MA European Studies

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Program Description

MA European Studies

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

European Studies

The Master of Arts in European Studies focuses on the international dimensions of policy, governance and administration. The programme looks beyond the institutions of the European Union and the mechanics of European integration to examine global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context. The programme employs an interdisciplinary approach, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture. The programme is entirely taught in English.

The programme offers three specialisations:

  • European Politics and International Relations, concentrating on the international position and politics of the European Union (EU) as a political entity
  • European Public Policy and Administration, focusing on the political and administrative mechanisms and balances between the institutions of the European Union, its member states and civil societies
  • Europe in a Globalising World, focusing on Europe and its member states’ shifting role on the world stage in parallel to the process of decolonisation, economic internationalisation and globalisation.

The faculty has a permanent research programme centred around administrative governance and the role of the EU in the world. These topics make up the core of the curriculum. Staff members are active in both national networks (such as the Netherlands Institute of Governance) and international research communities (such as CONNEX), contributing regularly to academic debate in international peer-reviewed journals. Accordingly, the programme has a strong political and analytical orientation.

Fast facts

European Studies at Maastricht University…

  • is a one-year interdisciplinary Master of Arts programme
  • is taught entirely in English
  • is a selective programme, with approximately 75 to 90 students each year
  • requires solid preliminary knowledge of European history, the institutional structure of the EU and methods / theories of social science
  • combines theoretical expertise, project work and skills training
  • offers specialisations in European International Politics, European Politics and Administration and Europe in a Globalising World
  • leads to the completion of a significant piece of original writing by the student acting in the capacity of independent researcher (a thesis of 12-15,000 words)
  • boasts a diverse, international student body, representing on average 12 different nationalities
  • utilises a combination of methodologies including Problem-Based Learning
  • prepares students for administrative and policy-oriented positions
  • is worth 60 ects (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System)
  • does not include an internship as part of the programme
  • is not a programme focusing on European languages, literature and culture

Summer School

If you would like to come to Maastricht earlier in the summer in order to settle in, you might think about taking a language course or attending the Maastricht summer school for 2, 4 or 6 weeks.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the ES programme must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a European Studies programme OR a relevant academic field (political science, international relations, law, economics, history, cultural studies), which has provided students with prior knowledge of contemporary European history,the integration process, and institutions of the European Union.
  • Some previous insight into theories and methods of social and political science is essential
  • A motivation letter discussing: 1. your particular interests in European Studies and/or the EU
  • 2. which of the three specialisations in the programme you wish to follow and why 3. what topic you think you might like to research for your masters thesis 4. how you feel you are qualified to follow the programme (particularly important for those coming from disciplines other than social science)

Please note that students who apply for this Master's programme should pay a handling fee.

For students with a relevant University of Applied Sciences degree (e.g. HBO/Hochschule), or an academic BA or BSc Bachelor in a field that does not grant direct admission into this programme, there is a Pre-master year ("schakeljaar")

Language requirements

Non-native speakers or applicants who have their undergraduate degree in a language other than English must meet the requirement concerning a sufficient command of English by passing one of the following language proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall score of at least 6.5 and a writing score of at least 6.5; or
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with an overall score of at least 90 (TOEFL internet), and a writing score of at least 25; or an overall score of 575 (TOEFL paper) or 232 (TOEFL computer) with an equivalent minimum writing score; or
  • A Cambridge certificate: C or higher for the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English).

The results of the TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificates must be uploaded before the applicable deadline (May 1, 2016 for NON-EU students and June 1, 2016 for EU students). Results received after this date will not be taken into consideration and therefore your application file will be considered as incomplete. Be aware of the fact that it can take some time before you get the results of the English tests, so plan your test in time! Applicants who are native English speakers and/or have obtained an English-taught bachelor’s degree are exempted from the language proficiency test.

Required documents

The following documents must be submitted with your application:

  • a motivation letter (see Admissions requirements)
  • your curriculum vitae
  • a photocopy of your valid passport or EU ID-card
  • a recent passport picture
  • a certified copy of your bachelor certificate and list of grades (with certified translation for languages other than English, Dutch, German or French)
  • a copy of your English Language test with sufficient results (see requirements mentioned above)

Please note that only complete application files (including English Language test) will be assessed by the Board of Admissions. The Board will try to respond within 4 weeks.

Students who have not yet completed the bachelor's programme should send a copy of their most recent list of grades with the application. Successful candidates will be admitted on a conditional basis. Before 1 September 2016 we need a certified hard copy of your Bachelor diploma - or at least an official declaration of graduation: stating that you passed all exams successfully and that you obtained the Bachelor degree before or on 31 August 2016. This declaration should mention the official graduation date which should be the same date as the date on the Bachelor Diploma.

Please note that applying for admission to this programme in the academic year 2016/2017 is possible as of 1 October 2015.

Last updated February 10, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Start date Sept. 2016
Netherlands Maastricht
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 1,984 EUR