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Political Theory (Political Science)

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The Master’s programme in Political Theory will teach you political theory and applied philosophy in a theoretical, practical and analytical way. You are challenged to critically analyse and reflect on current political contexts and social and political thought.

Online open day

Do you want to know more about Political Theory? 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

The Political Theory track provides students with the conceptual tool-kits to analyse the complex normative and methodological issues of contemporary political life. Students are encouraged to take an active role in critical reflection on political practices, institutional arrangements, and social science methods by building on a solid foundation in social and political thought. The track combines analytical rigor with policy relevance.

  • How should public policy develop when there is moral and religious disagreement or confusion?
  • What are the proper norms to guide the ethics of war or immigration and refugee policy?
  • How should political and economic institutions be reformed to deal with the global financial crisis, international inequality or the democratic deficit in the EU?

Three reasons to study Political Theory at the University of Amsterdam

The Political Theory track provides a unique opportunity to study analytically rigorous political theory and applied philosophy in a political science programme; we apply political theory as a guide to public policy and pressing social problems.

We have an international student body and an international faculty.

The Department of Political Science is consistently ranked among the World’s top-50, and is the largest in the Netherlands. This provides students with a broad foundation in political theory and opportunities for electives and thesis research in a wide variety of related areas of study, from international relations to political economy, from electoral politics to public administration.

Student profile 

The track is designed for independent students that wish to gain a rigorous foundation in political theory and moral philosophy in order to apply these to pressing social problems. It is aimed at students that aim to develop normative and methodological tools that they can apply to complex domestic and international challenges. The programme is writing intensive; students are expected to develop a capacity to work independently and in group settings.

Career prospects

This programme prepares students for careers in government, global business, think-tanks, non-profits, and journalism with a focus on public policy, analysis, and advocacy at the local, national, and international level. The programme also provides a strong foundation for a career in academia. For more information, see the webpage on career prospects.

Studying at a city campus

The programme is based at the Roeterseiland Campus, in the safe but lively and central Plantage neighbourhood of Amsterdam. This is a purpose-built, state of the art facility. It is easily reached by public transport, and features a number of spaces for social and cultural activities, such as the CREA student cafe and theatre. For more information, see the webpage on location.

Ambition in research?

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

Degree certificate

Political Theory 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
Starts in September
CROHO code 66606