Master's Programme in Political Science

120 credits

Programme syllabus, SPO2M

Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Social Sciences, 6 March 2014
Registration number
SAMFAK 2014/23 Doss 3:2:1
Responsible faculty
Faculty of Social Sciences
Responsible department
Department of Government

Entry requirements

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

Learning outcomes

The aim of the Master's degree is to give the student a systematic understanding of the basic questions of political science and development studies in order to be able critically to examine, assess and analyse politics and international relations on a scientific basis. The student acquires knowledge and skills that give the capacity for independent and critical assessment, the ability to solve problems self-reliantly and the ability to monitor the development of knowledge obtained by research in political science and development studies.

The programme gives the opportunity of more advanced studies in various special areas of the subject such as comparative politics, political theory, public administration, international politics and development studies. The essay (Master's Thesis) written for the two-year degree (30 credits) is of greater theoretical depth and wider scope than the one written for the one-year degree (15 credits). The Master's Thesis course (30 credits) also presupposes knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodology on the advanced level. The progression in the programme is to lead on to a higher degree of intellectual maturity and greater insight into the complexity of the subject. This, together with the ability to integrate knowledge and skills and independently to formulate and solve problems, will be presented in a final degree project.

Layout of the programme

The first semester gives a common ground in methodological skills and a deeper knowledge in political science or development studies through the courses offered by the department.

Students wishing to conclude their studies with a one-year’s Master's degree choose a course in the subject of political science or development studies in the first half of semester two and write an essay during the second half of the semester (15 or 30 credits).

Students studying for the two-year Master's degree have great freedom during the second and fourth semester to choose courses both within and outside the department. Students have an opportunity to do an internship during semester four (alternatively during semester three). Among our own courses may be mentioned a proficiency course devoted to writing a research summary. The third semester is devoted entirely to the degree project (alternatively during semester four).


The education is given on a scientific basis and is anchored in research, with the student being given the equipment to steadily develop her or his methodological skills and a scientific approach. The student is expected to take increasing responsibility for his/her learning as the training progresses, and also gradually to acquire professionally relevant and research-based knowledge and skills. The student is encouraged to create and develop both national and international contacts.

The knowledge is imparted and assimilated by instruction, private study, seminar discussions and also individual oral and written work. Throughout the programme considerable weight is systematically placed on both written and oral interpretations and presentations. The programme presupposes that the students earlier have taken methodology courses covering basic qualitative and quantitative methods. The Master's Thesis course (30 credits) presupposes knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodology on the advanced level.


The programme leads to a a two-year Master's degree or one-year Master's degree with political science or development studies as main field of studies. The two-year Master's degree requires the obtaining of 120 credits with at least 90 credits at the advanced level and, with at least 60 credits within the main field of studies including individual work (Master's Thesis) representing 30 credits. For the one-year Master's degree 60 credits are required, with at least 45 credits at the advanced level and, with at least 30 credits within the main field of studies, including individual work (Master's Thesis) representing 15 or 30 credits.

The two-year Master's degree is called “Politices Masterexamen” in Swedish and “Degree of Master of Science in Political Sciences (120 credits)” in English.

The one-year Master's degree is named “Politices magisterexamen” in Swedish and “Degree of Master of Science in Political Sciences (60 credits)” in English.