Are you interested in history and international relations? Would you like to apply a historical perspective to world politics and international affairs? Through this MA program, you will gain a greater historical understanding of international politics and current global developments. This unique Master program is offered by the Department of History and will help you prepare for a career in a wide range of sectors.

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Bridging history and International Relations

International Relations theory is an important tool for the analysis of international politics. To fully understand current developments, however, we strongly believe in the importance of adopting a broader historical perspective. Even though history does not repeat itself, one can learn a great deal from it. By bridging the fields of History and IR, the MA in International Relations in Historical Perspective offers an in-depth insight into both worlds.


Practice track: internship

As part of the MA programme, you will be able to do an internship of three to six months. On average, 85% of our students do an internship. The internship (which you search and apply for yourself) allows you to put your knowledge and skills into practice. The internship experience will help shape your professional skills and form an important part of your resume. Recent studies show that 80% of students who took part in an internship found employment within a year of graduating.

Research track: expanding your research skills

The Research Tutorial offers a deeper exploration of international historical methods and is particularly suitable for an academic career. It results to a longer thesis of around 25.000 words.

Applied Research Track

This track offers the opportunity to a number of students to work together on a UU-based project with external stakeholders, (for example, the Cold War Research Network) in the form of an Applied Research Lab. Similar to an internship, the applied research track will thus equip you for the job market in both academic and professional terms.

Go to study programme

Understanding international relations is more than just absorbing information – actively getting hands-on experience, connecting to experts and stepping outside of the classroom is key to grasp our global challenges in contemporary and historical perspective


International Relations in Historical Perspective is a selective Master’s programme. Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master?

Check the entry requirements
Our students & alumni share their experiences with the MA programme

Build a strong foundation for understanding modern politics

Three core research themes

The programme revolves around three core research themes that shed light on contemporary international politics, providing the students with analytical tools to engage with a wide range of topics:

  • Security and Conflict theme: The history of security and conflict, including wars, terrorism, humanitarian interventions, and the role of the intelligence services in international politics.
  • Europe and the World theme: the history of European international relations, including the European integration process.
  • Globalization and global governance theme: the history of global processes including colonialism, decolonization, North-South relations, and global health concerns and environmental issues.

Research-led teaching

These thematic pillars reflect the three research clusters on which lecturers and researchers focus at the history of international relations section within the department of history at the University of Utrecht. Within these clusters, researchers and teachers share the key findings of their ongoing research projects and translate these to the classroom.

This notion of ‘research-led teaching’ connects the research done within our department directly to the students of our MA programme, not only guaranteeing a constant flow of new ideas and innovations into the classroom, but also giving students the possibility to actively contribute to these academic clusters with their own ideas.

Meet our teaching staff

After graduation

Professionals with an International Relations in Historical Perspective degree can easily find their way in the world of international politics. Graduates have the skills to create effective policy and their career options range from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU, and the UN to NGOs and lobby agencies. Beyond that they have the expertise and skills which can be employed in other areas such as international companies and journalism.

More on possible career prospects

Teaching and studying history, for example the history of security measures, terrorism and counterterrorism helps us to put current-day fears and anxieties in perspective.

Key facts

International Relations
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
1 year
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 20,043

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Graduate school: 
School of Humanities