Students are required to follow all the core subjects totaling 70 credits and must choose one of two focuses (research or professional), each of which is worth 30 credits. To complete the programme and reach the necessary total of 120 credits, there is a choice of options based on regional axes (for example Belgium, Europe and Asia) or language courses.
The first year of the Master concentrates on in-depth study of the management of public organizations and public policy (30 credits); it also includes three advanced courses related to the other areas of political science (comparative politics, international relations, European studies for 15 credits) and optional subjects (15 credits).
During the second year, students pursue their focus (30 credits), produce a dissertation (25 credits) and choose a further 5 credits.
The research focus is designed to improve research skills in public administration. The teaching, which is shared with the 120 credit Master in political science, is designed to improve students’ methodology, help them learn how to work in a research team and to show them how to start preparing for their doctorate.
The research focus in policy and administration prepares the student for a professional career. Through a series of cross-disciplinary courses which bring together comparative politics, the analysis of public policy and related disciplines (law, communication, sociology, ethics), students develop practical skills in the field of public policy, in the widest possible sense. This focus also includes a period of compulsory work placement supervised by a lecturer from the Department. The work placement is associated with the student’s dissertation.
The Erasmus and, to a lesser extent, the Mercator schemes provide finance for study visits abroad for a semester.
In the context of the “‘Louvain Academy”, UCL and FUCAM (Facultés Universitaires Catholiques de Mons à Mons – Catholic University Faculties of Mons in Mons) offer jointly Masters’ programmes (120 credits) in Political Science, either as a general subject or with the emphasis on international relations or public administration. Students may choose to study the focus at a partner institution and gain a degree issued jointly by the two institutions. These exchanges are made possible by specially coordinated courses and timetables.