Master's Programme in Political Science

120 credits

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.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

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 the degree of 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 is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science in Political Sciences (60 credits).

Year 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 first semester, you will take the compulsory proficiency course Methods (15 credits).

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.

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

Year 2

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.

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

  • Methods, 15 credits
  • Master's thesis, 30 credits

One of the following three courses

  • International Politics, 15 credits
  • Governance and The State, 15 credits
  • The Politics of Development, 15 credits

Elective courses

Each spring semester, the Department of Government offers elective courses in different themes within political science and development studies.

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.