Studying Political Science at the University of Salzburg

 

As most modern life depends on decisions and actions taken in the body politics, understanding the latter is an important asset for any informed citizen and a prerequisite for those seeking a career in public life and public institutions. Thus, Political Science studies at the University of Salzburg provide the substantive, analytical, and methodological tools necessary to prepare those seeking a professional career, those wanting to complement their principal studies, and those simply interested in gaining more profound insights in modern politics. Therefore, the BA and MA programs offer in-depth academic coursework on political actors, institutions (polities), processes (politics), political culture, and policies. Political Science is presented as a modern Social Science aimed at understanding the role and motivations of actors, the constraints created by institutions, the role of power, and the underlying normative and attitudinal dispositions.

 

Erasmus and International Students

Our department wants to be an especially welcoming place to internationals students who enrich our academic community and will find a high quality academic program in a very livable, beautiful and historic city. Nevertheless, students should note that while there are an increasing number of courses offered in English, at least passive knowledge of German is necessary to make this a successful experience. However, even in classes held in German, papers and/or exams may be completed in English if agreed beforehand by the instructor. All incoming Erasmus and international exchange students receive a special orientation at the beginning of the semester and can draw on the services of an internationally experienced student tutor to assist with navigating registration. For further information, see the pages on Erasmus and international students.

 

The Bachelor's Program

The bachelor’s program comprises 6 semesters of study and requires 180 ECTS credits for completion – one ECTS credit equals 25 hours of academic work. The degree program consists of 126 ECTS credits of mandatory courses, 12 ECTS credits of internship work, 6 ECTS credits are apportioned to the bachelor’s thesis and 36 ECTS credits to free electives. The program commences with a legally mandated introduction and orientation phase ("STEOP") the successful completion of which determines whether students may proceed in the program. It is comprised of two lectures, Introduction to Political Science and Politics viewed from a Scientific Perspective (3 and 2 ECTS respectively).

The BA curriculum is divided into five core areas: Political Theory (political ideas), Comparative Politics, Austrian Politics in Comparative Perspective , International Relations, and Politics of the European Union. In each core area, students must take foundational courses (introductory lecture and a more in-depth pro-seminar). In four of the five core areas, students will then attend thematically focused seminars and write research papers. This is to be followed by a fifth seminar in one of the four selected core areas. To complete the BA program, students will need to take coursework in four neighboring disciplines (Constitutional and Administrative Law, Macroeconomics, History, and Sociology), working techniques in Political Science as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods (to be taken prior to attending seminars), free electives, and an internship. Training in empirical research methods is a particular priority in the BA program. As such, methods’ training begins in the winter semester with a lecture on research design to be followed by a pro-seminar on qualitative research methods and continues in the summer semester with a lecture on quantitative methods and a corresponding pro-seminar.

Students are also encouraged to complement their BA studies with coursework in any of the following areas for which graduates may receive additional certification: European Union Studies, Gender Studies, Geography and Regional Planning, Communication, Law, Regional Studies, Sociology, Foreign Languages, Sustainability Studies, Economics, and Contemporary History.

 

The Master's Program

The master's program comprises 120 ECTS credits and requires 4 semesters of study. Admission is contingent upon completion of bachelor's studies in Political Science or an equivalent academic program by an Austrian or international post-secondary institution.

The MA program is divided into four thematic areas of which students will need to select two in order to develop their concentration of study. These four thematic areas are Democracy and Legitimacy, Comparative Politics, Multilevel Politics - Austria and Europe, and International Relations. Along with the two core areas to be selected from four optional modules, students must choose between a research-oriented and an applied module. The core of the academic program is composed of specialized issue-specific seminars and a rigorous set of compulsory methods courses (including research design courses and computer-assisted statistics). Elective courses offerings complement and further deepen the training graduates receive.

 

The Doctoral (PhD) Program

The PhD program in Political Science at the University of Salzburg is highly selective and offers a challenging but rewarding experience that seeks to meet the highest international standards in the profession. The program is intended for individuals seeking a professional career in Political Science as a researcher and scholar. Prospective students are expected to have a master's degree or equivalent diploma in Political Science or a related subject. Applicants whose previous degree is not in Political Science are still encouraged to apply but may be asked to undertake additional coursework in Political Science the extent of which will be determined upon an evaluation of a candidate's full academic record and in consultation with the student's supervisor. Undertaking PhD studies not only requires securing the support of a faculty supervisor but also admission to the doctoral program in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. For details about the admissions criteria and the program please refer to the link to the PhD Program in the left navigation or below.

 

Master Program in European Union Studies

The Department of Political Science is closely connected to the Salzburg Center of European Union Studies (SCEUS) in which of the department’s faculty teach in the Master program in European Union Studies launched in 2005. For details about this program and the center's PhD fellowship program, please refer to the SCEUS pages.

*****

Dr. Reinhard Heinisch, Professor
Department Chair, Chair of Austrian Politics in Comparative Perspective

Dr. Franz Fallend
Chair of Political Science Curriculum Committee

 

Links

Erasmus Incoming
Bachelor's Curriculum (as of 2013) (in German)
Bachelor's Curriculum (as of 2016) (in German)
Master's Curriculum (as of 2015) (in German)
Master's Curriculum (as of 2016)
Master Program 2016 (Folder)
PhD Program
SCEUS Master Program
SCEUS Doctoral College

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