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Study governance abroad

An in-depth guide to studying governance as an international student.

Governance degrees abroad

Governance programs focus on the operations and interactions of governments and international organizations around the world. It’s a multidisciplinary subject that mixes politics, international relations, and diplomacy with economics, public policy, and sociology.

You’ll study theories and concepts of governance and will be challenged to apply them to real-world scenarios. You’ll also critically examine the challenges faced by public sectors today, and evaluate how issues like global trade, migration, climate change, and terrorism are being managed.

The value of studying governance abroad can’t be underestimated. Seeing the different interests, trends, and difficulties of governments across the globe will provide you with an international perspective that’s vital for success in today’s interrelated world.

Governance program structure

It’s possible to study governance at the bachelor’s level, but it’s normally only offered as part of a combined program. Typical combinations include governance with economics, public policy, legal order, and diplomacy. Bachelor’s courses last a minimum of three years, or four years if you complete a sandwich year.

You can major in governance as part of your four-year US undergraduate degree, but this is only offered at a handful of universities. You’ll take liberal arts courses for the first two years of your program, before focusing on governance-specific modules for the remaining half.

Studying governance as a master’s degree is by far the most popular and widely available option. To enroll, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, but the specific requirements will vary between institutions. You can study full-time over one year or part-time over two.

After finishing your Master’s you might consider pursuing a research-based MPhil or PhD. These usually require between four and seven years of extra study.

Your class schedule will mainly consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and group workshops. You’ll be assessed through a range of written and practical assessments including exams, essays, and presentations, and debates.

Each university will offer a different range of elective modules depending on its cultural context and the research interests of its faculty. However, this list gives you an idea of the core units delivered at most institutions:

  • Theories of governance
  • Governance and public-policy making
  • Fundamentals of governance - diplomacy, negotiation, and lobbying
  • Research methods for governance studies
  • Globalization and global governance
  • Comparative politics and governance
  • Concepts and controversies in international governance

Alternative political science degrees

How to study governance abroad

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  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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Governance study abroad programs

Governance undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in governance

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    International Studies: Global and Comparative Governance - BA American University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    50,542 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Public Policy and Governance - BA St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,768 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in governance

Governance graduate programs

Master's in governance

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    American Indian Studies (Tribal Leadership and Governance) - MSc Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    24,318 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Political Science: European and International Governance - MSc Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    3,850 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Protected Area Governance and Management - MA University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    28,928 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Corporate Governance and Law/Grad.CG - LLM University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,300 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Environmental Policy and Governance - LLM University of Stirling, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    15,950 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in governance

Doctorate in governance

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    Human Rights, Society, and Multi-Level Governance - PhD University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    4,500 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates in governance

Future governance careers

As a governance graduate, you’ll be set for a fast-paced and fascinating career. Your knowledge and skills will be transferable across an array of sectors, including government ministries, global agencies, international aid charities, and NGOs.

Here are some of the roles you’d be best prepared for:

  • Policy advisor
  • Government research officer
  • Politician
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Foreign service officer
  • Political risk analyst
  • International aid/development worker

Most universities have a careers office that can help you find relevant work experience and polish your interview skills. It’s worth dropping by to have a chat about your ambitions and to see how they could support you.