What does the programme entail?
In-depth knowledge of decision-making in politics
The Master of Political Science aims to improve your understanding of political decision-making from different perspectives. In our courses we explore:
- how and why citizens participate in politics? Who participates and who doesn’t?
- how elected politicians translate their political preferences into political action?
- what impact can policy professionals such as advisors, consultants or civil servants have on policy decisions?
- how institutions constrain and enable the potential for political cooperation?
Besides the obligatory courses you can tailor your programme to your personal interests. The political science cluster has a variety of courses on issues from national and international politics. The interdisciplinary cluster allows you to broaden your view on politics.
An international profile
Do you have the ambition to work in an international context? An active command of English, including knowledge of international political jargon, is necessary. The entire Master's programme is taught in English and prepares you to access a professional environment in which English plays an increasingly important role.
The English programme also offers an international community in which you come into contact with diverse, comparative perspectives on politics.
Acquiring analytical skills
You will be trained to become a political analyst. You will familiarise yourself with essential theories such as veto-player theory, collective action theory, bargaining theories and principal-agent theory. Your lecturers are high-ranking specialists in their field. We educate experts who are able to understand, explain and influence outcomes of decision-making in a rapidly evolving political context.
Focus on practical skills
You will obtain the skills to apply the knowledge you will acquire. In the Master's programme we use activating teaching methods in small groups to allow a high degree of interaction among students and between students and teachers. One example of this activating teaching method is the skills lab. The skills lab allows you to practice some of the core skills involved in political decision-making, such as argumentation, debating, negotiation and lobbying. Your skills will be trained in practice by means of exercises and short simulations, using real-life situations and feedback from professionals.
Doing research trains your ability as a critical, professional thinker. In your master thesis you will integrate the theoretical, analytical and communication skills you have acquired. Several courses on research design and methods will help you to develop your proficiency in methodological knowledge.
Are you eligible to start the programme?
Students with a bachelor's or master's degree from a higher education institution OUTSIDE Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg
Applicants should hold an academic Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Communications Sciences, Sociology, Social Sciences, Social and Economic Sciences or equivalent. Bachelor's degrees such as Public Administration and European Studies will be considered as well. In some cases the successful completion of a preparatory programme (15 to 90 ECTS, only available in Dutch) may be required.
Important: In order to be admitted directly to the programme, a background in social science research methods is essential.
Students with a bachelor's or master's degree from a higher education institution IN Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg
- Bachelor of Public Administration and Management
- Bachelor of Political Science
- Bachelor of Sociology
- Bachelor of Communication Studies
- Bachelor of Political and Social Science
- Bachelor of Social and Economic Sciences
- NL: Bachelor of General Social Sciences [Bachelor algemene sociale wetenschappen]
- NL: Bachelor of Public Administration and Organisation Studies [Bachelor bestuurs- en organisatiewetenschap]
- NL: Bachelor of Public Management [Bachelor bestuurskunde]
- NL: Bachelor of Communication Studies [Bachelor communicatiewetenschappen]
- NL: Bachelor European Studies
- NL: Bachelor Political Science
- NL: Bachelor of Politicology [Bachelor politicologie]
- NL: Bachelor of Sociology and Psychology [Bachelor sociologie en psychologie]
Admission with permission of the faculty. A preparatory programme (only available in Dutch) may apply.
- other academic Bachelor's degree in Humanities
Admission with bridging programme (only available in Dutch)
- all professional Bachelor's degrees
The Master's programme is taught in English. If your degree was not issued by a recognized educational institution in Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg, you will have to provide evidence of your level of English.
Research in your programme
Become an expert
During the Master's programme you will acquire expertise in the scientific discipline of politics and political decision-making. Your lecturers are specialists in their own dedicated field of research and are eager to share their knowledge, granting you access to a broad range of expertise. You are trained in high standards of critical analysis, and in the understanding and use of rigorous research methods and techniques.
Performing your own research
The expertise you obtain in the Master's programme culminates in the master thesis. A successful thesis demonstrates that you are able (under supervision of a promoter) to explore independently a complex political subject in a scientific manner. You will collect and analyse your own data about a subject of your choice and write down the acquired insights into a coherent text.
Students who are highly interested in doing research will have the opportunity to join one of the research groups of the Department of Political Science during a Research Internship.
Practice in your programme
A political scientist with academic training should be capable of applying the knowledge and skills acquired through the programme in concrete day-to-day situations. Consequently there is ample room for debate, real-life situations and practical (group) work across various courses.
We want to educate masters who do not only understand political decision-making but are also able to take part in the decision-making process. Therefore, you will practice some of the core skills, for example how to argue, negotiate, debate and lobby. The skills will be trained in practice by means of exercises and short simulations, using real-life situations and feedback from professionals.
Many courses are taught in the form of seminars. Small groups enable participation and debate. You will frequently give short presentations to practice public speaking and become fluent in the discourse of the subject.
Learn from prominent figures in politics such as politicians, experts, and CEO’s from Belgium and abroad. We invite guest lecturers on a regular basis to elaborate on contemporary political subjects they face in the workplace.