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Department of Political Science

Democracy Studies Curriculum

An integrated curriculum

In accordance with Graduate School regulations, the DPDS curriculum consists of 12 ECTS, with four Core Modules and four Advanced Modules. Each core module is worth 2 ECTS for a total of 8 ECTS, and each advanced module is worth 1 ECTS for a total of 4 ECTS.



Core Modules Democracy Studies Module I - Democratic Theory 2
Democracy Studies Module II - Empirical Approaches to Democracy 2
Democracy Studies Research Colloquium 2
Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies 2
Advanced Modules Democracy Studies Advanced Module 1
Democracy Studies Workshop - Democracy in Practice 1
Research Method Course 1
Elective 1

Among the Core Modules, the two courses “Democratic Theory” and “Empirical Approaches to Democracy” ensure that the students undertake their doctoral research armed with a strong theoretical, conceptual and methodological training in research on democracy. Next to these two modules, the "Democracy Studies Research Colloquium” allows participants to present the different stages of their doctoral dissertations and receive regular feedback from their peers as well as professors. In addition, every year Democracy Studies organizes the “Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies”.

Discipline-specific requirements and advanced modules can easily be built into the curriculum for up to 4 ECTS, to complement the training and support transdisciplinary approaches with advanced modules on democracy and in methods offered by participating departments. Participants follow the guidelines set by their respective disciplines, which award them their doctoral degree.

All members of Democracy Studies need to complete the first four compulsory Core Modules. See Curricular Requirements

Democracy Studies Certificate

Successful participants completing the Democracy Studies curriculum receive a certificate awarded by the Graduate School PhF at the time of their PhD graduation. Conferment of the certificate recognises the transdisciplinary training received by the participants as well as the contribution of their doctoral research to existing scholarship on democracy.

Weiterführende Informationen


Democracy Studies at UZH

Curricular Coursework

In addition to writing your thesis, you must complete curricular coursework worth 12 ECTS credits. Please consult the subject-specific annex to the doctoral program regulation (German only) to find out whether there are special rules for your subject regarding the breakdown of these 12 ECTS credits into coursework relating specifically to your subject or to transferable skills. The curricular coursework you have to complete is agreed with your principal supervisor and set down in your doctoral agreement.


Check the Graduate School website "During Your Doctoral Studies"