The Master in International Affairs is composed of a number of different courses, including compulsory courses and compulsory courses by choice, courses offered as part of the specialisation tracks, free electives, professional skills courses, and a Master thesis.



Compulsory courses 

Students are required to take the following two courses.


Statistical Methods for Social Sciences

Jean Gorz-Swanson - Visiting Professor

This compulsory course is an introduction to statistical methods intended for students in the Interdisciplinary Master programmes. The emphasis of the course will be on applications of core statistical ideas such as random variables, probability distributions, estimation, and hypothesis testing, to real-world problems. After taking this course, students will develop a deeper understanding of fundamental statistical concepts commonly used in international policy contexts; be able to apply these concepts readily to solve particular exercises; and master the implementation of a number of important statistical tools on a computer using appropriate software. Please note: there will be separate lectures for the MIA and MDEV programmes.


Qualitative Methods

Ashley Thornton - Invited Professor

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of qualitative approaches together with the practical skills to design, develop and evaluate these methods in interdisciplinary contexts. It introduces students to the foundations of qualitative research methods and a range of tools for undertaking and assessing qualitative research analysis and findings in development studies and applied settings.



Compulsory courses by choice

Students are required to choose two of the four following courses:


Applying Organisation Theories to Practice

Jörg Dietz - Invited Professor

The course seeks to enable students to build bridges between academic work on organisations and managerial and leadership challenges in practice. Students learn about theories on the purpose and fundamental challenges of organisations. They also learn about scholarly views regarding the motivations and behaviours of individuals in organisations. More importantly, the course stimulates students to reflect critically about these scholarly views and their application to the real world. Themes includes the dilemma of structure and agency and the challenge of serving multiple stakeholders, but also topics such as leadership, diversity, and motivation. The course uses a variety of methods with a heavy dose of case studies balanced with academic readings. 


Gender and International Affairs

Elisabeth Prügl - Professor

This course introduces students to theories and themes pertaining to gender and international affairs. After an introduction to critical approaches to international affairs and gender, we will focus in on a number of topics including: masculinity, femininity, war, and peacebuilding; transnational women’s movements; gender, philanthropy, and humanitarianism; the gendered global division of labour; the international sex trade; and gender and governance. Historical and contemporary case studies will be drawn from across the globe. 


Global Governance and Regulation: Actors and Processes

Thomas Biersteker - Professor

As global interdependence grows, structures of international and transnational governance are becoming ever more complex. This course provides an introduction into these structures and the actors and processes behind them. It situates international governance historically by tracing earlier attempts at global cooperation, and it analyzes different contemporary fora of regulation, ranging from formal international institutions and courts to transnational governance networks and multi-stakeholder initiatives. It explores the ways in which these fora establish and maintain authority, their varying relations with governments and transnational actors, and the challenges they face from competing institutions, political mobilization, domestic political processes, as well as litigation. It also focuses on questions.


International Policy Analysis

David Sylvan - Professor

This course offers a survey of the major issues in the choice, execution, and assessment of public policy in international relations. Topics covered include the range, nature, actors, and stakeholders of particular types of policy organisations (state agencies, multi-state entities, nongovernmental organisations); issues connected with planning, the recommendation process, decision heuristics, and voting schemes); the implementation of policies and the command and control thereof (e.g., via personnel rules and/or budget allocations); and criteria (range of participation, costs, metrics of effectiveness) by which policies are assessed and either continued or recast.



Specialisation Tracks

Please visit the page on the Specialisations Tracks here.


Free Electives

For the full list of free electives offered in 2018-2019, please visit the Course Catalogue of the Interdisciplinay Masters.  


Master Thesis

Please read the Guidelines for Master Dissertations, and the more specific ones for MINT Dissertations for more information about the thesis.




Master in

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