BA International Relations and International Organization


Program Description

Are you interested in international issues? Would you like to study and work in an international environment? The IRIO Bachelor program is a great stepping-stone to an international career.

In this three-year Bachelor's degree program you will explore political questions on an international level. You will focus on international relations, especially on the role of international organizations.

During the program, you will approach issues in the field of international relations from three perspectives: political, economic and legal. In addition, you will receive thorough training in a modern foreign language. You will acquire a broad understanding of international relations.

Within the program, you can compile your own profile by choosing a minor. This offers many options to dive into an aspect you may be especially interested in, for example, Development Studies. You can also opt for courses at other Faculties or spend a semester abroad.

As the program is taught in English, a good grasp of the English language is essential!

The Bachelor's degree in International Relations and International Organization is a quota study. This means that only a limited number of students are accepted every year.

Why study this program in Groningen?

IRIO in Groningen is a bachelor program where international relations are not a specialization but core business. The main emphasis is on the functions of international organizations and the process leading to their creation. Attention is paid to research skills, language training, methodologies, historical context, and theory. Last but not least: in Groningen, you study IRIO with Dutch and international students!


Year 1

The first year, the propaedeutic phase will consist of introductory modules in the fields of international relations, law, and economics. You will also start language acquisition modules in the foreign language of your choice: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish or Swedish.


  • History of International Relations 1 (5 EC)
  • International Politics (5 EC)
  • Introduction to International and European Law (5 EC)
  • Academic Skills for IR (5 EC)
  • History of International Relations 2 (5 EC)
  • Statistics for IR (5 EC)
  • International Organisation 1 (5 EC)
  • Introduction to Economics (5 EC)
  • Language Course 1a (5 EC)
  • International Organisation 2 (5 EC)
  • Language Course 1b (5 EC)
  • Political Science (5 EC)

Year 2

In the second year, you will deepen your knowledge of international relations, economics, and law. Attention will be paid to decision-making processes on an (inter)national level; international relations will be placed in a theoretical and philosophical framework; you will study international monetary issues, and you will broaden your knowledge of the law of the European Communities and European Union. Furthermore, you will complete your language modules.


  • Language Course 2a (5 EC)
  • Policy and Governance (10 EC)
  • Theory of International Relations (10 EC)
  • Language Course 2b (5 EC)
  • European Law (5 EC)
  • Language Course 3a (5 EC)
  • Methodology and Research Practice (10 EC)
  • IPE of Monetary Relations (5 EC)
  • Language Course 3b (5 EC)

Year 3

In the final year of the program, you can specialize by choosing a minor in a field of your interest; for example on Development Studies. You can also choose to spend a semester abroad. You will complete an International Law module and you will study international trade theory. Finally, you will choose a core module: a tutorial that will examine a specific theme through literature and source research. You will conclude the core module by writing your Bachelor's thesis.


  • Minor (30 EC)
  • IPE of Trade (5 EC)
  • Core Module IRIO and Bachelor Thesis (20 EC)
  • International Law (5 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 16 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
language test The IRIO program is taught in English. Dutch students with a VWO diploma do not need to submit proof of their English proficiency. For other EU candidates, the Admissions Officer will notify you if you need to provide test results. All non-EU candidates will need to provide test results. The minimum level of English proficiency is TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items. Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components).
previous education Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma (minimum score: 24), a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with a Dutch 'HBO propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned above.
other admission requirements The IRIO program of the University of Groningen has a selection procedure. This means that the IRIO department selects the candidates to be admitted to the program. It has been decided to select in this way because we would like to admit the most suitable and best-motivated students.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students 15 January 2021 01 September 2021
EU/EEA students 15 January 2021 01 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students 15 January 2021 01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 9500 full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first-year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Job prospects

After finishing the Bachelor's program in IRIO, most students choose to continue their studies in a related Master's program, which will enhance their employment possibilities. You can either choose a general Master in International Relations or choose to specialize in a specific field of IR.

With a Bachelor’s degree in IRIO, you have direct access to all six tracks of the Master International Relations at the University of Groningen: East Asian Studies, European Integration, Geopolitics & Connectivity, International Relations, and International Organization, International Political Economy, and International Security.

Just like most any other university Bachelor and Master programs, the IRIO program does not train you for one specific job. The IRIO program prepares its students for professions and research careers where knowledge of international-political developments and the ability to analyze and assess complex issues and to form grounded judgments are relevant.

Many graduates become policy advisors for national governments, NGOs, and international organizations in international politics. An increasing number of graduates also use their analytical skills to advise international businesses. Research, media, and communication are also prospective fields of employment.

Job examples

  • International policy adviser
  • Lobbyist
  • International executive
  • Press officer
  • Journalist
  • Researcher


Our education is strongly rooted in research. Right from the start of your degree program attention is paid to academic research and development, since an analytical and critical mind and problem-solving capabilities are important qualities in any career our students aspire.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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