Bachelor in Political Science: Global Politics


Program Description

Application deadline update

  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19)
  • EU/EEA students and students who do not need a study visa/residence permit through VU Amsterdam*: 1 June (the original deadline of 1 May has been extended due to COVID-19)
Studying Global Politics?
How did Trump win the 2016 presidential election? Will the US remain the world’s leading power or will China become the dominant player? What are the implications of rising populism for European democracy? During the bachelor’s programme in Political Science: Global Politics at VU Amsterdam, you will study political power structures and the influence they have on society.

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.

This is what you will be doing
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.

First year -
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.

Second year - 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.

Third year -
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.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,00 ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less