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International Relations (Political Science)

Career prospects

Political Science: International Relations (MSc)

An education in the social sciences will impart a broad range of skills that easily translate into a multitude of careers.

International Relations exposes students to a broad palette of theoretical and empirical work, and trains students to develop their own original, useful, and empirically sophisticated research relevant to scholarship and policy. 

Graduates find careers spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Specific examples from alumni of the International Relations programme in the last 5 years are:

  • Account officer at the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Netherlands
  • Academic coordinator at HafenCity Universität Hamburg, Germany
  • Project officer at Himilo Relief and Development Association
  • Political staff member of the Dutch parliament
  • Junior Analyst of Research Products at Sustainalytics
  • Lieutenant Logistics, Royal Dutch Navy
  • Communications Officer, Volunteering Matters, United Kingdom
  • Career support

    To support you in your career goals, the University offers a variety of resources:

    GSSS Career Event 

    Twice a year the GSSS hosts a Career Event, where you can meet organisation representatives and alumni, and receive helpful tips and feedback about searching for a job as a graduate.

    UvA Careers Centre (LAC)

    The career advisers at the UvA Student Careers Centre can help students with information, workshops and individual vocational counselling to find out what you want, get insight into your capabilities and competencies, make choices and improve your application skills in order to achieve your goals.

    With an increasing number of international students each year, the UvA is truly an international university. UvA graduates from all over the world find their way to interesting careers, whether in the Netherlands or abroad. The Student Careers Centre is specialised in advising international (non-Dutch) UvA graduates about job seeking in the international labour market.

Alumni views

An education in the social sciences will impart a broad range of skills that easily translate into a multitude of careers. Below you can read about the career path of an of alumna in International Relations.

Bernadette Rapp - Alumna Political Science (International Relations)

Always the right amount of freedom and guidance

It was a quite spontaneous idea to do my Master abroad, but the University of Amsterdam ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for in a Master’s programme in International Relations: a good and well known university, a study programme that met my interests and an international environment. After moving to Amsterdam, I felt a bit overwhelmed, but after a few weeks of figuring things out, I felt more and more confident in this new environment. I have always been interested in topics related to international security. At the UvA I found a very supportive academic environment to pursue this interest and to find out, what specific part of this very broad field was the most interesting to me.

  • Read more from Bernadette Rapp

    During this process – even though it was such a short period of time looking back at it today – I was always given the right amount of freedom and guidance from my teachers. I felt like they understood me and my interests better than I could myself at that time and they always pointed me into the right direction. In my thesis, I covered a niche topic related to the international prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing – the implementation of measures based on the FATF Recommendations. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 that combats money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats. It has published a series of Recommendations, an international framework of essential measures that countries should have in place in order to prevent, detect and punish these threats.

    When I think about my year at the UvA today, I remember many hours spent at the library, but also lots of fun with my classmates. And for me the hard work really paid off, because when I received my diploma the following autumn, I had already signed a contract to work in the ‘Know Your Customer’ department at one of the biggest banks in Austria. After a little over a year I ‘changed sides’ and started working at the Austrian Ministry of Finance. At the Ministry I am working on the national implementation of international recommendations and directives, such as the FATF Recommendations or the EU’s own Anti-Money Laundering Directive. My work at the Ministry includes assistance with the drafting of legislature and legal opinions, and with the implementation of technical concepts and programmes for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing – some of the aspects I had also analysed in my thesis.

    Due to my background in international relations, I am also working with international assessments, such as the review of members of the FATF. In my thesis, I included the first review report of Austria. About one and a half years later, the second Follow-up report of Austria was discussed at the FATF headquarters in Paris, and I was invited as a delegate of the Austrian Ministry of Finance, speaking as a national expert on beneficial ownership. This was definitely the highlight of my career so far.

    My advice to future students would be: hang in there! You may feel overwhelmed by everything from time to time, but your hard work will pay off afterwards. You will learn so much, meet great people, and will definitely grow as a person.