Find solutions to social and political problems
Never before have political decisions been so interconnected across the world. A global pandemic, climate change, shifts in economic power, the rise of AI and big data. They all impact global politics. But how? And who are the main actors?
The Political Science Master’s programme at VU Amsterdam teaches you to analyse the exercise of political power in its social and international context. It enables you to formulate solutions to social and political problems by providing you with different theoretical perspectives and rigorous research skills.
In the first period, you study core debates and issues in political science. You then select one of three specialisations:
- Democracy, Power and Inequality
- Global Environmental Governance, Sustainability and Climate Change
- International Relations, Security and Global Order
Entering the job market
Well-equipped to work in complex environments, where understanding the different interests behind societal problems is key, and with sharp research skills, a range of career paths will be open to you. You could become a politician, work for local government, a human rights organisation or a multinational company – perhaps in an advisory or policy-making role. You could go into journalism or continue in academia as a researcher.
Positions you will be qualified for include foreign correspondents, policy analysts, public relations specialists, and, in a world where public opinion is increasingly shaped by online networks, you could become a social media manager. Political consultancy, decision-making roles in NGOs and multinationals are also popular career choices.
The Master's programme
The one-year Master’s programme has six different periods:
In Period 1, approximately two months, you will engage with the core debates in political science with fellow students. You will familiarise yourself with the key debates, theories, and big questions in the (sub)fields of Political Science and learn how to apply them to contemporary cases.
Period 2 is when you select one of three different specialist subjects and discover the key elements of each, exploring them in different settings:
• Democracy, Power and Inequality
• Global Environmental Governance, Sustainability and Climate Change
• International Relations, Security and Global Order
In Period 3, you follow a short course on the philosophy, design and practice of political research, which will give you the (meta)theoretical tools and insights to prepare for your thesis work.
Period 4 involves practicing how to conduct research within your specialization in the respective Workshop courses, as well as refreshing and advancing your knowledge on qualitative and quantitative methods in Political Science and learn how to apply them to your chosen topic.
The last two periods are entirely devoted to working on your Master’s thesis, supervised by a lecturer from one of our research groups in Political Science or Democracy, Power and Inequality.