IPS Study Programs

Studying at the IPS

The Institute of Political Sciences offers an undergraduate BA program, four graduate MA programs and various Teaching Degree programs. The study programs are generally taught in German, but include a wide array of English-language courses as part of the regular study programs. Non-German-speaking guest students (e.g. ERASMUS students) are closely assisted in assembling individual study programs in English. Programs include:

Our study programs
Course of Studies Duration of Studies Course Language
BA Political Sciences three years course language German
MA International Relations and Development Policy two years duration course language German
MA Policy Management, Public Policy and Public Administration two years duration course language English
MA Development and Governance one year duration course language English
MA Theory and Comparative Studies of Political Systems in Transition two years duration course language German
Teaching Degrees in Social Sciences duration varies course language German

Our study programs

BA Political Science

The BA program offers a broad introduction to political and social sciences. Duration of study is three years. Regular course language is German. Some courses are offered in English.
The BA Political Science aims at imparting general academic competences and broad knowledge in political and social issues with a focus on methodological skills. The degree prepares students for entering a professional career in politics, administration or media and qualifies for Master programs in the discipline.



The standard duration of study is six semesters (three years of study) for the BA Political Science. The curriculum is structured by modules distributed across the semesters. Each module includes several courses. Workload is managed by assigning ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points to each course.

The curriculum features introductory, methodological, issue-specific and supplementary modules. First year modules are offered in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology giving an introduction to social sciences broadly and teaching general and applied skills in empirical research methods – including statistics.

Second and third year modules cover specific issues of political science in depth. This includes:

  • Theories of Governance;
  • Political institutions, processes and structures;
  • Political systems and cultures;
  • Politics in the globalized world;
  • Management, mediation and implementation of policies;
  • Global and Regional Governance;
  • Global and Regional Developmental Issues;
  • Practical application of research methods.

Supplementary modules are dedicated to other disciplines or academic and professional key qualifications.

Application and admission

Entering the BA program requires a certificate of general qualification for university entrance (equivalent to the German Abitur). Admission to the program is restricted according to a local statutory enrollment limitation. Applications should be sent to the admissions office (Studierendensekretariat – online application is possible). Please note application deadlines for the academic year. Student intake is during winter semester (starting in October).

BA Political Science (in German)

BA Political Science Teaching

The Institute of Political Science offers various Teaching Degrees in Social Sciences in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration which entitle graduates to enter a career in German public schooling – subject to German law. Course language is German. Duration of study depends on the particular Teaching Degree.

BA Political Science in Teaching
Anlässlich des Ukrainekriegs 2022 steht auf einem Kartenausschnitt der Ukraine ein Spielzeugpanzer

MA International Relations and Development Policy (IBEP)

This particular MA program is centered on imparting qualifications in International Relations with a special emphasis on development policies and area studies. Standard duration is four semesters. Regular course languages are German and English. General subject issues include:

  • Regional cooperation and integration;
  • International Organizations;
  • Globalization;
  • International economic relations.

Students may choose two of the following areas for an in-depth focus on regional key issues:

  • East and South East Asia;
  • Europe;
  • Sub-Sahara Africa.

The MA International Relations and Development endows students with a deep understanding of international and regional issues relevant for the professional practice in the field of economic cooperation and development.

MA IBEP (in German)

MA Policy Management, Public Policy and Public Administration

The MA Policy Management, Public Policy and Public Administration qualifies for problem solving in government ministries, institutions, political parties and non-governmental organizations. Program duration is four semesters. Course language is German. The program is strongly supported by the NRW School of Governance with a variety of teaching offers. The program’s curriculum is centered on the analysis of administrative actions, imperatives of political communication and political leadership technologies. The program takes a project-based approach to teaching and aims at imparting relevant practical skills.


Program content is based on five pillars:

  • Decision analysis: students acquire techniques of dealing with uncertain circumstances and decision-making under immense pressure;
  • Negotiation: students master the art of team working in both cordial and adverse situations;
  • Representation: students learn to weigh cost and benefits of decisions as well as which considerations are to factored into decisions;
  • Political and strategic action: students consider how to create and communicate policies.
  • Modes of Implementation: students become familiar with the structural, procedural and participative patterns that are relevant in performing public tasks.
MA PM (in German)

MA Theory and Comparative Studies of Political Systems in Transition

The MA Theory and Comparative Studies of Political Systems in Transition combines education in the field of political theory with extensive training in methodological skills required for empirical research in the field of comparative politics.

By completing the program, students will gain the skills required to develop, implement, and critically reflect complex research designs for comparative empirical studies.

MA TuV (in German)

MA Development and Governance

The MA program Development and Governance is a one-year program for young professionals offered in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Courses are taught in English. The program provides students with specific knowledge in the following issue:

  • Development studies;
  • International relations;
  • Peace and conflict studies;
  • Administration and policy studies;
  • Comparative politics of the European Union, Sub-Saharan Africa or East Asia.
MA DevGov