Political Science, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 18 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Semester)
    Tuition (Semester)
  • French
University of Lausanne ,
The Master’s degree in Political Science is a cycle of training and specialisation aimed at the acquisition of analytical and research skills specific to the wide variety of professions that are connected with politics. The student can specialise in the areas of globalisation, professions in politics, or international policy and history.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


The course leading to a Master’s degree in Political Science differs from the traditional academic approaches to this subject and address politics in its various dimensions - local, national, international, economic, social, and civic - but without losing touch with the reality of the contemporary world. This practical approach helps to highlight the “multi-professional” and innovative dimension of the training offered to students.

The study plan of the Master of Arts in Political Science degree consists of four parts: the common trunk, the specific orientations, an optional module, and the Master's thesis. Three specific orientations are offered :

  • Globalisation
  • Professions in Politics
  • Politics and International History
  • Career Prospects

University studies develop, in addition to specific academic skills, a great many transverse skills such as : oral and written communication, critical, analytical and summarising faculties, abilities in research, the learning and transmission of knowledge, independence and the ability to make judgements in the field of specialisation and overlapping areas.

This panoply of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired in the course of studies, is excellent preparation for a wide range of employment opportunities such as :

  • Public administration entities, international organisations, diplomacy (at the local, cantonal or federal level)
  • Non governmental organisations, sports international organisations
  • Political parties, trade unions, lobbies, national and international think tanks
  • Journalism, media, public relations, communication, advertising
  • Research and teaching at universities or universities of applied sciences
  • Market research and surveys, consulting firms.
  • Banks, insurance companies, industry (human resources, marketing, analysis, etc.)
  • Others : smaller associations, public and private organisations, SMEs, etc.

Programme Structure

The training benefits from the resources of the Institute of Political and International Studies (IEPI) and its various research groups. IEPI is currently, for the number of its teachers/researchers, one of Switzerland’s foremost centres of research and teaching in Political Science. It is characterised by its open-minded interdisciplinary approach based on collaboration within the UNIL (sociology, history, gender studies, etc.), as well as with other institutions in Switzerland (IDHEAP, UNIFR) and abroad.The study plan of the Master of Arts in Political Science degree consists of three parts:

The common trunk

It includes the teaching of quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as of subjects that allow the students to develop their epistemological reflections on their own discipline, and to acquire the rudiments of political philosophy.

The specific orientations

The student chooses one of the three orientations that constitutes the main specialisation of his/her degree course.

  • Political Action and Mobilisations
This orientation concentrates on theoretical and practical knowledge of the rationale of political action and mobilisations. By focusing on the inner workings of political action, the way in which actors involved in the struggle contribute to the definition, co-production and realisation of social problems, through debates aired in the public arena, is explored. A practical research workshop accompanies the process by which students are introduced to research through a field placement.
  • Governance and Public Action
This orientation concerns all forms of intervention by public groups, from their arrival on the political agenda to their implementation and evaluation, while at the same time examining decision-making processes, the different actors involved, or the choice of instruments through which actions are channelled. The main contemporary challenges relating to transformations of public action (Europeanization of national political systems, transformation of institutional management, the rise in power of expertise, public sector reforms, etc) will be examined.
  • Globalisation: Political, Social and Environmental Challenges
This orientation proposes a specialisation in the analysis of contemporary international relations centred on the process of globalisation, bringing into focus its political and institutional aspects as well as its socio-economic and environmental consequences.

The dissertation

The subject is a theme related to the chosen orientation. The objective is to give the student an opportunity to complete a sizeable personal work assignment, combining a mastery of the theoretical elements with their application to particular empirical contexts, under the close supervision of one or two teachers.


The evaluation of knowledge takes diverse forms, for example seminar or research work, continuous assessment, oral or written examinations. Each course is validated either by a pass certificate (seminars, research seminar and placements), or by a mark (course work and Master’s dissertation).

There are three exam sessions per year (winter, summer, autumn). Conditions for passing the Master’s degree are described in the regulations of the Master of Arts in Political Science.


The students enrolled in a Master’s degree cycle have the opportunity to complete one semester in a partner institution recognised by the UNIL. If the mobility study programme is approved by the Study Advisor for Political Science and is confirmed by passing the exams, the credits earned will be recognised and validated in the student’s degree course.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 18 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    90 ECTS
  • Languages
    • French
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
Check Your Qualification
  • Enter your qualifications and directly see if a programme fits your profile
  • The candidate must hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science awarded by a Swiss university. The holders of Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science awarded by other universities as well as the holders of Bachelor’s degrees in other social science disciplines may be admitted on the basis of their personal case file. Holders of a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science with a minor in Political Science awarded by the UNIL are admitted unconditionally to the Master of Arts in Political Science.Another degree or academic title may be judged equivalent and give access to the Master’s degree in Political Science, with or without conditions.
  • French. Recommended level: C1.

Tuition Fee Per Semester

  • EUR 535 International
  • EUR 535 EU/EEA
  • CHF 580 per semester


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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