12 months
17280 EUR/year
2168 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The international political stage is much like a game of chess between multiple players. During the course of the International Relations in Historical Perspective programme at Utrecht University you will gain a greater understanding of the parties involved and of their political agendas and prepare yourself for a future as a participant in the game of global politics.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Explore complex issues in modern international relations 

Are we heading for a new Cold War with Russia? Will the international community solve the new challenges arising as a result of climate change? Have the Asian powers surpassed their former colonial rulers? How does cyberpower influence international politics? Does the current climate of increasing international competition and growing nationalism still allow enough space for ethical norms and values such as human rights?

Bridging history and political science

Political theory is an important tool in the analysis of international questions. In order to fully understand those issues, however, we strongly believe in the importance of adopting a broader historical perspective - and while history never repeats itself (or at least not exactly), one can learn a great deal from it. By bridging the fields of history and international relations, the MA in International Relations in Historical Perspective (IRHP) offers an in-depth insight into both worlds.

This emphasis on blending international history and international relations theory makes this Master’s program unique in the Netherlands and beyond. Through this approach, you will learn to place recent international developments in a broader historical perspective. For it is only through an in depth knowledge of the past that the complexities of our times can be unravelled.

Build a strong foundation for understanding modern politics

The program revolves around three core research themes that shed light on contemporary international politics, providing the students with analytical tools to engage with a wide range of topics. 

The core thematic pillars of our MA program include:

  • The history of security and conflict, including wars, terrorism, humanitarian interventions, and the role of the intelligence services in international politics.
  • The history of European international relations, including the European integration process.
  • The history of global processes including colonialism, decolonization, and North-South relations.

These thematic pillars reflect the three research clusters on which lecturers and researchers focus at the history of international relations section within the department of history at the University of Utrecht. Within these clusters, researchers and teachers share the key findings of their ongoing research projects and translate these to the classroom. 

This notion of ‘research-led teaching’ connects the research done within our department directly to the students of our MA programme, not only guaranteeing a constant flow of new ideas and innovations into the classroom, but also giving students the possibility to actively contribute to these academic clusters with their own ideas.


As part of the MA programme, you can choose to participate in an internship of at least three months (‘Practice track’). With an internship, you will put your knowledge and skills into practice, and this experience will form an important part of your resume. Recent studies show that 80 % of students who took part in an internship found employment within a year of graduating.

Our MA programme offers a special ‘Practice Track’ that helps the students prepare for the world of international relations outside the walls of the university. A special course that emphasis hard skills like speech writing and analysing and writing policy memos will give students interested in doing an internship an edge by giving them the tools needed to translate their academic knowledge into practice by working in a field of their own choice.


Being able to select the right information and use it as a foundation to write a clear commentary that offers creative solutions to complex problems is an art in and of itself. The International Relations in Historical Perspective programme at Utrecht University will help you to master that art.

After graduating from the Master’s programme, you will possess the right knowledge and skills to start out as a policymaker. This programme primarily prepares you for a job in national governments, NGOs, and international organisations within the area of international politics. However, businesses and local governments are increasingly asking for people with analytical skills and the ability to translate those skills into useful advice.

If you are not looking for a position as policymaker in either the profit or non-profit sectors, your skills and knowledge could easily apply to careers such as history teaching, research, or journalism.


Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • International Relations in Practice 
  • Research Seminar in International Relations in Historical Perspective 
  • The Modern World and States System: Comparing Historical and Ir Theories 
  • Internship Ma Programme International Relations in Historical Perspective
  • Research Tutorial Ma International Relations in Historical Perspective
  • Case-studies in Europe and the World

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

You will be considered for admission to the Master’s programme in International Relations in Historical Perspective if you have a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch university (or foreign equivalent) and can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight, and skills:

  • You are able to interpret and understand complex international historical events and processes based on your knowledge of the history of international relations and your acquaintance with relevant theories in this field.
  • You are able to design and perform historical research in the field of international relations using analytical, methodological, and writing skills acquired during your Bachelor’s.
  • Motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and a 500-word essay 

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    17280 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 17280 EUR per year during 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2168 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 2168 EUR per year during 12 months.

Living costs for Utrecht

900 - 1450 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last year

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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International Relations in Historical Perspective
Utrecht University


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