Roads to Democracies is an international, interdisciplinary, and research-oriented Master of Arts programme integrating the subjects of history, political science, and sociology. The full-time programme has a duration of two years (four semesters).
The programme aims to provide students with analytical tools and theoretical knowledge that help to understand and explain the interrelation between institutional structures, political processes, and the social and cultural foundations of democracy. Students shall develop a broad, comparative understanding of the mechanisms behind democratic processes from a historical and social scientific perspective. Thus, students will acquire the competence to assess present-day democratic developments on a national and supranational level. They will obtain theoretical knowledge and gain advanced insights into comparative research methods in history and the social sciences. The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on political, economic, historical, social and cultural aspects of democratic ideas, institutions, and structures within and outside Europe. In the optional area students have the possibility to attend lectures in economic and environmental law. Within the module "transferable skills" students can choose from a variety of language courses (including German) offered by the Language Center and acquire important soft skills through courses offered in intercultural communication, academic writing and more. In addition, the House of Young Talents, Career Service and Alumni Association offer a wide range of extracurricular activities to prepare students for their future careers. International academic exchange is an important aspect of the programme. It is strongly recommended that students spend a semester abroad with an Erasmus+ scholarship at one of the participating partner universities, e.g., University of Bologna, the University of Coimbra, the University of Palermo, Uppsala University, Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia), Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China) and others. The language of instruction and examination is English. Furthermore international academic exchange is strengthened through the organisation of joint summer schools and guest lectures in Siegen and abroad.
International cooperation in the student’s research is encouraged through the possibility to involve professors from the participating partner universities as second supervisors of the Master's thesis.
The study abroad period has the aim of enhancing academic and personal exchange across borders and allowing students to experience new contents, research methods and approaches. Furthermore, the study abroad period provides students with experience in working in international groups and with the opportunity for intercultural exchange.
The programme comprises compulsory core modules as well as elective courses:
Introductory Module (INT): INT 1.1. Theories of Democracy and INT 1.2 Methods of History and Social Sciences
Method Module (MET): Empirical Research on Democracy
Thematic Module: TM 1 Actors and Institutions in Historical and Contemporary Perspective
Thematic Module: TM 2 Political Cultures and the Public Sphere: Past and Present
Thematic Module: TM 3: Global and Transnational Processes: Past and Present
Thematic Module : TM 4 Democracies in Comparative Perspective
Students can choose to spend the third semester at the partner university abroad and attend TM 5 Roads to Democracies - Thematic Module Abroad
Additional Practical Modules: APM 1 Additional Special Studies and APM 2 Transferable Skills
Master's Thesis Module MM 1 Thesis Forum
MM 2 Master Examination (Master's thesis and the Master's thesis presentation)
Internship (8 weeks)- compulsory
Modes of teaching are seminars, blended-learning courses, workshops, projects, conferences, and lectures.Students are expected to obtain an average of 30 credit points per semester and must acquire 120 credit points over the entire programme.