European Politics is a full-time Master's program taught at the Department of International Relations and European Studies and the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University. Its standard duration is four semesters.
European Politics is a comprehensive program of study in the fields of comparative politics and European integration. The comparative politics component of the program covers basic theories, research methodology, empirical analysis, and comparative studies of the political developments and the party systems in European countries. This component allows students to focus specifically on the region of Central and Eastern Europe, to explore the experiences of post-communist transformations, and to acquire a thorough understanding of the political developments in post-socialist countries. The European integration component includes theoretical and empirical analysis of different international organizations and their interaction in Europe. Special emphasis is put on the study of the European Union and its enlargements.
The Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Studies of the Masaryk University was founded in 1990 as an academic unit providing students with high-quality education in the discipline. The courses taught at the department draw on extensive independent research. The department was initially part of the Faculty of Arts (1990-1997). In 1998 it was included, together with other social science departments, in the newly established Faculty of Social Studies.
The Department of International Relations and European Studies was founded in 2002 as a unit providing students with top-level knowledge in the field of international studies. It emerged as a result of the expansion of a subunit specialized in international relations established in the 1999/2000 academic year under the auspices of the Department of Political Science.
The variety of research agendas in both departments ensures an interdisciplinary study process that allows students to get acquainted with diverse approaches, develop their research skills in a balanced way, and receive the broad-based analytical training required by successful experts and professionals in the fields of European integration and international relations.
European Politics is designed as a four-semester study program (120 credits, in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System). Typically, the first three semesters are devoted to coursework, while the last semester is a thesis-writing semester. Coursework consists of reading assignments, written assignments, in-class discussions, and in-class presentations. During the last semester, students conduct research and write their Master's theses that should be between 144 000 and 180 000 characters long (including spaces).
Courses are divided into two categories: compulsory and optional courses. Compulsory courses constitute the core of the program. All of them must be completed in the course of study. In addition, the program offers optional courses. The number of optional courses taken must be such that the credit requirements for optional courses are fulfilled. The program ends with a final state exam that typically takes place at the end of the fourth semester of study. The exam consists of two parts: Politics of European Integration and Comparative Politics of Europe. These two subjects correspond to the content of the compulsory courses. The Master's thesis defense is part of the final exam.
Students should earn a total number of 120 credits, out of which 78 credits should be earned in compulsory courses and 42 credits in optional courses. Out of the 42 optional-course credits, 12 credits can be earned in courses that are not part of the European Politics program. However, since courses external to the program have their own registration rules, the European Politics program cannot guarantee that students will necessarily be allowed to register for their preferred external courses and does not assume any responsibility to this effect.
Students of European Politics program can also spend some time at an exchange study stay abroad, either through the programs and offers of Masaryk University, or through other programs or foundations.