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Department of Political Science

Master of Arts in Political Science

Master of Arts in Political Science

Find updates on our study programs, current information, and details about informational events on the Study Program News section of our webpage.

The Master program in Political Science is recognized as one of the most prestigious programs in Europe. Our students acquire in-depth theoretical and practical expertise in the field of political science and its sub-disciplines. They also develop the ability to work independently in an academic manner and to apply the learned methods and knowledge in a practical context. Therefore, the Master program provides a direct pathway to further academic occupation within a doctoral program.

However, a majority of our graduates pursue non-academic careers. Due to its international orientation and the combination of academic work with practical training, the political science program prepares you excellently for challenging roles in business, administration, or international organizations.

The Department of Political Science offers the Master program in Political Science in two formats: as a Major (90 ECTS) combined with a Minor (30 ECTS) of your choice, or as a Mono (120 ECTS) study program. In addition, there are several Minor programs (30 ECTS) offered by the IPZ alone or in collaboration with other social science departments at UZH. All Master programs include intensive training in research methods. Depending on your interests, the programs offer opportunities for specialization in various thematic areas.

Overview of the Master Programs

You can find the application deadlines here.

Study Program

Focus

Study Regulations

Consecutive?

Requirements

MA Mono /
Major Political Science
ECTS 120 / 90
Political Science

STO MA Mono

STO MA Major

Yes
  • BA degree in the area of Social Sciences
    (from a university or university of applied sciences (then at least grade 5.0))
  • C1 German
  • Content: see study regulations
  • Admission from other disciplines possible with conditions
Swiss Politics
Political Data Journalism
Political Economy &
Philosophy
Democracy, Development &
International Relations
Master
Comparative &
International Studies
ECTS 120
Comparative &
International Studies
STO MACIS
MA Minor
Political Studies
ECTS 30
Political Science STO Minor
Politikw. Studien
MA Minor
Social Sciences
ECTS 30
Social Sciences STO Minor SoWi No none (but: Admission to UZH for MA Major)
MA Minor
Methods -
Data -Society
ECTS 30
Methods - Data - Society STO
M-D-S

Mono/Major Politikwissenschaft

The IPZ offers two programs: the Mono Political Science (120 ECTS) without a Minor, and the Major Political Science (90 ECTS) in combination with a Minor (30 ECTS). In both programs, you can choose from five tracks:

  1. Political Science
  2. Democracy, Development and International Relations
  3. Political Economy and Philosophy
  4. Swiss Politics
  5. Political Data Journalism

All legal bases, including study regulations, module catalogue, and sample curriculum, can be found on the website of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (German only).

In collaboration with ETH Zurich, the IPZ at UZH offers the MACIS program (Master in Comparative and International Studies). For information regarding academic advising and enrollment in this program, please visit the website of the ETH Zurich: MACIS.

Study Structure

The structure of the study program is defined in the legal framework, particularly in the appendix to the study regulation (Mono 120 or Major 90) and the module catalogue. Additionally, we gladly provide a graphical overview of the study program structure (PDF, 167 KB).

Study Contents

To complete one of the four tracks, you need to complete a total of 42 ECTS (Major) or 54 ECTS (Mono) within the corresponding module group, including the track’s research seminar along with its preparation module. These are listed as core elective modules in the course catalogue. You can only graduate in a single track. However, you can change it until the last semester of your studies.

In the general Political Science track, you have the flexibility to attend modules from all module groups. However, you are required to earn a minimum of 12 ECTS credits (Major) or 18 ECTS credits (Mono) in two module groups each. This must include a research seminar along with its preparation (a total of 12 ECTS credits as core elective modules) from any track. For more details, please refer to the study program regulations for Mono Political Science (120 ECTS) or Major Political Science (90 ECTS).

Research seminars in study programs

In research seminars, you will learn how to independently create an academic analysis, which forms the basis for writing the Master's thesis. The core elective modules "Pre-Research Seminar" offered in the fall semester are a requirement for attending a research seminar in the spring semester. To be able to complete your studies in the corresponding track, you are REQUIRED to complete the respective research seminar (6 ECTS) and the preparation (6 ECTS) in this track. Students in the “General Political Science” track can choose which of the four research seminars from the other tracks, along with its preparation, they would like to complete.

Methods

In the first year of study, you will take the two modules “Statistical Modeling” (fall semester) and “Research Design” (spring semester). This will allow you to develop expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Elective modules

In order to have a track indicated on your MA diploma, you need to complete a total of 54 ECTS (Mono MA Political Science) or 42 ECTS (Major MA Political Science) within the corresponding module group. 12 ECTS are covered by the research seminar along with its preparation module (as mentioned above). Consequently, in the Mono MA Political Science, you still need to acquire 42 ECTS in freely chosen modules within the track, while in the Major MA Political Science, you require an additional 30 ECTS in freely chosen modules. Most modules in the Political Science program are worth six ECTS. Capstone courses are an exception, as they are worth 12 ECTS. An internship is also credited with six ECTS.

If you are studying in the “General Political Science” track, you must earn a minimum of 18 ECTS in two module groups each (Mono MA Political Science) or 12 ECTS each (Major MA Political Science). 12 ECTS in one module group are already covered by the required research seminar along with its preparation.

Master’s Thesis

The Master’s thesis is the first major research project and corresponds to a workload of 30 ECTS. You have the second year of your studies (alongside any remaining modules) to complete the Master's thesis. Registration for the Master's thesis is mandatory. The "Master's Thesis" module spans two semesters and must be booked independently. Please find more information on the Master's thesis in our IPZ Exam Guide (PDF, 303 KB).

You select the topic of your Master's thesis yourself and discuss it with an eligible examiner of your choice who teaches in the MA Political Science program. Additionally, please check the thesis topic listings on the IPZ's Master's Theses page, where our lecturers may also offer research topics.

The Master’s Colloquium is a part of the 'Master's Thesis' module and is automatically booked when you register for the Master's thesis. In the Master’s Colloquium, students present their research design to their peers and receive valuable feedback from fellow students and their supervisors.

Expert advice and additional information on library resources can be found on the webpages of the University Library.

Degree completion

You can find all the information regarding the graduation process on the website of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Course Offerings of the Program

The current course offerings can be found in the UZH course catalogue: Mono / Major

Planning Your Studies

To assist in planning your studies, you can use the study planning tables for the Mono (120 ECTS) (XLSX, 54 KB) as well as the Major (90 ECTS) (XLSX, 53 KB). These tables are excellent supplements to the “Study Progress and Graduation” app in the Student Portal, which displays your completed achievements and enrolled modules. With this, you can plan your entire academic journey up to graduation in real-time. 

Application, Admission, and Deadlines

The master’s program in Political Science is a consecutive, research-oriented study program that builds upon the three-year bachelor’s program in Political Science. Admission from related social science disciplines such as Sociology, Economics, Law, etc., is possible with the completion of any necessary requirements. Admission without prior knowledge in political science is also possible but will require the completion of 60 ECTS credits from the bachelor's program. More detailed information about the admission requirements can be found in the study regulations (Mono 120 ECTS orMajor 90 ECTS). For further questions, please contact the Academic Advising Office at the IPZ.

The UZH’s Student Administration Office and Admissions Office are responsible for questions regarding application and admission. Application deadlines for starting your studies in the fall and spring semester can also be found on the Student Administration Office's website.

For MACIS, you can find the relevant information on the ETH Zurich’s website.

Minor Political Studies (consecutive, 30 ECTS)

The Master Minor in Political Studies provides you with in-depth knowledge of selected fields in political science. The master’s program builds upon the methodological and substantive skills acquired during the bachelor's program.

Please refer to the programme guide for the structure and content of the programme. Additionally, we gladly provide a graphical overview of the program structure (PDF, 107 KB).

Course Offerings of the Program

The current course offerings can be found in the UZH course catalogue.

Application, Admission, and Deadlines

The Minor in Political Studies is a consecutive study program that builds upon the three-year bachelor’s program in Political Science. Admission from related social science disciplines such as Sociology, Economics, Law, etc., is possible with the completion of any necessary requirements. Admission without prior knowledge in political science is also possible but will require the completion of certain modules from the bachelor's program. More detailed information about the admission requirements can be found in the study regulation. For further questions, please contact the Academic Advising Office at the IPZ.

The UZH’s Student Administration Office and Admissions Office are responsible for questions regarding application and admission. Application deadlines for starting your studies in the fall and spring semester can also be found on the Student Administration Office's website.

Minor Methods-Data-Society (non-consecutive, 30 ECTS)

Digitalization and measurement of society leads to a large amount of data on social interactions and human behavior. Specialists with a broad and well-founded repertoire of social science methodological skills are wanted within and outside the scientific community to analytically accompany the process of digitizing society and to provide a basis for decision-making on social development. The minor Methods - Data - Society expands the knowledge and skills of social science quantitative and qualitative methodology. Using various methodological instruments including statistics, different kinds of data from public administration, (social) media, surveys or experiments are processed, analyzed and the findings conveyed in a way that is appropriate to the target group.

The Master Minor Methods – Data – Society (30 ECTS) is offered in collaboration with other social sciences departments at UZH (Department of Political Science, Department of Communication and Media Research, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, and Institute of Sociology).

The study structure and content can be found in the guidelines of the program.

Course Offerings of the Program

The current course offerings can be found in the UZH course catalogue.

Application, Admission, and Deadlines

The study program is non-consecutive. The admission requirement is a Bachelor's degree. If you have prior knowledge in the field of methods, there is the possibility to compensate for mandatory modules. For further questions, please contact the Academic Advising Office at the IPZ.

The UZH’s Student Administration Office and Admissions Office are responsible for questions regarding application and admission. Application deadlines for starting your studies in the fall and spring semester can also be found on the Student Administration Office's website.

Minor Social Sciences (non-consecutive, 30 ECTS)

The complexity of social structures and the dynamics of social processes in diverse professional and private life situations call for social-scientific skills that allow a reflective approach to current and future challenges. The Master Minor Social Sciences supports the understanding of complex social interdependencies through a broad multidisciplinary offering from the fields of political science, sociology, communication science & media research, empirical cultural studies and religious studies. The program provides students with a broad knowledge of important social issues and their critical reflection in order to take up positions at the interfaces of business, science, international relations, public administration, law, education, government and public service.

The minor program “Social Sciences” is offered in collaboration with other social sciences departments at UZH (Department of Political Science, Department of Communication and Media Research, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, and Institute of Sociology).

The study structure and content can be found in the guidelines of the program.

Course Offerings of the Program

The current course offerings can be found in the UZH course catalogue.

Application, Admission, and Deadlines

The study program is non-consecutive. The admission requirement is a Bachelor's degree. For further questions, please contact the Academic Advising Office at the IPZ.

The UZH’s Student Administration Office and Admissions Office are responsible for questions regarding application and admission. Application deadlines for starting your studies in the fall and spring semester can also be found on the Student Administration Office's website.

Exams and Performance Records

In general, the exams for the two mandatory modules, Statistical Modelling and Research Design, either take place in the last week of the semester or two weeks after the end of the lecture period. Re-examination is only possible in the following year, and there are no alternative dates. The current exam dates for the ongoing semester can be found in the online course catalog and in the syllabi of the respective courses on OLAT.

For other modules, the requirements and submission deadlines for term papers and other written assignments vary. Lecturers will provide detailed information in the syllabi of the respective modules on OLAT.

Further information regarding exam details (registration, withdrawal, exam formats, tips, and assistance, etc.), can be found in our IPZ Exam Guide (PDF, 303 KB). The guide also entails information on the Master's thesis.

You can find all the legal bases, course catalogues, sample curricula, as well as the guidelines for the study regulation on the website of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. For general information about studying at the PhF, please refer to the Student Services pages of the faculty.

Contact Information

Function

Person

Phone

E-Mail

Study Program Coordinator & Student Advising  Dr. Hanno Degner 044 634 58 30 studium@ipz.uzh.ch
Exam Coordination Naome Czisch 044 634 39 71 studium@ipz.uzh.ch
Student Exchange Coordination Julia Ramseier 044 634 38 44 mobility@ipz.uzh.ch
Technical Issues with Module Booking Student Services of PhF 044 634 54 10 modulbuchung@phil.uzh.ch
Office IPZ Maja Müller, Samantha Held 044 634 58 35 sekretariat@ipz.uzh.ch
Student Association Political Science Board of Directors of Fachverein Polito   polito@ipz.uzh.ch