Study Plan for Students Enrolled in the First Year in 2021-2022

Prospective students: for brief course descriptions, click on the course names below.

Check here the Background Readings for Newly Admitted Students!


First semester

Comparative Politics (6 credits)
Economic Models of Politics (6 credits)
History of International Relations (12 credits)

Second Semester

Comparative History of Government (6 credits)
Human Rights and International Justice (6 credits)
Explanatory Models in International Relations (6 credits)

- Plus two of the following:

History of Diplomacy (6 credits)
EU Law and Policies in Managing Migration (6 credits)
International Dispute Settlement (6 credits)

First and/or Second Semester

- A further 6 credits to be covered, as a matter of student choice, by any course(s) offered by the University.


Elective courses in English include: Law of Regional Integration (6 credits, first semester), Indian Ocean: History, Geopolitics and Security (6 credits, first semester), Italian Politics and Society (6 credits, first semester), Italy in the International System (6 credits, first semester), Sociology of Development (6 credits, second semester), Economics and Migration (6 credits, second semester), History of Modern and Contemporary China (6 credits, first semester), Equality, Democracy, and Epistocracy (6 credits, first semester).

Non-Italian students may also choose to cover 6 credits with basic and/or intermediate courses in Italian language (taking Italian language courses requires a small additional fee).


First Semester
Issues in International Relations (6 credits)
Methods for Political Research (6 credits)
Ethics and International Relations (6 credits)

First and/or Second Semester
- A further 6 credits to be covered, as a matter of student choice, by any course(s) offered by the University (including any of the above courses if not already chosen).
- At least a further 12 credits in professional or linguistic training to be covered (as a matter of student choice) by some combination of the following:

  1. One or more language courses other than English (6 or 9 credits for each course). The following languages are currently taught in the Department: French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese. N.B. The teaching of these languages assumes an adequate knowledge of Italian.* As in the first year, non-Italian students may choose to take Italian.
  2. A period of work placement (stage), secured on students’ own initiative (6, 9 or 12 credits depending on length).**
  3. Academic Writing (3 credits).

- A Thesis (24 credits).

* Foreign applicants whose Italian is not strong enough to follow one of these language courses are advised to take Italian language classes in their first year.

**The University does not itself provide work placements for students. Rather, work placements are sought out by students on their own initiative, and are then recognized by the University with credits. Efforts by students to secure work placements might be facilitated by conventions between the University of Pavia and specific institutions. For legal reasons, these conventions are currently in the process of being renewed. In recent years, Pavia University has had conventions with a large number of institutions including the following: FAO; Amnesty International, Italian section; UNICEF Pavia Committee; US Consulate General; Israeli Embassy; French Embassy; Henry Martyn Institute, International Center for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation; Representation of the European Commission in Milan; Socialist Group in the European Parliament; Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale (ISPI); Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI); International Institute of Administrative Sciences. Subject to approval, students may apply independently for an internship with some alternative organization. In the light of a successful application, the University will then aim to establish the necessary official convention between the University and the organization in question.

Disclaimer: although changes in the course structure as described above are unlikely, the degree program is subject to periodic modifications in terms of individual courses or course descriptions. Degree programs for any given year are normally officially confirmed in April or May of the prior academic year. Any changes in the program will be reflected in immediate updates on this website.

Guidelines for enrolled students