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European Politics and External Relations (Political Science)

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During our European Politics and External Relations Masters programme you will analyse politics, governance and power in Europe. The programme focuses on the European challenges as part of an increasingly globalized world. Both internal and external dimensions on EU policies will be addressed such as the economic crisis, security challenges, environmental issues, the refugee crisis, the rise of populism and trade. Our programme offers access to seminars, debates and high-level guest lectures from the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES) research community. During previous years, European Politics and External Relations track students were given the opportunity to attend a study trip to Brussels, which included meetings and discussions with key EU institutions providing them with several network opportunities.

Online open day

Do you want to know more about European Politics and External Relations? You can visit our online open day page any time to delve into this study programme. Watch videos, talk to students and deepen your knowledge. Or sign up for an online event or open day.

About the programme

Our European Politics and External Relations programme provides students with a thorough understanding of Europe’s politics and power in an increasingly diverse, interdependent, and multi-polar world. You will be given the analytical, theoretical and empirical tools to develop a deeper understanding of EU’s role as an international actor. Our programme offers in-depth study on both internal as well as external dimensions of European politics. Internally, you will use historically grounded approaches to analyze processes of European integration, democracy and citizenship. Externally, it focuses on understanding and analyzing Europe’s power in a changing global environment.

Examples from questions that will be addressed during our programme:

  • How does the EU relate to other global players? How does Europe deal with transatlantic relations after Trump’s election? How does Europe engage with political transformations and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa?
  • How does the economic crisis in the eurozone affect the European Union’s internal governance and its global position? What does deeper integration within the eurozone mean for national democracy, the risks of Brexit, the rise of populism and relations with major trading partners like the US and China?
  • How do old and new security threats, like migration, global warming, energy dependency, and new wars, challenge, unite and divide EU member states? And how does the EU responds to social and political instability in its own direct neighborhood? 

Student profile

You have a fascination for European politics in a global context. This fascination extends to the current European political developments, as well as the state-of-the-art of theorizing it’s power and politics. The programme is intensive and rigorous. You are expected to develop a capacity to work both independently as well as in group settings. Most teaching will take place in small seminars (max 25 students) in which you are expected to contribute actively. Here your analysis, presentation, teamwork and critical questioning skills will be evolved. You will also have the opportunity to enhance your hands-on negotiation skills by a number of simulation games. In addition, you will be coached to complete an individual and high-level research project.

Why study European Politics and External Relations at the University of Amsterdam?

The University of Amsterdam, a major research university, offers a Master’s programme taught by one of the highest ranking political science departments in continental Europe. Our Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) provides a vibrant and international academic community. The GSSS values diversity in both research and academic content, academic staff and the student population.

European Politics and External Relations:

  • is research-oriented. You will learn about your teachers’ research projects and develop and apply your theoretical and methodological skills in frameworks of research projects;
  • is unique in combining study of the internal politics and external relations of Europe and the European Union: it examines how the European institutions interact with the dynamics of global power;
  • offers an international classroom and works closely together with the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). This means that students have access to debates, lectures and events delivered by the best European studies scholars and high-level EU officials and policy makers.
  • prepares you for a career in (European) policy making, diplomacy, work with a non-governmental organization (NGO), consultancies, and businesses, as well as academia.

Research Master

For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Sciences.

Degree certificate

European Politics and External Relations is a track of the accredited degree programme Political Science. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Political Science and the title Master of Science (MSc).

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Political Science
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English, Language of the study programme
Starts in September
CROHO code 66606