Programme structure

The first year programme of the 120 credit Master in Political Science (general) is made up of wide-ranging core subjects (45 credits), a choice of courses (13 credits) and the writing of a dissertation (2 credits). The different focuses form half (30 credits) of the second year: research focus, teaching focus, professional focus in policy and administration. The production of the dissertation represents 25 credits. Finally, students may choose either regional studies or language courses (7 credits) in addition to those taken in the first year.

The research focus aims to develop research skills in the field of political science using different established forms of research, including comparative politics. Special emphasis is placed on using in-depth methodologies, becoming part of research teams and being able to work independently during the training period.

The teaching focus is intended for teachersand therefore concentrates on improving teaching skills, communicating knowledge and managing groups during lesson time. Against this background, this focus includes vital teaching practice which includes practical experience, observation and teaching strategies.

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 Erasmus scheme and, to a lesser extent, the Mercator scheme 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.

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.