Why did you study political science?

Political science studies: all information

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“Oh God, that's dry!” - yes, you hear this sentence more often when you study political science. But stop! We don't believe in rumors and that's why we don't prefer anything at this point than refuting the cliché of boredom and snoring. The theoretical basics that you have to look at at the beginning of your studies are certainly unfamiliar, as they are partly written in a very scientific or even ancient language. But you will quickly find that observing the political situation from the perspective of a professional is incredibly interesting. The political science course is a real all-round course. In addition to sociology, you also deal with subjects that are more numerical, such as economics. In addition, everyday areas such as administrative science and gender studies are also on the curriculum. No matter which area of ​​political science you specialize in during your studies: You will soon have the opportunity to observe what you have learned in the wild. Here you can find out how the political science degree is structured and everything you also need to know.

Cliché vs. Reality

What is true and what is not

Specializations

All focal points for your subject

The European Studies have certainly accompanied you in your Bachelor's degree. This specialization in political science is becoming increasingly important at universities. Here not only legal requirements and conditions within the European Union are taught, but also sociological and cultural-scientific conditions of the sometimes very different member states are considered. If you were already very interested in this area during your studies, then you should also specialize in it in your professional life. “United in diversity” - that is the motto of the EU and the subjects in the specialization European politics are just as diverse as the member states.
Political theory and history of ideas
The history of political thought is neither dry nor boring for you - is it the most interesting area of ​​political science for you? Great, then you should go for this specialization. Here you discuss with your fellow students about Hobbes, Machiavelli and other sources of ideas in the political landscape - and you can stay at the university after your studies to do research and teach there. If that's exactly your thing, then you should go for this political science specialization, which almost goes in the historical direction.
Foreign and international politics
What is politics anyway? Is it just the regulations in a single country or does the politics of one country always also affect that of another country? You are convinced that political science can never be seen in the confined space of a single state. Therefore, you are particularly interested in the political science specialization, which deals with foreign policy and international relations. Did international studies in particular appeal to you in your bachelor's degree? Then you should definitely specialize in this in the master’s program.

Did you already know, that...

... of the well-known German politicians of the past few years, only the former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the former Federal President Horst Köhler are political scientists?

... political science is one of the oldest social sciences at all? It has been taught since the early 18th century.

... voter turnout in Germany in the federal elections in 2003 was worse than ever before? It was just 70 percent.

Winner: theory

The question of theory and practice in political science studies can be answered quite easily: the degree is definitely very theory-heavy. If you want to study political science, you should be aware that most of your time is spent on learning theories and analyzing political events or decisions. Most universities do not even have to do an internship during their studies - so many stay loyal to the university after studying political science and are involved in research. So if you want to study political science, you should like to work theoretically.

You spend most of your time with ...

  • ... political theory. Of course, this is part of the political science course as an absolute basis.
  • ... reading political magazines. Of course, the political science degree is more about cramming theories and political science basics, but it is also very important for you as a future political scientist that you are familiar with the current political situation.
  • ...Homework. Studying political science includes a lot of homework - but see it positively: Here you at least have the opportunity to study a certain topic particularly deeply.
  • ... discussing theoretical texts. By the end of your studies you will have internalized the theories of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke so that you can easily explain them in your sleep.
  • ... empirical social research.

Examples of lectures & seminars

  • - media policy
  • - Introduction to qualitative research methods
  • - History of political ideas
  • - History of resistance thinking
  • - State surveillance as the subject of modern political theory

Possible master’s courses

Political Communication - Empirical Political and Social Research - Empirical Democracy Research - Ethics - International Relations - EU Studies - Human Rights - Democracy Science

Tips for beginners

1. Close your eyes and through:

Empirical Social Research - the horror subject for most political science students. This is about numbers, data and facts about social science research. Math and messy numbers included. It is best to look the enemy straight in the face, even in the first semester, because then you will have it behind you. And in retrospect you will think to yourself: "It wasn't that bad after all!"

2. Establish learning and discussion groups:

Do political scientists like to discuss? That's partly true, because discussing and forming your own well-founded opinion is very important in political science studies, but by no means everything. That is why we recommend you: Find a study group early enough in which, on the one hand, you can work through the dry theory together, but on the other hand, of course, have lively discussions. The earlier you start to deal critically but still well-founded with political theory, the better.

3. Attend panel discussions:

Especially at the beginning of your political science degree it can happen that you are still quite reoriented when it comes to the political landscape. Developing your own opinion on various theories and political currents is really important for a political science student. Take the opportunity to attend panel discussions. Here you learn to perceive different sides of a conflict and thus - quite incidentally - to form your own well-founded opinion.

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