FAQ – EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies

  • What makes the programme EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies unique?

First, the tailor-made courses ensure a comprehensive understanding of EU external action through carefully designed compulsory courses, while also allowing students to construct an individual curriculum through optional courses and compact seminars. Second, the programme’s distinctive blend of knowledge and skills aims at learning about EU external policies but also acquiring diplomatic and other professional skills (languages, public speaking, critical analysis, drafting, time management, teamwork, negotiation, etc.). Third, the people in the programme are a real value added – academics from top universities, trainers from think tanks and practitioners from various sectors as well as a highly diverse and dynamic student body that facilitates intercultural exchanges and the creation of lasting networks.

  • How difficult is it to be admitted?

Admission to the MA programme of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies is competitive but we also value diversity. Applicants should have an excellent university diploma, primarily in one of the following fields:

  • EU or European Studies
  • International Relations
  • political science
  • diplomatic studies
  • (international and/or European) law
  • (international and/or European) economics
  • contemporary European history

Moreover, applicants must have a strong interest in specialising in EU foreign policy and broader external action based on some prior knowledge of the European Union’s institutions and their internal decision-making processes. All candidates must possess an excellent level of English and a good knowledge of French (or at least be ready to improve it). They should be open to new ways of thinking and prepared to take part in a highly demanding programme.

  • Can I apply if I have never studied the European Union before?

The advanced MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies is a highly specialised programme that deals with the different aspects of the EU’s external action. Candidates must therefore to a certain degree already be familiar with EU institutions and decision-making processes. This knowledge will be taken for granted in all courses, and only a short refresher course will be offered at the very beginning of the academic year. In addition, they should also demonstrate a keen interest in the field of international affairs and EU external relations (e.g. previous studies and trainings, thesis, motivation letter, relevant professional experience).

Candidates lacking any background on the EU based on previous studies are work experience, might want to consider other study programmes at the College of Europe.

  • My French is weak, can I still apply?

A limited number of students with weak French may be admitted on condition that they follow an intensive course over the summer and, as necessary, also a year-long course as part of the curriculum. For further information, please refer to the Language Requirements.

Students with a sufficient level of French will follow another language course (Arabic, Chinese, German, Russian, Spanish). All candidates must possess an excellent level of English.

  • What kind of careers are the graduates from this study programme pursuing?

A large majority of the programme’s alumni work in the public sector such as the EU institutions, national administrations and diplomatic services or international organisations. A smaller part works in the private sector (consultancy, non-governmental organisations, business) or in academia, research and think tanks.