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Best Political Science Universities In Europe

Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Fola Shade

Studying political science in Europe can be a great choice for students of the subject. Since so many important events in history happened in Europe, studying there gives students the opportunity to see, walk through, and interact with the real places they learn about, not just statues or models. Additionally, European countries tend to have strong economies and significant political power worldwide. Here are some of the best universities for political science throughout Europe:

Best Political Science Universities In Europe

The systems and structures that exist at local, national, and international levels, are crucial in the maintenance and improvement of societies. In the study of political science, the students will be taught about the practices and theories that are related to governance and politics. They will be equipped with both humanistic and scientific knowledge and skills, which will help in the development of solutions regarding current global issues.

Below, we talk about some of Europe’s best political science schools.

1. Oxford University

Oxford University is a public research university located in Oxford, England. It is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the second-oldest institution of higher education in the world.

The University of Oxford has no central campus; its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. The university operates several campuses outside Wales: St Anne’s College, for graduates only, is located in North Oxford; Jesus College, which houses postgraduate students from all across Europe as well as graduate students from other parts of the UK; Hertford College; Pembroke College (which houses postgraduate students); and Worcester College are all located within walking distance of one another near Broad Street with All Souls College situated on a prominent location on High Street near Carfax (“the center”).

2. UCL (University College London)

UCL is a public research university in London, England. UCL is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities and has been described as one of the world’s top universities. It was founded in 1826 as University College London. The college expanded rapidly during the Victorian era and formed the University of London in 1836, it continued to grow through the 20th century with significant expansion in the 1960s and 1970s to become one of the largest institutions of higher education in Europe with over 38,000 students from 150 countries. In 2006/7 it had 17,600 staff (including academic). As of 2014/15 its income (including share option grants) exceeded £1 billion for the first time; however it also has large debts which have led to criticism that its management should not be trusted with charitable donations

3. LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science)

The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. LSE was ranked as one of the world’s top universities in both its 2019 QS World University Rankings and its 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The school has a reputation for research excellence across all disciplines, with some subjects having been ranked among the best in the world by QS: Politics & International Studies (ranked #1 globally), Economics & Econometrics (ranked #1 globally), Philosophy (ranked #2 globally) and Sociology (ranked #2 globally).

4. Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies)

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Type of school: Public university
  • Country: France

5. Cambridge University

Cambridge University is one of the oldest universities in the world, founded by Henry VIII in 1496. It is part of the ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London and has been ranked among the top universities in Europe.

  • The university has 11 colleges within its campus which form their own individual communities with their own traditions, customs and history.
  • It has been one of the best universities in terms of academic reputation for years but also boasts an impressive list of alumni including Barack Obama, Stephen Hawking, Roger Bannister (first person to run a mile under four minutes), Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin who studied there for his doctorate degree.

6. Stockholm University

Stockholm University is the oldest university in Sweden and is also the third largest university in Sweden. The university has a large number of students, more than 40,000 people per year. It has a good reputation among universities in Europe because it offers high-quality education at affordable prices.

7. University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, and it’s also one of the largest universities in Europe. It has over 50,000 students from more than 100 countries studying at its eight faculties: law; economics; science; medicine; dentistry; social sciences and humanities; education, art history and cultural studies; architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture. The university has an international reputation for excellence across all disciplines, which means that if you are looking for a top-tier academic experience in Europe with a truly diverse student population then this could be a good choice for you.

The University of Amsterdam has been awarded five stars by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings 2017/18 – placing it among the top 150 universities globally – making it one of the best political science universities in Europe today. As well as being highly ranked academically by QS World Rankings 2017/18, UvA is also consistently ranked first place among Dutch universities according to Erasmus Research Institute on Innovation & Technology Rankings 2016 -2017 report(ERI). Furthermore, it was rated 7th best overall university globally by International Student Barometer 2016 survey results released by MyUniversityGuide website based upon feedback from over 250 000 international students studying abroad across 800 global institutions!

8. Humboldt University of Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin is one of the oldest universities in Germany and was founded by Wilhelm von Humboldt. The university has a good reputation for political science, largely due to being based on the Humboldt model. This means that it gives more responsibility to students than other German universities and allows them greater independence in their study choices.

9. University of Mannheim

If you are looking for one of the best political science universities in Europe, the University of Mannheim is a great choice. Located in Germany, this university has been recognized as one of the top political science institutions in Europe and attracts students from all over the world. The city itself boasts a population of around 300,000 people and offers plenty to do while attending school here. It’s also not as expensive as other places on this list, which makes it an attractive option for many students who want to live comfortably while pursuing their degree but don’t want to spend too much money doing so.

10. Karolinska Institute (Karolinska Institutet)

  • The Karolinska Institute (Karolinska Institutet) is one of the best medical universities in Europe and also one of the best universities in Sweden. It was founded in 1810 by King Karl XIV Johan, who granted his name to the university. A major focus of this institution is research, with its main areas including medicine, natural sciences and technology, life sciences, clinical human medicine as well as social sciences.

Top 6 political science master’s degree schools in Europe in 2023 

If you want to pursue a political science master’s degree in Europe you’ll want to know which are the best schools in Europe to pursue the degree at. You’ll get to choose from different study locations such as in the UK or the Netherlands, among many other top study destinations. Read on to learn about the top 6 political science master’s degree schools in Europe for the year 2023. 

1. The University of Oxford

Location: the UK

The best school in Europe to study a master’s degree in political science is the University of Oxford. The school has a special approach for master’s programs that allows students to be taught individually or in small groups, as well as taught in big seminars. This means the learning experience is varied and unique. The Department of Politics & International Relations offers an excellent selection of political science master’s degrees such as the Master’s of Arts in Political Theory, the Master’s of Arts in International Relations and the Master’s of Arts in Politics Research. After studying these degree programs, alumni will receive a good understanding of political institutions that can help kickstart their careers after graduation, no matter what the job path they decide to pursue. 

2. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Location: the UK

The second best political science master’s degree program in Europe is found at the London School of Economics, abbreviated as the LSE. The school is ranked in the top schools in the world for the subject of political science. It offers several master’s programs in different subject areas. Topics of these political science master’s degree programs include programs in Global Politics, Politics and Communication, and several other subjects. Students can choose to study the degree either on campus or through a distance learning program. Students can also choose to study a part-time or full-time master’s degree, depending on the duration of time they wish to complete the program in.  

3. University of Cambridge

Location: the UK

Another option for those who want to study in the UK for their political science master’s degree is the renowned University of Cambridge. Students can study a wide variety of global issues in the field of political science and related fields, such as topics like climate change, gender equality, world health and the global political economy. Students who graduate from the distinguished Department of Politics and International Studies are bred to be changemakers who work in major entities like NGOs, government bodies and diplomatic entities, as well as many more areas. The school offers several master’s degree programs such as the Public Policy master’s program and the Politics and International Studies master’s degree program. Students of the school get to interact with and work with people from other schools such as with students who chose to study a law master’s degree or one in the fields of History, Psychology or Economics. 

4. University College London

Location: the UK 

The University College of London has the 4th best political science master’s degree program in Europe, ranking top in the areas of research and in the subject of political science.  It is known for having a unique and innovative approach to teaching and research. The school offers several political science master’s degrees in exciting political fields such as the Master’s of Arts in Administration and Management, the Master’s of Arts in Global Governance and Ethics and the Master’s of Arts in Human Rights, as well as several other renowned degrees. Students who choose to pursue programs at this school will graduate with a well-rounded knowledge of politics and expert knowledge of the topic of their specialization. 

5. The University of Amsterdam

Location: the Netherlands

The political science master’s degree program offered at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands ranks at number 5 in the list of the best ones in Europe. Perfect for those who choose to study in the Netherlands, the Political science program offers a general dive into political science topics and how social, economic and political changes affect local, national, European and then cosmopolitan governance. Students then choose one of six specialization tracks including topics such as International Relations and Political Theory.

For example, students who choose to study the International Relations track will study topics like war and peace, the global economy, justice and identity worldwide They will also be taught to analyze connections and relations between different countries, international organizations and entities and between citizens. The track focuses on interactions at local, national, and supranational levels. Examples of hot topics studied during this track include the topic of Brexit and the threat of sanctions for Venezuela, as well as many up-and-coming topics. 

On the other hand, students who pick the Political Theory track will study topics related to Political Theory. They will also study applied philosophy using theoretical, practical and analytical approaches. Students are encouraged to analyze and ponder current political situations and bodies of social and political thought.

6. Webster Vienna Private University

Location: Austria 

The final best school for a political science master’s degree is the Webster Vienna Private University. The school offers a great program for those who want to study international relations. The program prepares students for leadership positions in many different fields such as those in the international diplomatic, professional and academic communities. The program is taught by researchers and lecturers who are internationally recognized. Students learn to analyze great powers’ politics, humanitarian issues, and international political economy issues. They also learn about hot topics like International Security, European Integration, EU-Asia Relations, Terrorism and Energy Security. It also has a unique track in International Law and Politics of Outer Space, as well as in Monetary Relations. 

The top universities are in Great Britain and Sweden, but there are many good departments all over Europe

Europe has a remarkable number of political science departments, and many of them are considered among the best in the world.

The top universities are in Great Britain and Sweden, but there are many good departments all over Europe.

Other countries with good political science departments include the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy.


We think this list is a great first step if you are looking to study political science in Europe. If you are interested in politics and want to learn more about the topic, these schools will provide an excellent education that can lead you to a rewarding career. We hope that our brief guide has been helpful for you!

Best Universities in Europe for Politics 2021 - QS World University Rankings

A degree in political science will help students understand the fundamentals of political thought, international relations, and political systems, provide the tools necessary to understand political institutions and processes, and prepare them for a career in government or a related field.

Constant political change requires modern methods and educational approaches, and studying political science at leading universities in Europe allows us to understand the structures and ideas that shape global politics.

If you have an inquisitive mind and a passion for understanding how government and community organizations work, a degree in political science is right for you! Choose your best course from the list of the best European political universities according to the QS World University Rankings 2021.

1 Sciences Po
2University of Oxford
3The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
4University of Cambridge
5King’s College London
6Freie Universität Berlin
7SOAS University of London
8Leiden University
9Central European University
10University of Amsterdam
11University of Copenhagen
12ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
13European University Institute (EUI)
14MGIMO University
16HSE University
17Luiss University
18Essex, University of
19Aarhus University
20Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
21KU Leuven
22Lomonosov Moscow State University
23Lund University
24Queen Mary University of London
25Saint Petersburg State University
26The University of Manchester
27The University of Sheffield
28The University of Warwick
29Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin
30Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna
31Universität Mannheim
32Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)
33University of Vienna
34Universite libre de Bruxelles
35Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
36University College Dublin
37The University of Edinburgh
38The University of Exeter
39University of Geneva
40University of Gothenburg
41University of Oslo
42University of St Andrews
43University of Sussex
44University of Zurich
45Uppsala University
46Utrecht University
47Charles University
48Copenhagen Business School
49Durham University
50Ludwig Maximilian Universität München

best political science universities in the world

Political science is a discipline that combines history, current events and analysis. Graduate students are often able to specialize in a certain area of politics. These are the best political science programs. Each school’s score reflects its average rating on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), based on a survey of academics at peer institutions. Read the methodology

Stanford UniversityStanford, CA#1 in Political ScienceSave4.9
Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA#2 in Political Science (tie)Save4.8
Princeton UniversityPrinceton, NJ#2 in Political Science (tie)Save4.8
University of California–BerkeleyBerkeley, CA#4 in Political Science (tie)Save4.7
University of Michigan–Ann ArborAnn Arbor, MI#4 in Political Science (tie)Save4.7
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT#6 in Political ScienceSave4.6
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA#7 in Political ScienceSave4.5
Columbia UniversityNew York, NY#8 in Political Science (tie)Save4.4
University of California–San DiegoLa Jolla, CA#8 in Political Science (tie)Save4.4
Duke UniversityDurham, NC#10 in Political Science (tie)Save4.3

Career paths after political science master’s degree 

After graduating from one of the top political science master’s degree programs in Europe, you might want to know what are the possible career paths for you. Because master’s are typically a big investment, you may want to also learn what the average salaries are for each of these career paths. In this section, we discuss the various paths you can choose to take after graduation from your postgraduate degree. From working as a lobbyist to working as a journalist, UniApp has you covered with all the necessary details! 

political science master's degree

Here are some of the top career paths you can choose to pursue after your degree: 

  • Lobbyist: The main responsibilities of this job role include talking to politicians and affecting government decisions that can benefit your clients. They also conduct in-depth research to understand regulations and legislation relating to these decisions, as well as discuss lobbying techniques with their clients and effectively carry them out. 

Average salary: 87,400 USD annually 

  • Policy Analyst: The job roles of a policy analyst include monitoring and assessing policies to see if they have a negative or positive impact on clients. They also prepare reports for clients and hand in policy clarification documents to them. Furthermore, they analyse data and find trends that relate to policies so they can figure out whether to support or stop policies from happening. 

Average salary: 67,500 USD annually 

  • Political Campaign Manager: The political campaign manager develops campaigns for political parties or politicians to help promote them and influence the largest number of voters possible. They also handle budgeting and see which campaign activities require a bigger budget allocation to be successful. They might also try out new campaigns and technologies and analyze their effectiveness. 

Average salary: 60,500 USD annually 

  • Public Relations (PR) Specialist: Job responsibilities for this career path include formulating promotions and then sharing them on the media channel that the client chooses to promote themselves. They also write answers to official questions or choose someone to do so. Finally, they organize press conferences and other important events.  

Average salary: 58,300 USD annually

  • Market Research Analyst: Job responsibilities of a market research analyst include assessing markets and seeing the sales potential of products or services offered. They also check out the progress of research projects and see how obstacles can be overcome. Finally, they present the results in an in-depth report for clients in a way that is easy to understand. 

Average salary: 57,500 USD annually

  • Paralegal: Paralegals do many different tasks, such as administrative tasks like billing, writing letters, organizing meetings and calendars for themselves and important professionals and sorting files. They also write drafts and proofread documents that other lawyers or professionals have written to make sure they are correct. They might also write reports and carry out legal research for other professionals.

Average salary: 47,800 USD annually

  • Journalist: Finally, Journalists research and find out information about news or events and then write them into stories. They also edit and review stories and make changes to them. Furthermore, they might collaborate with editors to create new content that is interesting and engaging. 

Average salary: 40,000 USD annually

In conclusion, there are many great degree programs in Europe for those who want to pursue a political science master’s degree. From Oxford University to Webster Vienna Private University, you can find the degree program of your dreams with the specialization you are passionate about in the country you have always wanted to study at. Political Science master’s degree program graduates also have many rewarding career paths in diverse areas such as working as a lobbyist or paralegal or journalist, so you can truly choose something you are good at.