You are directly admissible to the Master’s programme in Political Science with a BSc degree in Political Science obtained at an established institute and a curriculum including social science methods.
After completing such a degree, you are sufficiently equipped with both quantitative and qualitative methodology and academic writing and analytical skills, which are requirements for admission to the programme.
Furthermore you are admissible to the Master’s programme in Political Science with any Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree including a minor programme in Political Science, such as the VU FSS Minor Political Science (30 EC).
NUFFIC regularly compares universities around the world in order to estimate academic levels of the universities abroad in relation to the acquired level of the Master’s programmes in the Netherlands. The Admissions Committee relies on the list provided by NUFFIC in order to estimate whether your level of academic writing and methodological training is expected to be sufficient. If your level of academic writing and/or methodological training is deemed insufficient, you must complete a bridging programme which consists of courses in academic writing and/or methods and techniques. You may decide to take this course at any university. FSS-VU offers courses in academic writing in the premaster's programme in Political Science (Tutorial Academic Writing PS and PS Research) and in methods and techniques (see below).
*Please be aware that international students should not apply for the premaster's programme directly. The Admissions Committee will refer you to the premaster, in case you are not directly eligible for the Master’s programme.
If you have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in a field other than political science, you may be asked to complete a bridging programme of max. 30 EC before applying to the Master's in Political Science (PS).
Depending on the discipline of your degree, this bridging programme consists of academic courses with a minimum of 12 EC in the field of (quantitative and/or qualitative) methods and techniques of social scientific research and/or academic substantive courses in the field of political science with a minimum of 6/12 EC.
The Admissions Committee of the Master's programme in Political Science will determine which additional courses you will have to take. These courses can be taken at any university, but you can also choose to take them at FSS-VU.
At FSS-VU the following relevant courses are offered in the field of methods and techniques of social scientific research:
- Social Research Methodology (S_SRM). Introduction into the the process of social scientific research, including its key methods (qualitative and quantitative) and approaches (interpretative vs positivist).
- Descriptive and Inferential Statistics (S_DIS) teaches the elementary methods and techniques of statistics in quantitative social scientific research.
- Dutch Politics and Qualitative Methods (S_DPQM), to acquire knowledge and skills in the field of qualitative methodology as well as a substantive introduction into the workings and foundations Dutch politics.
- Comparative Political Research (S_CPR), teaches you how to apply quantitative methods to political science problems.
- Research Project in Political Science (S_RPPS), to integrate your knowledge on how to conduct political science research into a research design and research paper.
FSS-VU offers the following relevant subjects in the field of political science:
- State, Power and Conflict (S_SPC), a comprehensive introduction into the field of political science.
- History of Political Thought (S_HPT), to get introduced into the history of Western political thought and learn how political questions and concepts are approached from normative and philosophical perspectives.
- International Relations and Global Governance (S_IRGG), to acquire knowledge on the key theories, approaches and issues in the field of International Relations.
- EU Governance in an International Context (S_EUGIC), a comprehensive introduction into the history of European integration, the major integration theories, the EU’s institutional structure and politics and key policies.
- Global Political Economy (S_GPE), teaches you the relevant approaches, concepts and key issues in the field of Global Political Economy, which studies the dynamics and power relations at the intersection of (international) economics and politics.
In case your previous education has no connection at all with the Masters’ programme, the Admissions Committee might refer you to the premaster's programme in Political Science.
In individual cases exemptions for part of this programme may be appropriate and applied for, consult with the Admissions Committee if you think this applies to you.
English language requirements
To be admitted to the English-taught Political Science Master’s programme, students must meet the following results in the English language test (no older than 2 years):
- IELTS score with a minimum of 7.0
- TOEFL score internet based test: 100
- VU TOEFL-ITP: 600 (only valid for VU Amsterdam)
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A or B
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C
Exemptions from the language test requirements 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.
- You have a Dutch vwo-diploma (level 6 vwo-nieuw).
- You are a pre-master student and have passed the premaster’s assessment before entering the programme.
Make sure to register on time at Taalloket for the VU TOEFL-ITP, as the possibilities are limited, especially during the busy summer period. If you have a Dutch Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch university, the first take of the VU TOEFL-ITP is free of charge.
Pease send a scan of the result of your test by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name and student number. The deadline for non-EEA students is 1 June. EEA students can send their test results before 31 August at the latest.