

Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of International Relations.

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
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.