In the Research master’s programme European Studies, you have the opportunity to customise your programme.
In your first year you can choose 1 out of 3 specialisations:
In your second year you can choose 1 out of 3 graduation options:
Specialisations year 1
Your own research is the focus in this programme, right from the outset. In the first year, after an eight-week introductory period, you immediately start to specialise in one of three thematic areas and in either qualitative or quantitative research methods.
1. Histories of European Integration
You will trace forms of governance beyond the nation state in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century international organisations. What is the place of the EU and its predecessors in the history of cooperation at the inter- and trans-national levels? Furthermore, you will explore how 'Europe' is symbolically constructed in various policy domains and through different strategies. You will also analyse the role of history, heritage, remembrance, symbols and representations in shaping a 'European sense of belonging'.
- Methodological specialisation: historical/qualitative research methods (track 1)
2. Democracy and representation in Europe
You will focus on questions related to democracy, legitimacy and accountability in the EU, including the role of the European Parliament, national parliaments, civil society and direct citizen involvement. Furthermore, you will examine tensions between democratic and administrative governance, and the influence of unelected officials, lobby groups and experts/expertise on EU politics.
- Methodological specialisation: qualitative (track 2a) or quantitative (track 2b)
3. Europe and the world
You will focus on EU external relations policies and EU foreign policy-making, including the interplay between EU institutions and national capitals. Furthermore, you will study how key EU policies have an impact on third countries and other global regions, and how the EU’s promotion of regional and global governance norms compares to that of other international actors, such as the US, Russia or China. Drawing on International Relations theories, you will also analyse distinctive features of the EU as an international actor and the role of the EU in the new world disorder.
- Methodological specialisation: qualitative (track 3a) or quantitative (track 3b)
Graduation options year 2
1. A Double Degree with Cologne University, Germany
The research-intensive master’s programme in European Studies can also be completed as a double degree programme in cooperation with the University of Cologne’s Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences – one of the top-ranking faculties in this field worldwide. You will follow the first year in Maastricht, and the second year in Cologne taking courses in European Politics, participating in a master’s colloquium and writing your thesis under the joint supervision of professors from both institutions. With a double degree, you will have a stronger position in the international labour market, where graduates who have studied in more than one country are increasingly in demand.
Additional Admissions requirements
If you wish to enrol in the double degree track, you need to indicate this in your motivation letter when applying to Maastricht University (please explicitly mention if you intend to pursue a double degree and briefly explain why). Your application will be assessed by the Board of Admission of Maastricht University and, independently, by the Board of Admission of the University of Cologne. Please bear in mind that the University of Cologne has specific entry requirements and selection criteria.
All candidates need to submit their application at Maastricht University. Maastricht University and the University of Cologne both revise the applications, making sure that candidates fulfil the entry requirements of both universities and pass the selection procedure successfully.
If you are accepted to the double degree option, and applied with a non-German bachelor’s degree, it is under the condition that you send certified copies of your documents to uni-assist for evaluation during your first year of studies. You will also have to pay the corresponding handling fee (currently €75; subject to change).
If your application to the Master European Studies (Research) is accepted at Maastricht University but rejected for the double degree option with the University of Cologne, you can study the European Studies Master’s programme at Maastricht University with one of the other options offered (internship or study abroad option).
Tuition fees for the Double Degree
In year one you have to pay the regular UM tuition fee. You are enrolled at UM.
In year two you are enrolled at the University of Cologne. All students of the University of Cologne must pay a social contribution of approximately € 285 per semester. This is not a tuition fee but a solidarity payment. It also includes the cost of the semester ticket for free public transportation. If you are not interested in using the German’s transportation system, you can get back a part of the money for the semester ticket (approximately €170 euros per semester). The request for the reimbursement of the money for the semester ticket is only in the first year and has to be done within four weeks after the beginning of the lectures of the University of Cologne.
You do not need to register at Maastricht University at the start of the second academic year. However, in order to graduate at Maastricht University, you need to register for the month in which you submit your master's thesis and will have to pay 1/12 of the applicable tuition fee. The admissions office of the UM will contact you in May of your second year to inform you on the registration procedure at UM. For questions please contact masteroﬃcefirstname.lastname@example.org.
2. A research internship
Students can choose between two types of research internships:
The opportunity to be part of a larger research project for a period of at least 4 months and to perform research activities under the guidance of experienced researchers either aﬃliated to staﬀ members at the faculty of arts and social sciences or to researchers at other universities in the Netherlands or abroad. The opportunity to carry out research at one of the EU’s institutions or at an NGO or a think-tank or a private company of your choice. A research internship implies that MSc European Studies candidates are to carry out in-depth research on diﬀerent topics and have the opportunity to conduct research that is linked to their MSc thesis.
Research internship placements:
Students have worked with organisations like:
- Statistics Netherlands, Heerlen
- European Journalism Centre, Maastricht
- European Institute for Public Aﬀairs, Maastricht
- Dutch ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs, The Hague
- Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels
- Institute for European Studies, Ha Noi, Vietnam
3. Study abroad
In the second year, students can opt to study the first semester abroad at a partner university. The exchange university and courses are selected with a view to adding to the substantive and methodological specialisation of the student, in light of the proposed MSc thesis.
Spend the first semester of the second year at one of our 4 partner universities:
- Political Sciences courses at University of Mannheim, Germany
- European Governance courses at Sciences Po Grenoble, France
- International and Public Policy courses at Hitotsubashi University Tokyo, Japan
- European Studies courses at University of Portsmouth, UK.