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Bachelor
Political Science
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Study programme

The Bachelor's in Political Science is a three-year programme of 180 ECTS credits. The programme is fully taught in English, supplemented by Dutch-language tutorial groups and elective courses for those who so wish.

  • Year 1

    Your first year is an overview of the field of politics. You encounter key concepts such as conflict, cooperation, interests and power, as well as the big questions that political scientists ask about current societal trends and the political systems which we observe worldwide. Alongside courses on public policy, political thought, international law and contemporary history, we introduce you to active research in political science. Your year-long tutorial and lab groups train you in analytical and critical thinking, as well as in writing, debating and presentation skills.

  • Year 2

    In the second year, you choose your specialisation from one of the following fields: International Relations, Public Policy and Governance, Comparative Politics or Political Theory. Courses cover the major issues in contemporary politics from social inequality and justice to political economy across both democratic and authoritarian regimes. A research project of your choice brings together the academic, methodological and practical skills of the first four semesters. Your career orientation is further expanded in the third year.

  • Year 3

    The final year provides yet more opportunity for specialisation through your choice of electives, covering practically all issues and regions in the world. You may also choose a work placement, study abroad or complete a minor, or learn an additional language. You will round off your Bachelor’s programme by researching and writing your own thesis under the supervision of experienced senior lecturers in a small, specialised group context. 

Study schedule

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • History of the modern world since 1750
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    6
  • Academic skills for political scientists I
    1—2
    6
  • Introduction to political science
    1—2
    6
  • Public Policy and Governance
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
    6
  • Research project I
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 3
    6
  • History of political thought
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Academic skills for political scientists II
    4—5
    3
  • Introduction to political science research
    4—5
    9
  • International relations
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
  • Law and politics
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 6
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Academic skills for political scientists III
    1—3
    9
  • Political economy
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    6
  • Research methods
    1—2
    9
  • Democracies, autocracies and transitions
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
    6
  • Diversity, equality and justice
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Research project II: Practicing research skills
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 3
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 6
    6
  • Restricted-choice electives: Core modules
    4—5
    12
  • Restricted-choice electives: Electives year 2
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Restricted-choice electives: Bachelor thesis project
    2—3
    5—6
    12
  • Free-choice electives: Optional subjects
    1—6
    30
  • Restricted-choice electives: Bachelor seminar 6 EC
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Restricted-choice electives: Bachelor seminar 12 EC
    1—6
    12

See more information in the online Course Catalogue

Additional options

Honours programme

If you are ambitious, you can choose to take part in our Honours and Talent programme. You’ll take the Honours and Talent programme alongside your regular studies. You will be introduced to scientific research in a unique way and the focus of your talent programme is up to you. Completion results in you graduating 'with honours': an internationally recognised qualification. If you are up to it, then it's an opportunity not to be missed. 

Exchange

The UvA has partnerships and exchange agreements with more than 100 other universities. As part of your Bachelor’s programme you can do an exchange semester abroad. This can be a valuable learning and cultural experience, and a great addition to your study programme.

Electives

There are various opportunities during the Bachelor’s programme for you to shape your programme to your liking. You can gain 30 elective study credits with courses that are part of the Bachelor's programme in Political Science.

Also you can choose a minor: a cohesive programme lasting half a year (30 credits) taken outside your own degree programme. You could choose a minor in Communication Science or Business Economics, for example. 

Internships

Another option is to do an internship. An internship can sharpen you intellectual attitude, knowledge and skills, obtained in the earlier study years. It may also be a good preparation for writing your Bachelor's thesis. Furthermore, it often proves to be a stepping stone to professional practice for many students. 

There are possibilities to do internships in a wide range of organisations, from the UN and the EU to institutions such as foreign embassies, ministries and local authorities, as well as think tanks, banks, political parties and organisations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Cordaid, the International Organization for Migration and the Red Cross. There are also in-house training opportunities; for example, to work as a junior assistant in the research of professionals and PhD candidates. 

Workload

The workload is 40 hours a week.

  • Contact hours: Approximately 12 hours a week. Project periods in your first and second year are full-time. Later on in the programme, the number of contact hours decreases.
  • Self-study: approximately 28 hours.