Unlike most other universities, VU Amsterdam offers a mix of public administration, national and international politics in the first year. All courses are English-taught and tailored towards generating unique experiences and insights. The Bachelor’s student body is as diverse in nationality and background as the teaching staff.
As a Global Politics graduate, you are well prepared to work as a consultant, journalist, researcher or policy officer at a municipality, ministry, embassy, company, research agency or a social or political organisation. Your knowledge of politics and political processes will appeal to a wide range of employers, including international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, multinationals and NGOs.
During the bachelor’s programme in Political Science, you will study how societies and international relationships are organised politically and how decisions are made. You will examine the way municipal councils, political parties or the United Nations Security Council function and who ultimately decides.
You will explore topics such as the shifting global balance of power, EU governance and migration and the origins of war and conflict. At VU Amsterdam you will be trained to conduct independent academic research. Using various scientific methods and techniques, you will learn how to formulate and answer your own research questions. In the classroom, you will discuss issues such as the Brexit vote and the geopolitical tensions with Russia. You will be able to analyse current affairs and the structures that underpin them.
You will start off with a thorough introduction to the core concepts and theories of national politics, international relations and public administration. You also will visit the Senate of the Dutch Parliament and immerse yourself in the philosophy of politics. In the academic skills workshops you will develop the advanced reading and writing skills that you need in your future academic and professional career. At the end of the first year, you and your fellow students will participate in a United Nations simulation. You will get acquainted with the workings of the UN through a case study on a current topic, such as the conflict over the South China Sea.
For more information on the first year, see our study guide.
You further specialise in global politics. You will study great power rivalry and how strong states such as the US and China end up in conflict. You will also study the micro-level of politics and will look at states and non-state actors like NGOs and multinational corporations. Grasping how they help shape and govern global challenges such as climate change is crucial in understanding today’s interconnected and fragmented world.
In the second semester, you will take Social Sciences for Society together with students from other disciplines. You will choose one of the three major themes from the social sciences: globalisation, diversity or digitisation. In lectures and in study groups, you will work to find solutions for the societal challenges of the world today.
In the first semester, you will largely determine what your course load looks like. You can study abroad, do an internship, for example at an embassy, or follow a minor in another area of interest such as journalism or economics. You will finish off the year by writing your bachelor's thesis. For this, you will conduct research on a topic of your choice in the field of political science.
Do you have questions?
Do you have a question about admission?
Students with a Dutch degree:
Students with an international degree:
For questions about admission and entry requirements, please contact the International Student Advisor:
Gijs van Ierssel
Contact a Student Ambassador
Would you like to hear from an international VU student about their student journey, what it is like to study at VU, the programme that they are doing and/or their student life in Amsterdam? Contact our student ambassadors! Our Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and would be happy to answer all your questions.
VU Bachelor's day
Come join our Open Day and see for yourself what it’s like to study Political Science at VU Amsterdam! Register here.
Come to a Taster day at the VU campus in Amsterdam's Zuidas district and experience what it is like to be a student at VU Amsterdam. Please sign up for the Taster Day.
VU Matching enables you to check whether you have chosen the right degree programme. The matching programme consists of two steps: a digital questionnaire on VUnet, which is part of the application process, and an online matching activity. By taking part in this matching activity, you can check whether the programme is really the right one for you. For more information, please see the VU Matching website.
Please note: You will only be invited to the Matching activity if you have logged in to VUnet, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s information portal. It is also important that you fill in the digital matching questionnaire on VUnet before you join the matching activity! Doing so means you have completed the first step of VU Matching and are well prepared for the matching activity. The invitations for the activity will be issued from the end of April 2020.
Would you like to know more?
Further details about VU Matching are available at VU Matching website. If you have specific questions about the Political Science matching day, please get in touch with email@example.com. Have a look at: Application and registration regulation.
These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the required level of mathematics:
If your diploma is not considered to be at the right level and/or if your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates.
When advised to sit an entry exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to the required Dutch VWO Mathematics C level.
Exams in the Netherlands
Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a VWO Mathematics C exam in May, July and August.
Please check our step-by-step application guide for more information.
International applicants will be asked to submit the following documents:
Deadline: International students who require university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 April.
Students who do not require university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 May. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).
Ready to apply?
Great! All applicants must start the application procedure through the Studielink.nl portal.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
3 years (fulltime)
1 April (students requiring visa and/or housing services) / 1 May (students who do not require visa and/or housing services)
BINDING STUDY ADVICE
norm 42 EC
FIELD OF INTEREST
Economics, Business and Law
Behavioural and Social Sciences