Master in Political Science: European and International Governance

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Program description

Taught in English, the Master is a one-year programme dealing with two of the most important fields of political science: European studies/governance and international politics/relations. It will allow Belgian and international students to acquire the skills and know-how needed for kickstarting a career in diplomacy, national and international institutions or related professional fields (such as lobbying, journalism, policy and academic research). If students are interested to get a higher degree of specialization, the programme can be extended in an easy and favorable way to a second-year interdisciplinary Master-After-Master on European integration.

Interesting times

It is hard to imagine more interesting times to study European and international politics. The European Union (EU) is facing internal and external challenges that were almost inconceivable until a few years ago. They include the rise of nationalism, fissures in the European project, economic inequalities and an ever-growing urgency to mitigate climate change and find a coordinated response to international mobility and forced displacement. In a similar vein, the context in which nations interact in world politics has altered substantially. Factors such as the erosion of the liberal world order, the rise of China and more assertive foreign policies of Russia and Turkey increasingly dominate international politics.

Are you interested in better understanding these dynamics? Do you aspire to contribute – if not shape – European and international politics, be it as diplomat, journalist, administrator, official, think-tanker, scholar or simply engaged citizen? Then you are the ideal candidate for the VUB’s Political Science Master on European and International Governance. The programme is taught in English by experienced professors with close links to the policy-making community in Brussels. It will be the ideal stepping stone to develop a career in the fascinating fields of European and international politics.

The key assets


Our program is taught in one of the world's centers of governance, at a stone's throw from the European institutions, NATO, and hundreds of embassies, corporate offices, and NGO's. This is the ideal point of departure for any student with an interest in international politics, offering the opportunity to participate in conferences off-campus, to find internships, to network and to engage in one of the many organizations.


Many of our professors do not only have a strong track record in academic research and shaping the public debate; they are also involved in policy-making. They have thus an ideal background to mix academic knowledge with practical insights and can offer their network at the disposal of students.

Focus on today

Our program balances academic and theoretical knowledge with a strong focus on current affairs. The aim is to develop in-depth academic knowledge about European politics and international relations, the functioning of diplomacy and organizations, and the main powers in world politics.

Share to learn

In a unique module on modern diplomacy, practitioners share their experience and insights. In this module, students are challenged to develop indispensable practical skills, like negotiating, reporting, the writing of a diplomatic cable, as well as to speak before different groups of officials.

Lecture series

The program also includes a high-level lecture series in which ambassadors, officials, corporate leaders and renowned officials are invited to offer a glimpse of their world, to provide some of the latest insights in key policy discussions.

Academia meets practice

Professors from academia teach you up-to-date political science concepts and theories on European and international challenges and responses. In a module on modern diplomacy, practitioners will share their experience and insights on how to contribute to the peaceful management of international relations. Beyond this module, the programme will fully capitalize from its embedment in Brussels, a city hosting NATO and EU institutions as well as the largest number of embassies and international journalists in the world.

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