MA in International Relations: International Security
University of Groningen
EUR 2,314 / per year *
Earliest start date
01 Feb 2024
* EU/EEA students: €2,314 | non-EU/EEA students: €16,000
How do actors relate to each other and their natural environment in terms of threats and vulnerabilities? When and how is violence organized? How can possible conflicts be prevented or solved?
International Security, a track of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.
Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence, i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as environmental security (about climate change or industrial hazards), societal security (about group identities), and economic security (about welfare and development). These different types of concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.
Why study this program in Groningen?
The Master's track International Security: (a) pays attention to the theoretical developments as well as the dimensions of the contemporary security agenda; (b) offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff; (c) includes a career-oriented placement that prepares graduates for the labor market, and (d) provides excellent preparation for positions at a broad variety of security-oriented and conflict-management related institutions.
Research International Security
The chair group International Security Studies (ISS) is part of the Department of IRIO. The six permanent staff members and over 10 Ph.D. students all contribute to the Faculty's research theme Conflict Studies. This is done at various levels of abstraction, focusing on various issue areas and on various political contexts.
At the theoretical level, the chair group aims to contribute to a better understanding of conceptualizations of security in time and space. How have academic debates in security studies evolved and how do they relate to security policies? This implies a focus on securitization theory, regional security complex theory, strategic studies, critical security studies, and peace research.
In terms of issue-areas, the group presently studies developments in military & defense policies, terrorism, peacemaking, peacebuilding &peace keeping - including security sector reform -, societal security in relation to social identities and state formation, and finally securitization in energy, food, and health policies.
In terms of political contexts, the group focuses on institutional and regional settings in which security policies are shaped and implemented. Developments in Intergovernmental Organizations are studied - notably, in the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations Security Council, and also in Non-Governmental Organizations in close cooperation with the research projects related to the Network on Humanitarian Action. The chair group has regional expertise in security politics in Europe (including Turkey), the Middle East, parts of Sub-Sahara Africa, and China.
The chair group brings much of its research interests together in the specialization International Security of the MA degree program IRIO.
The Master's degree program International Relations is 60 ECTS. The basic element is the module Advanced Theory of International Relations. This module must be followed by all students. You choose two research seminars (at least one of which in International Security) and a Capita International Security, all in your first semester. During your second semester, you will write a Master's thesis (in the field of International Security) and you will do a placement.
- Advanced Theory of International Relations (5 EC)
- Research Seminar 1 (10 EC)
- Research Seminar 2 (10 EC)
- Capita International Security (5 EC)
- Master's Placement (10 EC)
- Master's Thesis International Security (20 EC)
Because the program starts in September as well as in February, all courses are offered both in the first and in the second semester.
Examples of Research Seminars International Security are: 'Money, Trade, and Crime: the Dark Side of Globalization, 'Global Politics of Disease', and 'Energy Security'. The topics of the research seminars differ every year, so these are merely examples.
- Master's placement (specialization)
- Master's Honours program (honors program)
- Study abroad is unaccommodated
Program Tuition Fee
The Master program in International Relations prepares its students for professions and research careers where knowledge of international-political developments and the ability to analyze and assess complex issues and to form grounded judgments are relevant.
Many graduates become policy advisors for national governments, NGOs, and international organizations in international politics. An increasing number of graduates also use their analytical skills to advise international businesses. Research, media, and communication are also prospective fields of employment.
Alumni of the International Security trackwork at:
- Project Manager – Ahla Fawda (Beirut)
- Project Manager - Federal Police Headquarters (Potsdam)
- Policy Officer for Gulf, the Middle East, and Africa - Directorate-General for Foreign Economic Relations at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (The Hague)
- Project manager - Schuldenlab070 bij Municipality The Hague
- Application Desk Clerk - Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Ter Apel)
- Programme Officer – SRHR (Burundi)
- Junior Policy Analyst – Shungham (Brussels)
- Customer Engagement Representative - Survey Monkey (Dublin)
- Consultant – Balkan Goes Europe(Berlin)
- Product Lab Manager – Nomoko (Zurich)
- Researcher - Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg
- Freelance journalist – Elsevier