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Are you wondering what studying International Relations in Historical Perspective in Utrecht is like? Learn from the experiences of our current Master's students and ask our student ambassadors by using the chat function below.
Below you'll find the FAQ of the MA programme International Relations in Historical Perspective. For international students: you can also check the FAQ on Admission and Application by International Student Admissions.
Admission and Application
All students with an academic Bachelor’s degree are eligible in principle, regardless of the discipline. Please note that your curriculum, grades, motivation letter and writing sample are also taken into account. In our programme, we value academic interdisciplinarity, so you are not obliged to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in international relations nor political science.
In the past, students with a degree in law, social sciences, history, literature, and development studies – to name a few – have participated in the programme. Regardless of your academic background, we encourage you to show your interest and/or experience with the field of international relations in your motivation letter and writing example that are part of the application.
Yes, you can, but you will have to provide other concrete evidence of your motivation and drive to study international relations in historical perspective. The selection committee will want to see that you are actively interested in the field, and to be confident that your choice is based on realistic expectations of what this discipline means in practice.
To do so, your previously passed academic courses are the easiest way to demonstrate this, but there may be other ways. The writing sample and motivation letter, for instance, offer another possibility to explain your interest and demonstrate your relevant experience. We welcome applicants from a variety of backgrounds.
If you are motivated and talented, but do not have enough academic background yet (for example because you have a Dutch University of Applied Science's degree), it may be possible to do a Pre-Master’s programme before you start with the MA programme.
That said, please note that you cannot simply sign up for a Pre-Master. You have to apply for the Master’s programme through the regular way, and after that the Admissions Committee will decide whether to accept you, reject you, or assign a Pre-Master programme to you. Of course, you can already detail in your motivation letter to say that you are willing to do a Pre-Master before commencing the Master’s programme.
Possibly. If that is the case, we encourage you to elaborate on this matter in your motivation letter – there may be a good reason why your grades are what they are. On the bright side, your grades are not the only criterion we take into account in the admission process. In any case, we always look at the combination of grades, experience, motivation, and writing sample. That is also why we do not specify a minimum average or GPA as a requirement for application.
Yes, you can. Of course, we are interested to hear about your personal and academic development in your motivation letter if this is the case.
Yes, you can apply. Just note that you have to finish your complete Bachelor’s degree before you actually start the Master’s programme of International Relations in Historical Perspective in September. You are not required to have completed your Bachelor’s degree at the date of application, but please do specify that you will graduate from the respective Bachelor’s degree in time before the Master’s programme commences.
No. The programme has a fixed starting date, which is in September.
If admitted to the programme, you will have to write numerous and various assignments. In our experience, writing skills are an important determinant of student success in the master’s programme, and beyond. For this reason, we ask for a writing sample as part of the admission requirements. This can be a short essay, column or article on a theme that is relevant within the field of international relations. For instance, think of current issues in the media, or other historical examples. The piece does not need to be long, but it should be representative of your writing skills as well as your reflective and/or analytic abilities. Please note that the writing sample should be provided in English.
Yes, but be prepared to search for a while! Start early and reach out to the Careers Services and to the MA IRHP Internship Desk for extra help and support. Note that there are many internships in the Netherlands (in Dutch organisations) that require a working knowledge of Dutch; but there are also organisations, companies and think-tanks that offer internships that aimed at international candidates also.
Yes, it is. Within the MA International Relations in Historical Perspective we provide the possibility to include an internship within your academic curriculum (see more information on the Practice Track and Applied Research Track). At Utrecht University, the academic year is divided into four blocks and the third and fourth study periods (usually starting in February) include room for an internship of 15 EC. If you are not interested in an internship but would rather improve your academic research skills, you can follow the Research Track instead.
The Master’s programme International Relations in Historical Perspective is a unique programme in which the fields of international relations, history and global politics converge. During the taught-part of the programme, the focus will mostly be on issues, developments and concepts that are central to the theory and practice of international politics. We believe in the importance of history and of studying the past also, though not exclusively, to help better understand contemporary questions. The programme is established firmly into today’s society but is also not afraid to take a look into the past to see how these challenges developed and what we can learn from them.