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Department of Political Science Democracy Studies

Curriculum and Certificate

Democracy Studies Curriculum

Democracy Studies offers a transdisciplinary, integrated curriculum comprising high-level courses, seminars, colloquia and transferable skills modules. These modules are led by UZH faculty members and leading international scholars aiming to provide a solid basis on the theory, methods and empirical approaches to democracy. Additional training opportunities are tailored to the doctoral candidate's individual research needs. Under Graduate School regulations, the Democracy Studies Curriculum consists of 12 ECTS, with four compulsory Core Modules (8 ECTS) offered by the Programme and four Advanced Modules (4 ECTS) to be chosen by each member.




Democracy Studies Module I - Democratic Theory

Democracy Studies Module II - Empirical Approaches to Democracy

Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies S3DS

Democracy Studies Research Colloquium






Democracy Studies Advanced Module

Democracy in Practice Workshop - Democracy Goes to School

Research Method Course






The Curriculum is designed to allow participants to pursue their doctoral research with the ability to situate themselves in the general landscape of research on democracy with high precision and awareness . You can read more about the Modules Details 

Curricular Requirements

The Democracy Studies curricular requirements should be listed in the student’s first Doctoral Agreement submitted within 16 weeks after admission to doctoral studies. PhD candidates draw up and update their doctoral agreement via the online UZH Admin Services.

All Democracy Studies members have to complete the Core Modules (8 ECTS):

  • Pass the Module I on Democracy Theory (2 ECTS)  
  • Pass the Module II on Empirical Approaches to Democracy (2 ECTS)  
  • Participate in Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies at least once (2 ECTS)
  • Participate in all Democracy Studies Colloquia and present a research outline by the first year (1 ECTS) and towards the end of the doctorate by delivering either research results, or doing a mock defence (1 ECTS). 

The Advanced Modules (4 ECTS) are discipline-specific, complementing the training and supporting transdisciplinary approaches

The contact person for questions on your Doctroal Agreement, ECTS Record, and application for graduation is the PhD candidates’ coordinator for Social Sciences Dr Doreen Spörer-Wagner.

Democracy Studies Certificate


All members completing the Democracy Studies Curriculum's Core Modules (8 ECTS) are eligible for a Certificate in Democracy Studies.

The Certificate is awarded by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Zurich and issued together with their doctoral degree. Conferment of the Certificate recognises the application to the programme, transdisciplinary training, and the contribution to existing scholarship on democracy.