The Bachelor study programme in the module International Politics differentiates between International Relations and European Integration. The Programme starts with a general introductory lecture on International Politics, followed by two advanced lectures focusing on either International Relations or European Politics. The goal of the advanced study programme “European Politics” is to convey a scientific understanding of the functioning of the political system of the European Union and European Integration, as well as the theoretical and methodological knowledge necessary for their study. Students learn the state-of-the-art research regarding questions of European Integration, published in the leading journals in the field, and learn to apply scientific, analytical and methodological skills to related and future problems of European Integration.
The advanced lecture offered by the Chair of European Politics in the BA-Programme follows and analytical-empirical concept, starting with the formulation of a theory, followed by the empirical testing of its assumptions through methodologically sound approaches. Therefore, it is necessary to train the analytical skills, which enable students to specify their research questions, to specify research questions to be able to predict future outcomes. Interested students can learn these skills early on, via the highly recommended book by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita “Principles of International Relations”, which is also part of the introductory lecture.
The aim of the practical seminars offered in addition to the advanced lecture is the methodological training in handling different kinds of data and to learn basic statistical models to be able to empirically test various theoretical statements. According to various reports of BA students, learning and applying these skills have influenced their career positively to a large extent and has helped them to get access to internationally leading institutions.
Based on these skills, working on projects related to current themes of European Politics is developed and trained in the seminars of the advanced module. The students initially chose a topic for a presentation, compile the relevant literature and then try to carry out an empirical project of their own. Besides the independent project work, developing a feeling for time management and careful planning concerning project work, especially concerning the compilation of the relevant literature, collection of data and the application of specialized methods is one of the goals of these seminars. The project experience in the advanced seminars should help draw up a Bachelor Thesis successfully which often is the first personal reference for subsequent applications within and outside the scientific field.
In the basis module lectures of the Master of Political Science, taught exclusively in English, the outstanding works in the field of International Politics are introduced. The goal is to convey a comprehensive knowledge of the literature. Special attention is paid to the development of the field of European Integration, which is distinct in its approaches ranging from general, theoretical large-scale (empirical-analytical) projects to theoretical-empirical (analytical-empirical) projects.
In the following research module, outstanding analytical-empirical works are replicated and potentially extended. An intense work concerning the research questions and the research design will follow, especially focusing on the derivation and conversion of the empirical implications concerning the specific research questions. This should enable Master students at an early stage to carry out research projects and possibly publish their results. In addition, Summer Schools like the EITM (Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models) and the participation in conferences and workshops will be offered. Likewise, the international exchange with leading American and European Institutions will be supported during the Master Programme.