The problems and threats facing the world today are complex. Navigating the international political arena and creating sustainable solutions require both a nuanced and multi-faceted approach. Thus, the International Relations: Politics and History (IRPH) program teaches students concepts and methods from a number of fields, including political science, history, law, and philosophy. The overall aim is twofold: first, to equip students with the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills required to explore the historical emergence of, and remedies for, pressing global ills. And, second, to prepare our students so they can succeed either on the job market or in graduate school.
Upon graduating, about 60% of our students enter prestigious graduate schools, such as Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics (LSE), Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and Sciences Po. About 40% of our graduates opt for the job market and secure positions in traditional international relations fields, public policy, or development work as well as in the business sector, consulting, and in many other areas. The success of our students attests to the excellence of the IRPH program, which is also confirmed by the program’s outstanding rankings from the Centre for Higher Education (CHE).
Job description and job opportunities
A holistic, interdisciplinary study program with a strong focus on employability:
The IRPH program provides students with the foundations for a variety of careers. By equipping them with an in-depth understanding of international relations and history, from both empirical and theoretical perspectives, they gain the knowledge and the analytical tools required for fields like politics and diplomacy, public policy and administration, communications and journalism.
Best prepared for successful career positions in various fields:
Our students have thus secured internships and career positions in both governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the European Parliament, the UN, the World Bank, Doctors Without Borders, the German Development Agency and Foreign Ministry, Amnesty International, the Nobel Institute, Forbes as well as a variety of government ministries, think tanks, and foundations.Because our students gain highly transferable abilities, such as critical thinking, research, analysis, writing and presentation skills, they also can attain positions in the business and management sectors. Our students have thus landed in management consulting, banking and finance, and logistics and project management. Specific employers include PriceWaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, CapGemini, Accenture, Citigroup, Google, EON, and Daimler.
Excellent academic standards prepare for acceptance at top universities:
Our students also acquire the academic training that enables them to continue in graduate and postgraduate research and IPRH has a solid track record of placing students at top-flight graduate schools around the world. To name just a few, our graduates have gained acceptance to Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, King’s College, Imperial College London, Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley, John Hopkins, Georgetown, Duke, WHU School of Management, Cass Business School, ETH Zurich, College of Europe, Graduate Institute of Geneva, and Sciences Po.
The ?rst study year is characterized by a broad offer in disciplinary education that builds on and extends the students’ entrance qualification. IRPH Students select introductory modules with a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 15 CP will be from their intended major.
Students can still change to another major at the beginning of the second year of studies if they have taken the corresponding modules of the study program in the first year of studies.
IRPH students take the following discipline-specific CHOICE Modules in their first year of study:
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to International Relations (7,5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to Modern European History (7,5 CP)
In accordance with the program’s dual primary focus on politics and history, the two first-year modules in IRPH provide an introduction to the study on international relations and history respectively. The module “Introduction to International Relations” covers the core theories of international relations and theories of cooperation and collective security, which students learn by reading texts of renowned scholars as well as engaging in interactive exercises. The module “Introduction to Modern European History” examines political, socio-economic and cultural developments in Europe during the past two centuries, by studying scholarship and interpreting primary sources. Both modules also provide methodological training to students, developing their argumentation and academic writing skills.
In their second year, students take modules with a total of 45 CP from in-depth, discipline-speci?c CORE modules. These modules aim to extend the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major at the current state of knowledge and best practice.
IRPH students take 30 CP from the following CORE modules:
- CORE Module: Understanding International Political Economy (7,5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced International Relations Theory (7,5 CP)
- CORE Module: Empires and Nation States (5 CP)
- CORE Module: History of Globalization (5 CP)
- CORE Module: International Law (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Regional Integration (5 CP)
- CORE Module: International Resource Politics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Diplomacy and Foreign Policy (5 CP)
15 CP in CORE modules can be selected in the second year of studies according to interest and with the aim to pursue a minor in a second field of studies.
In the module “Understanding International Political Economy”, students focus on the relationship between economics and international relations since the 1970s, with particular emphasis on the rise of China and East Asia. In the module “Advanced International Relations Theory”, students are familiarized with the past 60 years of theorizing about world politics and learn debating skills. The module “Empires and Nation States” introduces students to the events, ideas and processes that shape modern politics and societies. The module “History of Globalization” explores the historical roots and emergence of globalization, that is, the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural spheres. In the module “International Law”, students are introduced to public international law and how it governs the international conduct of states and non-state actors. The module “Regional Integration” examines states’ efforts to overcome their boundaries and forge economic, political, and strategic integration on a regional level. The module “International Resource Politics” explores the intersection of politics, economics, and resources – particularly energy – and examines the geopolitical jostling and conflicts over resources that have occurred from the late 19th century up to present times. In the module “Diplomacy and Foreign Policy”, students study foreign policy concepts and tools as well as learn the practical skills that diplomats, foreign policy experts and (international) civil servants employ in their professions.
During their third year, students prepare and make decisions for their career after graduation. To explore available choices fitting individual interests, and to gain professional experience, students take a mandatory summer internship.
The 5th semester opens also a mobility window for ample study abroad options. Finally, the 6th semester is dedicated to fostering the research experience of students by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.
IRPH students take major-specific and major-related advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge at the current state of research in areas of their choice.
IRPH students can choose four of the following Specialization Modules:
- Specialization: Political Philosophy (5 CP)
- Specialization: China: Politics, Economy and Society (5 CP)
- Specialization: Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships (5 CP)
- Specialization: A New Cold War? EU-Russian Relations (5 CP)
In the module “Political Philosophy”, students use philosophical tools such as conceptual analysis, formal and informal logic and thought experiments to study the implications and tensions of our most important political ideas, especially as they interact with contemporary society.
The module “China: Politics, Economy and Society” deals with topical themes such as the transformation of the Chinese party-state, technological and social innovation, China ‘going global’ and other socio-political and economic challenges.
In the module “Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships”, students are introduced to scholarly approaches toward and debates about the history of everyday life under tyranny with a focus on European twentieth-century dictatorships such as Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Socialist Eastern Germany.
Admission to Jacobs University is selective and is based on a candidate’s school and/or university achievements, recommendations, self-presentation, and performance on required standardized tests. Students admitted to Jacobs University demonstrate exceptional academic achievements, intellectual creativity, and the desire and motivation to make a difference in the world. Please note that there is no application fee.
Fees & Finances
We believe that everyone has the right to a good education – and this is the principle we live by here at Jacobs University. This is why we offer students a personalized financial aid package to finance their studies, consisting of scholarships and deferral options, for example. You only start repaying the deferred tuition fees once you successfully entered the job market. That way you can focus completely on your studies. We are convinced that a Jacobs’ education will form the perfect foundation for your future career – that is why we are happy to invest in you. Our financing options are automatically available to you upon admission to a study program.