Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM6400 (AF:381047 AR:249943)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course ‘Concepts and Methods in International Relations' is a course of political science. It introduces students of the curriculum "Global Studies" (RIC) to the key vocabulary and core methodological approaches in Political Science and International Relations. It is taught in English.
This seminar aims at introducing Master students to some of the foundational concepts and approaches in Political Science and International Relations. The course aims at achieving three objectives:

1) a good understanding of key methodological approaches
2) a critical knowledge of key concepts in Politics and International Relations
3) a solid comprehension of the importance of research questions for analytical thinking and research proposals.

Participants in this course will acquire a robust knowledge of the key terms, concepts and methodological approaches in International Relations and Political Science. This knowledge will enhance their analytical skills, prepare them to write strong research proposals with compelling research questions, and empower them to express their views pertaining to international politics. The advanced level of student involvement in the course will also allow participants to improve their presentation and discussion skills.
6 ECTS in History/Political science. A basic knowledge of International Relations Theories would be useful. Students who have never attended a class in International Relations or Political Science should consider reading in advance the following short introduction to the core themes of International Relations:

Reus-Smit, Christian. 2020. International Relations. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Part 1: Key methodological approaches
Critical thinking and writing
Research Question
Thesis design
Methodological approaches

Part 2: Key concepts in International Relations and Political Science

Heywood, Andrew. (2015). Key Concepts in Politics and International Relations. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

The text will be available on Moodle. In addition, additional texts will be uploaded for each session.

Students are expected to read the respective chapter and papers indicated in the comprehensive syllabus before each session. They are also expected to participate in interactive discussions and prepare a presentation of at least one concept.
Students can choose between two forms of assessment.

A) Written final exam
The written final exam will cover the entire material of the course and consist of multiple choice questions as well as written answers and a short essay.

B) Research proposal
Students who opt for this form of assessment will write a research proposal at home, based on the details discussed in class.
Lectures, obligatory readings before the sessions, presentations and discussions in class, writing of short texts (research questions, abstracts).

Students can opt either for a final written exam or they can write a research proposal.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 27/02/2023