Political Science: Global Environmental Governance

Study environment in a political perspective

Environmental problems from a political perspective

The enormous development of human civilization has left almost no species, countries or parts of the ocean untouched. Protecting the environment might be the largest challenge of our time. Politicians and policy makers have to cooperate with multinationals, organisations and scientists to confront international environmental problems such as the increase in CO2 emissions and climate change. This creates a growing demand for researchers who are knowledgeable about international environmental politics.

In the one-year full-time English-language Master’s programme Political Science: Global Environmental Governance you will concern yourself with the political aspects and implications of topics such as climate change, sustainability and nature. You will explore the field, familiarize yourself with current research and learn about the most important research traditions and approaches related to international environmental politics. The programme offers intensive coaching by means of tutorials and workshops, each taught by qualified and internationally acclaimed lecturers.

This programme is accredited by the NVAO. After finishing the programme you receive the internationally recognized degree of Master of Science (MSc).

This programme is a specialization of the Master Political Science. We also offer two other specializations in Political Science: International Relations and Transnational Governance and European Public Policy.

Our Political Science Master programme gives you a thorough, broad-based training in social and political science methodology and theory. This involves the application and practical use of a variety of political science research methods and getting acquainted with a range of theoretical perspectives and how to integrate these in your research. The Master’s is a one-year full-time programme, taught entirely in English. It has a workload of 60 credits.

Political Science: Global Environmental Governance courses in study guide.

Programme structure
The programme starts with a broad common base and gradually allows you to determine your own profile.

  • In Period 1 you follow two courses on basic theories and approaches in the two major sub disciplines of political science: comparative politics and international relations. These courses provide you with a common knowledge base and introduce you to the full breadth of the discipline
  • In Period 2 you choose two selected issues courses that cover different aspects of contemporary political processes. You can choose one selected issue belonging to your specialisation, and one to broaden your scope.
  • In Period 3 you follow a more general course on philosophy of science and research design that is to contribute directly to the preparation of your thesis work and provides you with both theoretical insights and methodological tools.
  • In Period 4 you practice your research skills in a workshop within your own specialisation. Working in small groups on specific topics, you practice all stages of the empirical cycle: choice and formulation of research question, literature review, research design, data analysis and report. The practical experience and the range of relevant and up-to-date research topics within your specialization that will be presented here allows you to use the work in the workshop as a stepping stone towards your Master's thesis.
  • In Period 5 and 6 you work individually on your Master's thesis, supervised by one of the staff members from our various research groups.

View the course descriptions
View the programme schedule
View the Master's Day

Broad base, clear specialization
Our programme has a unique cumulative structure, in which you specialize further every month. From a common start in the two major sub-disciplines of the field (International Relations and Comparative Politics) you split up in smaller groups in the selected issue courses and gradually work towards your own specialization. This culminates in your individual Master thesis subject.

Intensive supervision, extra-curricular activities

The programme consist of highly interactive tutorials, workshops and intensive individual supervision. Given the relatively small scale of the programme (50-70 students divided over three specializations) you really get to know your professors, and they will know you. Extra-curricular research seminars, excursions and workshops provide you with an opportunity to also engage with politics and (political) organisations outside the classroom.

Strong research component
The programme encourages the employment of both quantitative and qualitative methods and offers you a broad scope in theoretical approaches, from the more traditional theories of the discipline to critical theory. Within the different courses special attention is paid to the combination of theoretical knowledge and skills (reasoning, writing, presenting and research techniques) and there is a great emphasis on developing argumentation to support your own findings. Finally, under supervision of a staff member with expertise in your specialisation you will conduct independent research for your Master thesis.
More information on the research topics of our Political Science department and staff members

International reputation
The programme is developed and taught by an internationally renowned team with an extensive international network. The quality of our teaching is evidenced by positive assessment results: in recent years our teachers have been voted the best in the Netherlands. The programme has an international character as at least 35% of the staff are international and approximately 50% of the students that start every year come from abroad. 

Double degree
It is possible to obtain a double degree. Choosing this you will follow a 2-year programme during which you will spend one year at the VU and one year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information see below: ‘Double degree European governance’.

What students say
Students of the Master Political Science at the VU have stated in the 2017 national student survey that they are satisfied with the challenging education, the Internationalization, the study facilities, timetables, study load and group size of the programme.

As a graduate of the Master’s programme in Political Science at VU Amsterdam, you are capable of working effectively in a multidisciplinary environment: you have a solid foundation in the approaches, issues and theories of the social sciences. You have developed skills in research methodology (analysis, data collection and processing), writing, presenting, public speaking, and teamwork.

Many graduates find work as a policy analyst or advisor within an international governmental or non-governmental organization, in the private sector, or as a civil servant in a government ministry. You will also be well qualified to work in the field of journalism. Graduates also find jobs in communication and external relations. The thorough application of research skills offered by the programme also prepares you for a further career in academia. Many of our graduates participate in reputable PhD programmes around the world.

Internships

Finding a position in an (international) organization can be difficult, especially in the current job market. During the programme, you will find out more about your own interests and how you can use them for an international career. After having completed the Master, highly motivated students can approach their professors for internship possibilities within the professors’ network. A research internship at our own department of Political Science is also an option. This work experience will help you further in your career.

Alumni stories
For personal descriptions of our graduates' careers, read our alumni stories or have a look at the graduates' stories (in Dutch).

Philipp Pattberg

Lecturer

Philipp Pattberg

Global environmental change remains one of the most pressing societal challenges of our time. How to organize a planet of 9 billion people in a way that would safeguard environmental integrity while at the same time ensuring a fair distribution of human progress is a perennial question for political scientists. Unfortunately, political progress towards sustainability is simply too slow. In the MSc Political Science, we thus focus on the underlying causes and consequences of global environmental change, the plethora of current institutions, actors and policies of global environmental governance, and jointly search for possible solutions and reform options.

Overview Political Science: Global Environmental Governance

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 June for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April for non-EU-students.

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Specialization of Political Science

FIELD OF INTEREST

Behavioural and Social Sciences

Sander van Hoorn

Foreign correspondent at NOS

Sander van Hoorn

"During my research internship, I worked with top researchers. They studied the effects of media statements on public opinion, and whether election results can be predicted based on how the media depicts politicians."

Double Degree European Governance

A unique Master’s programme is offered now by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two leading universities that jointly offer a 2-years program in European Governance in the US and Political Science in Amsterdam, in the heart of Europe.

This programme will give you a profound academic grasp of European Governance and Social Policy. Topics such as comparative politics of industrial societies, comparative social policy, democratization, the European Union and multilevel governance. At the end of this 2-year programme, you will receive an accredited and internationally recognized master’s degree in European Governance from UNC and in Political Science from VU Amsterdam, having a thesis supervisor at both institutions.
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The European Governance Track is part of the Transatlantic Master’s programme (TAM) offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Students begin the European Governance programme by studying for one full academic year at UNC-CH. You then go on to complete a second year of study and research at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam). All courses are offered in English. Coursework focuses on European Governance and Social Policy. In addition, there is an emphasis on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

While at UNC-CH in the fall semester, you will take three required courses and one elective. Next to that, you will also participate in the Speakers Series offered by the Center for European Studies. Courses will focus on topics such as comparative politics of industrial societies, comparative social policy, democratization, the European Union and multilevel governance. During the fall break, students will travel to Washington DC for site visits and an annual alumni/current student gathering. Two or three required courses and one elective will be offered in the spring semester. Some students may wish to pursue independent study projects with individual professors at this juncture.

UNC-CH’s academic year ends in early May. Students will be encouraged to pursue academically relevant summer internships in the US or overseas. Some internship guidance will be offered.

More information about the programme

At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
After summer, coursework will resume overseas on the 1st of September at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During this second semester overseas, your courses will focus further in a specialization, and you will do your thesis research and writing. There are 3 specializations within the Master’s programme of Polictical Science at VU Amsterdam that you can choose Comparative and European Politics, International Relations and Transnational Governance, and Global Environmental Governance.

The overall quality of Dutch higher education places it among the best in the world. According to the THE and the QS World University Rankings, no other country in the world can claim that 90% of its universities are ranked in the world’s top 100. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and UNC-CH are ranked at:

Ranking   
VU Amsterdam
UNC-CH
ARWU/Shanghai
98
39
THE
154
63
QS
171
62

You should submit your application at UNC-Chapel Hill. As you will do the first year of the double degree master in Chapel Hill, they are in charge of the application and registration process.  For questions regarding the application procedures, we therefore recommend you to contact UNC-Chapel Hill.

If you have specific questions regarding the programme taught at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, or our services and procedures, you may contact us.

Contact
UNC-Chapel Hill:
Email: TAM@UNC.EDU
Phone: 001 919 962 4507

VU Amsterdam
Email: masters.fss@vu.nl

Application procedure
https://tam.unc.edu/apply/
Deadline: 9 April 2019

Student Testimonials

Testimonial Mandy Rutkowsky

Mandy Rutkowsky, student MSc Political Science  2015-2016
"Even though I have a different educational background than most of my fellow students, I did not have any problems to keep up with the workload of the programme; this was mainly due to the introductory courses in the first period and the close contact with lecturers, who always have an open ear for the students."

Jan Klenke,Testimonial Jan Klenkestudent MSc Political Science 2015-2016
"Most students in the program choose the International Relations specialization, which leads to relatively crowded courses there. However, the lecturers manage this situation in a great way and nobody is left behind. The high workload and emphasis on regular mini-assignments in most courses pays off as this enhances participation and steep learning succes."

Martin Sloot

Graduate, operational advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières

pol_martin_sloot

"I'm interested in communication and image-forming. In how you can best communicate a message. And I'm intrigued by power and influence, and how people deal with that. I was able to combine both interests in both my education and in my career."

Admissions and contact

The Board of Admissions is responsible for handling and assessing requests for admission to the Master’s programmes of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS). Questions to or requests for the Board of Admissions of FSS can be handed in to the administrative secretary, who will submit your request to the members of the Board and will inform you of their decision. The Board of Admissions strives to take on incoming requests within 4 weeks (20 working days) and 6 weeks during the busy summer period (starting 1 June).

Admission with a Dutch degree

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION 

To gain admission to the selective Master's programme, you must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations or a related discipline from an accredited research university (such as public administration, communication science, sociology, journalism, anthropology, etc.).

The Admission Board will review all courses in your BA. In some cases, you may be asked to demonstrate your abilities in an individual assignment if relevant core methodology courses are lacking from your previous degree, such as quantitative and qualitative methods. 

You should demonstrate a strong working command of English by means of minimally one proof of academic writing that shows your ability to reflect, judge and reason in a well-structured and evidence-based manner. This proof of academic writing must include a clear research question, an explicit research methodology, a theoretical framework and academic literature references. 

On the basis of the documents you submit, the Admission Board will make a merit-based selection of students applying the following criteria:

  • Academic record, based on GPA or an overall grade average, preferably 7 or higher. 
  • Aptitude for social scientific theory and methods, as demonstrated by: thesis/proof of academic writing, results on individual courses, research skills and/or academic references. 
  • Likelihood to benefit ('growth potential') from the international and academic environment of the MSc Political Science, based on the above and your CV.

HOW TO APPLY
All candidates must hand in a request for admission, to be assessed by the Board of Admissions FSS.

Registration procedure

  1. Registration for the Master’s programme in Studielink is open until 31 May (non-VU-students) / 31 July (VU-students) at the latest.
  2. After registering in Studielink you’ll receive login data for VUnet.
  3. Add the following documents to your application in VUnet:
    - A certified copy of your original Bachelor’s degree certificate. The certified degree must be in English or be translated into English by your university or a sworn translator. If you have yet to obtain your degree, you can ask the registrar of your university to provide an official statement to the effect that you are certain to graduate before 1 September. To start the application process you only need to upload a digital copy into our system.
    - A certified transcript of the grades you obtained in your Bachelor’s programme. The certified transcript must be in English or be translated into English by your university or a sworn translator. If you have followed or are following a master’s programme and/or more than one bachelor’s programme, please include transcripts of all these programmes. To start the application process you only need to upload a digital copy into our system.
    - Letter of motivation (no more than 2 pages in length) stating your reasons for applying to the programme.
    - A curriculum vitae (résumé), including your personal details, listing your previous education and relevant work experience.
    - A Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis (in English), or if you have not finished your thesis yet, a sample of an academic writing in English (about five pages in length). We will check your sample for plagiarism as one of the first steps of the evaluation procedure.
  4. Finish your application in VUnet.
  5. After your application has been processed and assessed you’ll receive notice about your admissibility.
  6. Arrange payment of the tuition fee and complete your registration before 31 August at the latest.

More information about the registration procedure.

Please note: all students must meet the English language requirements before 31 August at the latest. Before the beginning of the programme you’ll receive practical information about starting your studies.

Alle studenten moeten voor aanvang van de premaster Political Science een toelatingsverzoek indienen in VUnet. Het toelatingsverzoek wordt door de Toelatingscommissie beoordeeld. Met een hbo-diploma word je  uitsluitend tot het premasterprogramma PS toegelaten als je toelatingsverzoek positief is beoordeeld door de Toelatingscommissie en je bovendien hebt voldaan aan de eisen van het premasterassessment.

Inhoud premaster
De premaster Political Science bereidt voor op de Master Political Science. De premaster begint met een inleiding in het vakgebied. Daarna volgen vakken in methoden van sociaal-wetenschappelijk en politicologisch onderzoek, beschrijvende en inferentiële statistiek en academisch schrijven. De geleerde academische en onderzoeksvaardigheden worden toegepast op politicologische vraagstukken. De premaster wordt afgesloten met een Engelstalig onderzoekspaper.

Bekijk het jaarrooster en de vakken van de premaster Political Science in de studiegids 2018-2019. Daarnaast is het jaarschema 2019-2020 beschikbaar.

  • Het premasterprogramma telt 30 EC
  • De studielast van de premaster is verspreid over het studiejaar
  • De colleges worden alleen gegeven op vrijdag
  • De premaster moet binnen één jaar worden afgerond. De behaalde resultaten van de premaster zijn geldig tot 1 september van het volgende studiejaar
  • Bij aanvang van de master moet je hebben voldaan aan de taaleis Engels
  • Elk studiepunt staat gelijk aan 28 uur studie. Een vak van 6 studiepunten staat dus voor 168 uur studie
  • Het tarief is gelijk aan de helft van het wettelijke collegegeld

Premasterassessment
Om aan de premaster deel te kunnen nemen, moet eerst het premasterassessment worden behaald.
Het premasterassessment van FSW toetst:

  • Engelse taalvaardigheid
  • Nederlandse taalvaardigheid
  • Rekenkundige vaardigheden (statistiek)
  • Cognitieve capaciteiten

De onderdelen Engelse taalvaardigheid en rekenkundige vaardigheden (statistiek) zijn bindend.

Bekijk alle informatie over het premasterassessment.

Aanmeldprocedure

  1. Meld je voor de premaster aan in Studielink uiterlijk 31 mei.
  2. Na aanmelding ontvang je inloggegevens voor VUnet.
  3. Rond je aanmelding in VUnet af, incl. aanmelding voor het premasterassessment en voeg de volgende documenten toe:
    - Een (gewaarmerkte) kopie van je hbo-bachelordiploma. Als je je diploma nog niet hebt behaald, kun je bij jouw instelling vragen om een officiële verklaring van afstuderen, waarin vermeld staat dat je voor 1 september zult afstuderen.
    - Een officiële cijferlijst
    van de studieresultaten behaald tijdens je hbo-bacheloropleiding. 
    - Een vakkenoverzicht met officiële beschrijvingen van behaalde vakken die relevant kunnen zijn voor toelating.  
    - Motivatiebrief
    (maximaal twee pagina's, in het Engels)
    - Curriculum Vitae (in het Engels)
    - Hbo-bachelorscriptie (bij voorkeur in het Engels) of als je je scriptie nog niet hebt afgerond, een paper (ongeveer 5 pagina’s en bij voorkeur in het Engels). Het stuk zal worden gecheckt op plagiaat. 
  4. Premasterassessment en hbo-bachelordiploma moeten uiterlijk 31 augustus behaald zijn.
  5. Regel de betaling van het premastertarief en rond je inschrijving af uiterlijk 31 augustus.

Voor aanvang van de aansluitende Master PS moeten alle studenten voldoen aan de taaleis Engels.
Kijk voor informatie hierover onder de kop Admission with University Bachelor’s Degree.

Voor aanvang van het premasterprogramma ontvang je praktische informatie over de start van de studie.

HvA doorstroomminor SWO

Beschik je over een afgeronde hbo-opleiding inclusief de doorstroomminor Sociaalwetenschappelijk Onderzoek van de HvA, dan word je toegelaten na het behalen van na het behalen van het volgende bachelorvak van de opleiding:

• Nederlandse politiek en kwalitatieve methoden (S_NPKM) / Dutch politics and qualitative methods (S_DPQM)

Je hoeft geen premaster te volgen en dus ook geen assessment te maken. Kijk op de webpagina voor informatie over aanmelden als bijvakstudent.


To be admitted to the English-taught Master’s programme you must meet the following results in the English language test (no older than 2 years): 

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) C2 (proficient user), which means:
-IELTS score with a minimum of 7.0
-TOEFL score paper based test: 600
-TOEFL score computer based test: 250|
-TOEFL score internet based test: 100
-VU TOEFL-ITP
: 600 (only valid for VU University Amsterdam)
-Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A
-Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C

Exemptions from the language test requirement are granted in the following cases:

  • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-language university programme in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK or USA.
  • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme at a Dutch university.
  • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme in a different EU-country.

Make sure to register on time at Taalloket for the VU TOEFL-ITP, as the possibilities are limited, especially during the busy summer period. August 8 is the last possible date for taking the test (registration August 1 at the latest).

If you have a Dutch Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch university, the VU TOEFL-ITP is free of charge.

Please add a scan of the result to your application in VUnet before 31 August at the latest.

Hoe schrijf ik me in voor een premaster?
Informatie over de aanmeldprocedure vind je op de  onder de kop ‘Admission with hbo-bachelor’.
Algemene informatie over de inschrijfprocedure voor een premaster op de VU staat op deze pagina.

Word ik met mijn hbo-diploma toegelaten tot een masteropleiding?
Met een hbo-bachelordiploma word je niet direct toegelaten tot een masteropleiding, maar volg je eerst een premaster. Om toegelaten te worden tot het premasterprogramma moet je slagen voor het premasterassessment. Een afgerond premasterprogramma biedt toegang tot de aansluitende masteropleiding.

Ik heb heel hoge cijfers gehaald in mijn hbo-bachelor en werkervaring. Mag ik direct instromen?
Helaas word je niet direct toegelaten tot de master met jouw hbo-bachelor. Alleen een wo-bachelor geeft mogelijk direct toegang. Werkervaring en hoge cijfers tellen niet mee in de toelatingsprocedure.

Mag ik instromen met een premaster van een andere universiteit?
Het is niet gebruikelijk om in te stromen met een premaster van een andere universiteit. De toelatingseisen en de inhoud kunnen verschillen per universiteit en per premaster. Je kunt een toelatingsverzoek indienen. De toelatingscommissie beoordeelt dan of je vooropleiding voldoet.

Ik ga mijn hbo-bachelor niet voor 1 september halen. Mag ik toch starten met de premaster?
Als je je hbo-bachelordiploma niet voor 1 september hebt behaald, kun je helaas niet beginnen met de premaster in het aansluitende collegejaar. Het is tevens niet mogelijk om halverwege het collegejaar in te stromen bij onze faculteit.

Ik ontvang mijn hbo-bachelordiploma niet voor 1 september, maar heb deze al wel behaald. Mag ik toch starten met de premaster?
Uiterlijk 31 augustus moet een kopie van je hbo-bachelordiploma of een bewijs van afstuderen binnen zijn. In dat geval kun je jouw hbo-bachelordiploma wel later inleveren, maar deze moet gedateerd zijn van vóór 1 september om in september te kunnen beginnen.

Moet ik als premasterstudent ook deelnemen aan matching?
Nee, matching is alleen voor bachelorstudenten.

Hoe sta ik ingeschreven als premasterstudent?
Als premasterstudent ben je ingeschreven in de bachelor.

Ik wil graag de premaster Political Science volgen, gelden daar aanvullende eisen voor?
De premaster Political Science is een selectief programma. Dit betekent dat iedere student een toelatingsverzoek in moet dienen bij de toelatingscommissie. Deze commissie bepaalt of je toegelaten wordt tot de premaster. Zie daarvoor de paragraaf ’Admission with hbo-bachelor’.

Moet ik ook een premasterassessment doen? En waarom?
Het assessment is verplicht voor studenten met een hbo-bachelordiploma die met een premaster willen beginnen. Met het premasterassessment wordt getest of je beschikt over voldoende vaardigheden op het gebied van Engels en wiskunde om de premaster te kunnen volgen.

Moet ik een GMAT doen?
Nee, de GMAT wordt alleen afgenomen bij de School of Business and Economics (SBE).

Wat toetst het premasterassessment van de Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen (FSW)?
Het assessment bestaat uit:
•    Tekstbegrip en leesvaardigheid in de Nederlandse taal
•    Tekstbegrip en leesvaardigheid in de Engelse taal
•    Rekenkundige vaardigheden en wiskunde/statistiek
•    Cognitieve capaciteiten

Is de uitslag van het premasterassessment bindend?
De onderdelen Engels en wiskunde zijn bindend. Wie voor deze onderdelen geen voldoende haalt, kan niet starten met een premaster. Het is niet mogelijk om het premasterassessment te herkansen.

Wat kost het premasterassessment?
De kosten voor deelname aan het assessment bedragen 110 euro.

Hoe meld ik mij aan voor het premasterassessment?
Meld je via Studielink aan voor de premaster en doorloop de stappen van de aanmeldingsprocedure. Je komt dan vanzelf op een punt dat je je moet aanmelden voor het assessment.

Wanneer vindt het premasterassessment plaats?
Data voor het premasterassessment kun je vinden via deze pagina.

Ik wil graag op een ander moment het premasterassessment maken. Kan dat?
Neem hiervoor contact op met de studentenbalie.

Ik heb een vwo-diploma. Moet ik ook het premasterassessment maken? Ik heb toch al bewezen dat ik het niveau aankan?
Met een vwo-diploma moet je het premasterassessment maken en behalen, om na te gaan of je nog steeds op het gewenste niveau zit.

Als ik het premasterassessment niet behaal, mag ik dan herkansen?
Nee, helaas kun je het premasterassessment niet herkansen.

Als ik het premasterassessment niet heb gemaakt/behaald, krijg ik dan het geld terug?
Nee, dit bedrag wordt niet gerestitueerd.

Wanneer krijg ik de uitslag van het premasterassessment?
De uitslag wordt binnen drie weken na afname van het premasterassessment per e-mail verstuurd naar het mailadres dat je hebt opgegeven in Studielink.

Mag ik de premaster als minor volgen in mijn hbo-bachelor?
Helaas is het niet mogelijk om de premaster als minor te volgen. Om toegelaten te worden tot de premaster moet je in het bezit zijn van een hbo-bachelordiploma. Je kunt als hbo-bachelorstudent wel 18 studiepunten aan keuzevakken volgen.

Kan ik na het behalen van mijn premaster een jaar wachten met instromen in de master?
Nee, je dient na het afronden van de premaster in het aansluitende studiejaar te beginnen met de bijbehorende master.


Lees meer over het premasterassessment, voorbereidingstips en afnamedata.

If you have any question after reading this website, please view the frequently asked questions. When your answer is not there, please send an email to contact@vu.nl

Programme information
contact@vu.nl
Information days
contact@vu.nl
Admission requirements
toelating.fsw@vu.nl
Tuition fee, admission via studielink and VUnet
Central Student Desk
Admission and application requests
Studielink + VUnet
Other questions?
contact@vu.nl

Masteravondzaterdag 9 maart
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Admission International students

To gain admission to the selective Master's programme, you must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations or a related discipline from an accredited research university (such as public administration, communication science, sociology, journalism, anthropology, etc.). 

The Admission Board will review all courses in your BA. In some cases, you may be asked to demonstrate your abilities in an individual assignment if relevant core methodology courses are lacking from your previous degree, such as quantitative and qualitative methods.

You should demonstrate a strong working command of English by means of minimally one proof of academic writing that shows your ability to reflect, judge and reason in a well-structured and evidence-based manner. This proof of academic writing must include a clear research question, an explicit research methodology, a theoretical framework and academic literature references.

On the basis of the documents you submit, the Admission Board will make a merit-based selection of students applying the following criteria:

  • Academic record, based on GPA or an overall grade average, preferably 7 or higher. 
  • Aptitude for social scientific theory and methods, as demonstrated by: thesis/proof of academic writing, results on individual courses, research skills and/or academic references. 
  • Likelihood to benefit ('growth potential') from the international and academic environment of the MSc Political Science, based on the above and your CV.


How to apply
To apply for the programme, you must register in Studielink. Once you have completed your registration in Studielink, you will receive log in details for VUnet. You must complete your application in VUnet by uploading the following required documents:

  1. Certified copy of your original Bachelor’s degree certificate. The certified degree must be in English or be translated into English by your university or a sworn translator. If you have yet to obtain your degree, you can ask the registrar of your university to provide an official statement to the effect that your are certain to graduate before 1 September.
  2. A transcript of the grades you obtained in your Bachelor’s programme. The certified transcript must be in English or be translated into English by your university or by a sworn translator. If you have followed or are following a master’s programme and/or more than one bachelor’s programme, please include transcripts of all these programmes.
  3. A clearly legible copy of the page(s) in your passport (or ID-card if you are an EU student) that contain(s) your personal data. A copy of a passport / ID card that is no longer valid will not be accepted
  4. A curriculum vitae (in English).
  5. A Bachelor's or Master's thesis (in English). Or if you have not finished your thesis yet, a sample of an academic writing in English (about five pages in length). We will check your sample for plagiarism as one of the first steps of the evaluation procedure.
  6. A description of the relevant courses followed and literature used during your previous higher education. A list of the most relevant courses/modules that were part of your Bachelor's (and Master's, if applicable) programme, with a short description of the contents of these courses and the literature used (bibliography). You can either copy this from a study guide or type a 5-10 line description for each relevant course, if a study guide is not readily available. For the literature please mention the most relevant academic textbooks or articles used during your previous education. You can choose to use this example format or use your own.

Application fee
All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years.

Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.

For more information, international students may also contact the admission officer: masters.fss@vu.nl.

To be admitted to the master’s programme all applicants must meet the following results in the English language test (no older than 2 years):

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) C2 (proficient user), which means:
  • IELTS score with a minimum of 7.0.
  • TOEFL score paper based test: 600.
  • TOEFL score computer based test: 250.
  • TOEFL score internet based test: 100.
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C.
  • VU TOEFL-ITP: 600 (only valid for VU Amsterdam).
  • IELTS = test given by the British International English Language Testing Service.
  • TOEFL = American Test of English as a foreign Language.

Exemptions from the language test requirements are granted in the following cases:

  • If your bachelor's or master's diploma was obtained in an English-language university programme in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK or USA.
  • If your bachelor's or master's diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme at a Dutch university.
  • If your bachelor's or master's diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme in a different EU-country.

Please note that the options for taking this test are limited, especially during the summer holidays. Remember to upload the result of your test as soon as possible, but at latest June 1st (for non-EEA students) or August 31st (for EEA students).

Some International students are happy to tell you about their experience with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our Student Ambassadors are listed here on this webpage: vu.nl/ambassadors.

Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam.
As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl
For further questions about admission requirements, please contact the International Student Advisor Irena Paap by e-mail masters.fss@vu.nl.
Master's day
Saturday March 9th, 2019Register
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