Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Master's and PhD degree programmes International Relations (60 EC)
Header image International Relations (60 EC)

International Relations (60 EC)

Are you fascinated by international relations? Do you want to become a specialist in this field? Then this Master's degree is what you are looking for.

Within the one-year Master's degree in International Relations, you choose one of the following six Master's tracks:

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?
  • Choice between six tracks
  • Career-oriented placement
  • A research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff
  • Independent and innovative research
  • Provides an excellent preparation for a variety of positions related to the broad field of International Relations
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 and a Capita fitting with your track. During your second semester, you will write a Master Thesis (in the field of your track) 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.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Advanced Theory of International Relations (5 EC)
Research Seminar 1 (in your track) (10 EC)
Research Seminar 2 (10 EC)
Capita (in your track) (5 EC)
Master's Placement (10 EC)
Master's Thesis (20 EC)
Programme options
European Politics in a Global Perspective (track)

What does the future hold for the European Union? Are its founding ideals of peace and prosperity strong enough to overcome public distrust about further integration? Find out in this track.

More information about this option

East Asian Studies (track)

How have some East Asian countries achieved such economic growth and global prominence in so little time? What are the global implications of the rise of East Asia? Find out in this track.

More information about this option

International Political Economy (track)

Why is it fascinating coming to grips with the globalizing world economy? Why did the crash of the housing market in the US lead to a global financial crisis? Find out in this track.

More information about this option

International Security (track)

How do actors relate to each other and their environment in terms of threats and vulnerabilities? How can conflicts be prevented or solved? How is violence organized? Find out in this track.

More information about this option

Geopolitics & Connectivity (track)

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.

More information about this option

International Relations and International Organization (track)

What are the dominant issues in international relations? What effect does globalization have on state autonomy? Why is European integration so important? Find out in this track.

More information about this option

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 optional

Studying abroad is only an option within the East Asian Studies track.

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
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). If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

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:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202201 September 2022
15 January 202301 February 2023
15 August 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students15 October 202201 February 2023
01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202201 February 2023
01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024

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).

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:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202201 September 2022
15 January 202301 February 2023
15 August 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students15 October 202201 February 2023
01 May 202301 September 2023
15 October 202301 February 2024
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202201 February 2023
01 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

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.

Alumni of the Master International Relations (all six tracks) work at:

Government:

Business:

NGO:

International Organisations:

Communication:

Lobby:

Research:

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 International Relations

Research conducted within the Department of International Relations and International Organization takes mostly place within the context of one of the five specializations: Geopolitics and Connectivity, International Security, European Politics in a Global Perspective, International Political Economy and East Asian Studies.

For an impression of the research activities of the Department, please see the Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) and the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen (CEASG).

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.)
  • Renate Huttinga MA (Study Adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
  • Dieneke Zomer MA (Study Adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
  • Drs. Hidde de Haas (Study Adviser)
    Email: study.advice.irio rug.nl
  • Admission Office (Contact form) (For questions on the admission requirements and application procedure)

Project Assistant at the International Organization for Migration

After finalizing his Master in International Relations, RUG alumnus Sander IJmker moved to The Hague and now works as Project Assistant at the International Organization for Migration (IOM – the UN Migration Agency) country office in the Netherlands. He talks about his work and how his studies and time at the University of Groningen contributed to his current position.

Read more

Read more

Project Manager and Online Marketer at INTK

After finalizing her Master's in International Relations, UG alumna Elisa Ahovuori-Motta moved to Utrecht and now works as a Project Manager and Online Marketer at INTK. She talks about her work and how her studies and time at the University of Groningen contributed to her current position.

Read more

"The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest."

The Master International Relations offers six different tracks, and I chose East Asian Studies. This means that my Master is focused on International Relations in East Asia, but also that we look at East Asia from an Asian perspective instead of a Western perspective. I find it very interesting and I am enthusiastic about my Master: it is challenging and it forces you to look critically toward your own perspective..

The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest. Also, the courses are a preparation for your thesis, which I find really helpful.
Within the Master’s programme, there is a lot of freedom of choice: in the second semester we have the option to study abroad in East Asia, to do an internship or to follow another research seminar. You are supposed to work hard for the Master: besides taking part in the intensive classes, it takes a lot of time to prepare the seminars and study the theories of International Relations as well. Nonetheless, I do not find the study load is too heavy: due to good time management it is possible to do something extra besides the study.

I have chosen for the University of Groningen because their Master’s programme allows me to expand my knowledge about the Asian region in general, in addition to my knowledge about China. Also, I am really interested in International Relations, so for me this programme brings together the best of both worlds. I am originally not from Groningen, but I feel at home here. It is a friendly, cozy city, “gezellig” as we call it in Dutch. The city centre is small, which allows you to bike around and get to know the city very easily. I am very happy to study here, and I would definitely recommend the Master if you are interested in International Relations and East Asia!

Read more

The master degree at the University of Groningen is fun and challenging.

The reason why I applied for the master in International Relations, Security track at the University of Groningen is because it aligned with my interests and it had a system that allowed students who had BA degrees from Universities outside Europe to apply. The master degree at the University of Groningen is fun and challenging. It is made up of research seminars, lectures about IR theory as well as a 20.000 to 25.000-word thesis and an internship at an international institution like the European Union, a Government Ministry or Embassy.

Challenging, Exciting, and Intense

If I was to summarize the programme in three words they would be challenging exciting and intense. With good time management I can complete all my work for the week by 4 to 5 hours per day, including weekends, but this depends on the spread of your assignments because some students are given two assignments to complete in one week so naturally they spend more time on their work in that given week.

Over all this masters at the University of Groningen is the best fit for me and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is passionate about studying International Relations.

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

Each Master's degree programme has a study advisor whom you can contact if you have questions or need advice about your degree programme and other study-related matters. Everything you discuss will be treated confidentially. If you have a more complex problem, for example study delay, a performance disability or if you are ill for a long time, you should contact a student counsellor.

In addition, you can also follow various courses at the Study Support section of the Student Service Centre (SSC), for example on study stress and holding presentations.