Master’s studies

Master Programme in Political Science 2017/2018

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The aim of the Master Programme in Political Science is to provide you with a systematic understanding of the fundamental questions of political science and give you the ability to critically examine, assess and analyse politics, international relations and development policy. The programme prepares you for a professional career as an investigator or analyst in public or private organisations at home or abroad. The degree counts as a qualification for applying for doctoral studies in Political Science.

Why this programme?

The programme is designed to develop your ability to critically assess conceptual and empirical problems, conduct independent problem-solving, research, and collect and process complex material. Upon completion of the programme, you will have acquired theoretical knowledge and the practical experience of examining, assessing and analysing problems in politics, international relations and development policy. The programme prepares you for more advanced studies in various specific areas within the discipline of political science such as comparative politics, political theory, public administration, international relations and development studies.

The programme has a strong research focus building on the internationally advanced research carried out within the department. You will benefit from a research-driven course content, a large choice of subject-specific courses and varied methods of teaching with focus on developing your theoretical and analytical skills. During the course of study, you are expected to keep abreast with advances in political science research and contribute to the development of knowledge. The final degree project provides you with the opportunity to apply advanced political science methodology and make an independent research contribution.

The Master's thesis written for the two-year degree (30 credits) requires deeper theoretical knowledge and methodological skills than the thesis written for the one-year degree (15 credits). Therefore, the Master’s Thesis course (30 credits) requires prior knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodology on an advanced level.

For those of you taking the two-year programme there is the opportunity to complete an internship during one semester as an integral part of the programme. The department has an extensive internship programme with placements in Sweden and abroad. The department actively encourages you to seek internships as professional experience to positively enhance the profile of your Master’s degree.


The programme leads to a Master of Science in Political Sciences (120 credits) with Political Science or Development Studies as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Science in Political Sciences (60 credits).


Year 1, autumn semester
In the first semester the student chooses one of three courses (15 credits): International Politics, Governance and The State and The Politics of Development. In the second half of the semester, students take the compulsory proficiency course Methods, 15 credits.

Year 1, spring semester
In the second semester students may choose to deepen and broaden their studies in the field of political science at the Department of Government. You may also choose among the courses given by the departments affiliated to the Master’s programme or other courses at Uppsala University, universities in Sweden or elsewhere. Those students who wish to finish their studies with a one-year Master's degree must write an essay during the second part of the semester, 15 credits.

Year 2, autumn semester
The third semester is devoted to the degree project for which the student is required to complete a Master’s thesis, 30 credits. Before you can enrol in this course, you must have successfully completed the Methods course.

Year 2, spring semester
In the fourth semester students have the opportunity to do an internship in Sweden or abroad in order to gain professional experience. For those students who choose not to do an internship, the department offers the elective courses of semester 2. It is also possible to complete the Master’s thesis this semester.

Learning experience

The course contents and teaching are research-driven, firmly anchored in scientific approaches. This enables you to develop your methodological skills and understanding of political science research. As part of the programme, you are expected to assume increasing responsibility for your own learning, and gradually acquire professionally relevant and research-based knowledge and skills. Knowledge is acquired through in-class teaching, seminar discussions and by means of various forms of individual assignments. Throughout the programme focus is put on training your ability to present your work in writing and orally. The programme assumes the completion of prior courses in political science methodology covering basic qualitative and quantitative methods. The Master’s Thesis course (30 credits) presupposes knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodology on the advanced level. As the programme progresses, you are expected to assume increasing responsibility for your own learning and gradually acquire relevant research-based knowledge and skills.

In semester 4, you have the opportunity to do an internship in Sweden or abroad in order to gain professional experience. We offer internship placements in Sweden and abroad. You may also search for an interesting placement yourself.

The programme is offered in Uppsala.


The programme prepares you for a professional career as an investigator and analyst in the private and the public sectors, both at home and abroad. The programme also prepares you for research and is a qualification when applying for doctoral studies.

The programme gives you an advanced education that leads to a broad investigative competence with specialist knowledge in politics, society and political science research.


Please note! To be eligible for the programme you must send us a hard copy of your Bachelor's thesis/essay so that we have it on or before 1 February 2017. Mark your envelope "Master Programme in Political Science" and send it to:

Uppsala University
Department of Government
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala

Please note, if the written work is sent by courier service, the department’s street address must be used:

Uppsala University
Department of Government
Gamla Torget 6
SE-753 20 Uppsala

Master Programme in Political Science

120 credits

Autumn 2017 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2017-01-16

Enrolment Code: UU-M2481 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is:

  • 90 credits in political science or corresponding knowledge; and
  • a Bachelor's thesis or similar independent academic work with at least 8000 words within political science or a corresponding area. ("Corresponding" includes studies in social sciences with extensive and distinct elements of political science. One or more essays can be included in the concept "independent academic work". The essays should be written in either English, Swedish, Norwegian or Danish or translated to one of these languages.)
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
Exemptions for students from certain countries.

Selection: Students are selected based on a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies with emphasis on the quality of the Bachelor's thesis (or submitted independent work) and relevance of previous studies.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200000

Contact and further resources

Department of Government

Gamla Torget 6

Box 514, 751 20 UPPSALA

For programme-specific information, please contact: Anna Reuterhäll

Telephone: +46 18 471 57 24

For general information about Master's studies at Uppsala University, please send an email to: