Programme structure

spri2m  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

The programme of the first year of the 120 credit Master in Political Science (International Relations) comprises a broad range of core subjects (45 credits), optional subjects (13 credits) and preparation for the dissertation (2 credits). The core subjects include advanced political science courses as well as courses and seminars devoted to international relations and humanitarian action. The programme director will want to ensure that the subjects students choose from the list of core subjects (45 credits out of a total of 65) are relevant to their focus and may not validate certain subjects for this reason.

2 credits out of 20 are allocated to the preparation of the dissertation. Students are required to provide a reasoned account of the research topic, a preliminary bibliography on the topic in question as well as a suggested work plan, together with a schedule showing when the different stages will be completed. 

The list of optional subjects (13 credits out of a total of 25 credits) includes regional analysis or advanced language lessons.

The second year programme is made up of focuses worth 30 credits (research focus, professional focus in diplomacy and conflict resolution and professional focus in humanitarian action) ; 18 credits  (out of a total of 20 credits) are given for writing the dissertation; 12 credits (out of a total of 25 credits) are for optional subjects which complement those taken in the first year.

  • The research focus is designed to equip students with advanced research in political science and international relations. The emphasis is on in-depth methodologies, joining research teams and being able to work independently. This focus prepares students specifically for research.  
  • Through targeted study of the international scene, the professional focus in diplomacy and conflict resolution prepares students for an international career in the public or private sector.  Diplomacy and the strategies of different powers are closely examined in parallel with techniques for negotiation and crisis resolution. There is a special seminar to prepare students for international posts. 
  • The professional focus in humanitarian action is designed to examine humanitarian and post-crisis reconstruction issues from a multi-disciplinary starting point. It goes through the legal, cultural, political and health perspectives to provide an analysis of situations where humanitarian intervention is required. It also enables a connection to be made between a crisis situation and more long-term development aid.  


For a programme-type, and regardless of the focus, options/or elective courses selected, this master will carry a minimum of 120 credits divided over two annual units, corresponding to 60 credits each.