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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesInternational Relations (60 EC)International Security
Header image International Security

International Security

How do actors relate to each other and their natural environment in terms of threats and vulnerabilities? When and how is violence organized? How can possible conflicts be prevented or solved?

International Security, a track of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.

Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence, i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as environmental security (about climate change or industrial hazards), societal security (about group identities) and economic security (about welfare and development). These different types of concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.

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 Master's track International Security: (a) pays attention to the theoretical developments as well as the dimensions of the contemporary security agenda; (b) offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff; (c) includes a career-oriented placement that prepares graduates for the labour market; and (d) provides an excellent preparation for positions at a broad variety of security-oriented and conflict-management related institutions.

Programme

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 International Security) and a Capita International Security, all in your first semester. During your second semester, you will write a Master thesis (in the field of International Security) 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 International Security (5 EC)
Master's Placement (10 EC)
Master's Thesis International Security (20 EC)

Curriculum

Because the programme 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 International Security are: 'Governance and Security in the Arctic', 'Global Politics of Disease', and 'Energy Security'. The topics of the research seminars differ every year, so these are merely examples.

Programme options
Master's placement (specialization)

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

You can propose yourself at what organisation you would like to do a placement and where necessary the programme can advise you. Click the link above to find examples of placements completed by other Master's students.

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
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). 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).

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 201901 September 2019
01 November 201901 February 2020
01 June 202001 September 2020
01 November 202001 February 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
Tuition Fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-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 International Security track work at:

NGO:

Government:

International Organisations:

  • Programme Officer – SRHR (Burundi)

Business:

  • Junior Policy Analyst – Shungham (Brussels)
  • Customer Engagement Representative - Survey Monkey (Dublin)
  • Consultant – Balkan Goes Europe(Berlin)
  • Product Lab Manager – Nomoko (Zurich)

Research:

Media:

Research

Research International Security

The chairgroup International Security Studies (ISS) is part of the Department of IRIO. The six permanent staff members and over 10 PhD students all contribute to the Faculty's research theme Conflict Studies. This is done at various levels of abstraction, focusing on various issue-areas and on various political contexts.

At the theoretical level the chairgroup aims to contribute to a better understanding of conceptualizations of security in time and space. How have academic debates in security studies evolved and how do they relate to security policies? This implies a focus on securitization theory, regional security complex theory, strategic studies, critical security studies and peace research.
In terms of issue-areas the group presently studies developments in military & defence policies, terrorism, peace making, peace building &peace keeping - including security sector reform -, societal security in relation to social identities and state formation, and finally securitization in energy, food, and health policies.
In terms of political contexts, the group focuses on institutional and regional settings in which security policies are shaped and implemented. Developments in Intergovernmental Organizations are studied - notably, in the European Union, NATO and the United Nations Security Council, and also in Non-Governmental Organizations in close cooperation with the research projects related to the Network on Humanitarian Action. The chairgroup has regional expertise about security politics in Europe (including Turkey), the Middle East, parts of Sub-Sahara Africa, and China.

The chairgroup brings much of its research interests together in the specialization International Security of the MA degree program IRIO.

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Contact

If you want to know more about the programme International Security, please contact:

  • 
								Testimonial of Daniel Craanen

    Internship at the Scottish Parliament in the United Kingdom

    – Daniel Craanen
    Read more

    As the organizational culture at the Scottish Parliament is very informal overall, I was given a very reasonable deal of responsibility which allowed me to experience the workings of the parliament first-hand. As such, I learned much about the day-to-day workings of a MSP's (Member of Scottish Parliament) office and the politics and alliances within the parliament itself – on a local as well as on an international level.

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  • 
								Testimonial of Paul Morgenstern

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

    – Paul Morgenstern
    Read more

    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.

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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

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 & 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 programme 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.