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Learn how power works

Help others to understand society

What are the effects of Brexit on the EU? How does fake news influence the political debate? Is the USA still the leading world power, or is it ceding its position to China?

As a political scientist, you want to change the world and help others to understand society better. You closely follow shifting power relationships in Europe and the rest of the world, and are interested in their underlying causes, such as technological developments and climate change.

Unlike at other universities, in your first year at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you study a combination of public administration and national and international politics. This gives you not only a broad foundation, but also ample freedom of choice. The programme has a small-scale setup, with highly engaged lecturers and a close-knit student community.

In the Global Politics programme, you are exposed to diverse viewpoints, experiences and cultures, giving you a broader field of vision. You learn to reflect on your own opinions, assumptions and the things you consider ‘common sense’. As befits a future political scientist, you also pay attention to developing your debating and presentation skills. By working together with students and lecturers from programmes such as Sociology, Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology, and Governance & Organizational Sciences, you will become familiar with multiple perspectives.

With Global Politics you focus on international issues: relations between states, heads of state, and superpowers. 

Would you prefer to follow this programme in Dutch? Take a look at the Politicologie specialisation Mondiale Politiek.

Facts and Figures

First year

You will begin with a rigorous introduction to the core concepts and theories of national politics, international relations, and public administration. You will pay a visit to the Dutch Senate and delve into the philosophy of politics. You will be working on your debate and communication skills so that you can support your arguments and write strong political papers. You will also develop your skills through the Model United Nations, and investigate the functioning of the UN by means of a topical case study, such as the conflict in the South China Sea.

Second year

In Global Politics you focus on international issues. What are the results of the protracted conflict in Syria? You will learn about the consequences of civil wars, and study how the world economy influences governments and vice versa. In the second semester, you will follow international courses with students from other social science disciplines, and you will investigate in depth an important social science theme: globalisation, diversity, or digitisation. In lectures and tutorials, you will seek solutions to the challenges facing society today.

Subjects

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Third year

In the first semester, you have the time and space to shape your own curriculum. You might study abroad, do an internship (e.g., at an embassy or with the Amsterdam city council), or follow a minor. You can choose a minor within the social sciences or in a different field that interests you, such as economics or law. This way, you can give your study programme its own particular flavour. In the second semester you will write a Bachelor’s thesis, developing special expertise on the topic of your thesis research.

Subjects

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 1st year

    First year

    You will begin with a rigorous introduction to the core concepts and theories of national politics, international relations, and public administration. You will pay a visit to the Dutch Senate and delve into the philosophy of politics. You will be working on your debate and communication skills so that you can support your arguments and write strong political papers. You will also develop your skills through the Model United Nations, and investigate the functioning of the UN by means of a topical case study, such as the conflict in the South China Sea.

    Subjects

  • 2nd year

    Second year

    In Global Politics you focus on international issues. What are the results of the protracted conflict in Syria? You will learn about the consequences of civil wars, and study how the world economy influences governments and vice versa. In the second semester, you will follow international courses with students from other social science disciplines, and you will investigate in depth an important social science theme: globalisation, diversity, or digitisation. In lectures and tutorials, you will seek solutions to the challenges facing society today.

    Subjects

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 3rd year

    Third year

    In the first semester, you have the time and space to shape your own curriculum. You might study abroad, do an internship (e.g., at an embassy or with the Amsterdam city council), or follow a minor. You can choose a minor within the social sciences or in a different field that interests you, such as economics or law. This way, you can give your study programme its own particular flavour. In the second semester you will write a Bachelor’s thesis, developing special expertise on the topic of your thesis research.

    Subjects

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Change your future with the Political Science programme

Change your future with the Political Science programme

After a Bachelor’s degree, you can specialise further by following a master’s programme, such as the Master of Political Science. As a graduate of Political Science, you can find work as an advisor, a researcher, or a policy officer at a government agency or social organisation. With the knowledge you have acquired, you can also go into journalism or business.

Explore your future prospects
Student in front of office buildings at Zuidas