Master's Programme in Political Science

Academic year 2023/2024

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Are you interested in political attitudes and behaviour, studying political mobilisation from an international and comparative perspective, or perhaps welfare politics from a global perspective? Then the Master's Programme in Political Science is for you. This programme prepares you for a professional career as an investigator or analyst in public or private organisations in your home country or abroad.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Politics is designed to develop your ability to critically assess conceptual and empirical problems, conduct independent problem-solving, research, and collect and process complex material. You will acquire theoretical knowledge and practical experience in examining, assessing and analysing problems in politics, international relations and development policy. You will graduate with a systematic understanding of the fundamental questions of political science.

During the programme, you can expect to

  • Gain practical experience in examining, assessing and analysing problems in politics, international relations and development policy.
  • Develop your methodological skills and understanding of political science.
  • Choose between a large selection of subject-specific courses.
  • Take part in an extensive internship programme with placements in Sweden and abroad.

The programme has a strong research focus building on the internationally advanced research carried out at the Department of Government at the University. You will benefit from research-driven course content, a large choice of subject-specific courses and varied methods of teaching with a focus on developing your theoretical and analytical skills.

The Department actively encourages you to seek internships, as professional experience positively enhances the value of your Master's degree. As a student of the two-year programme, you have the opportunity to complete an internship during one semester as an integral part of the programme.


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).


Semester 1

You will choose one of the three following courses: International Politics (15 credits), Governance and The State (15 credits), and The Politics of Development (15 credits). In the second half of the semester, you will take the compulsory proficiency course Methods (15 credits).

Semester 2

You may choose to deepen and broaden your studies in the field of political science at the Department of Government. You may also choose among the courses given by the Departments affiliated with this Master's programme, other courses at Uppsala University, or courses at other universities in Sweden or elsewhere.

Those of you who wish to finish your studies with a one-year Master's degree (60 credits) must write a degree thesis (15 credits) during the second part of the semester.

Semester 3

The third semester is devoted to the degree project for which you are required to complete a Master's thesis (30 credits). Before you can enrol in this course, you must have successfully completed the course Methods.

Semester 4

In the last semester, you have the opportunity to do an internship in Sweden or abroad, to gain professional experience. We can offer you a variety of internship placements in Sweden and abroad, but you may also search for an interesting placement yourself. If you choose to not do an internship, the Department offers elective courses as offered for the second semester. It is also possible to complete the Master's thesis this semester.

Courses within the programme

Compulsory courses:

One of the three courses: International Politics 15 credits, Governance and The State 15 credits or The Politics of Development 15 credits

Methods, 15 credits

Master's thesis, 30 credits

Elective courses (may vary between years):

Comparative Politics, 15 credits

European Integration, 15 credits

Gender, Power and Institutions, 15 credits

Political Attitudes and Behaviour: Perspectives from Political Psychology and Sociology, 15 credits

The State and Its Challenges, 15 credits

Welfare Politics in a Global Perspective, 15 credits

Learning experience

The course content and teaching are research-driven and firmly anchored in scientific approaches. Knowledge is acquired through in-class teaching, seminar discussions and using various forms of individual assignments.

In a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates a coursebook or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

You are expected to assume increasing responsibility for your own learning, and gradually acquire professionally relevant and research-based knowledge and skills. Throughout the programme, the focus is put on training your ability to present your work in writing and orally.

During the programme, you are expected to keep abreast with advances in political science research and contribute to the development of knowledge. The Master's thesis provides you with the opportunity to apply advanced political science methodology and make an independent research contribution.

The programme is offered in Uppsala and all instruction is in English.


The Master's Programme in Political Science prepares you for a professional career as an investigator and analyst in the private and public sectors, both in your home country and abroad. The programme gives you an advanced education that leads to a broad investigative competence with specialised knowledge in politics, society and political science research.

Our previous graduates work at, for example:

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • World Bank Group

Job titles include:

  • Strategic Partnership Specialist
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Researcher, etc.

You will also be well prepared for advanced studies in various specific areas within the discipline of political science as comparative politics, political theory, public administration, international relations and development studies.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a hard copy of your Bachelor's thesis or equivalent.

Note! To be eligible, you must post a hard copy of your Bachelor's thesis on time so that we receive it by 1 February 2023 at the latest. Mark your envelope with "Master's Programme in Political Science" and send it to:

Uppsala University

Department of Government

P.O. Box 514

SE-751 20 Uppsala


If the hard copy is sent by a courier service, the address should instead be:

Uppsala University

Department of Government

Gamla Torget 6

SE-753 20 Uppsala


Master's Programme in Political Science

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M2460 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 8,000 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

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on an overall appraisal of previous university studies with emphasis on the quality of the Bachelor's thesis (or equivalent project work).

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


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. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact: Anna Reuterhäll

+46 18 471 57 24

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Government

Östra Ågatan 19 753 22 Uppsala

Box 514, 751 20 UPPSALA

Programme start and registration

Registration information

The Department of Government will send welcome letters by e-mail to all admitted students.

The registration is mandatory and the registration period is 2 August to 21 August 2023. All admitted students should register online in the student records, Ladok. Registration for the course 2SK019 Methods will automatically mean registration for the programme.

The traditional kick-off week starts on Tuesday 22 August during which you will be introduced to the university, the department and the programme. The courses begin on 28 August 2023.

Last modified: 2022-10-27