Study Plan for Students Enrolled in the First Year in 2022-2023

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)

Plus one of the following:
Explanatory Models in International Relations (6 credits)
- Sociology of Development (6 credits)

Plus one of the following:
History of Diplomacy (6 credits)
EU Law and Policies in Managing Migration (6 credits)

Plus one of the following:
International Dispute Settlement (6 credits)
- International Organizations (6 credits)

First and/or Second Semester

- A further 6 credits are to be covered, as a matter of student choice, by any graduate course(s) offered by the University irrespective of the language of instruction (including any of the above courses if not already chosen).

Elective courses in English include: Contemporary Democratic Theory (6 credits, first semester), Economics and Migration (6 credits, second semester), Foreign Policy Analysis: Economics, History, and Politics of Italian External Relations (6 credits, first semester), Gender Issues From a Global Perspective (6 credits, first semester), History, Conflict and Great Power Aspirations – The Cases of Japan and China (6 credits, second semester), History of Modern and Contemporary China (6 credits, first semester),  Indian Ocean: History, Geopolitics, and Security (6 credits, first semester), Italian Politics and Society (6 credits, first semester), Law of Regional Integration (6 credits, first semester).

Electives also include language courses (other than English) offered by the Department of Political and Social Sciences and basic or intermediate courses in the Italian language (option available for non -Italian students)

A further 3 credits can be covered (as a student’s choice) by the course in Academic Writing (second semester).

Non-Italian students MUST include a minimum of 3 credits in the Italian language unless they have already taken such a course elsewhere or have certification of knowledge of Italian.*



First Semester
Issues in International Relations (6 credits)
Ethics and International Relations (6 credits)

Plus one of the following:
Methods for Political Research (6 credits)
- European Union Politics and Governance (6 credits)

First and/or Second Semester

- A further 6 credits are to be covered, as a matter of student choice, by any graduate course(s) offered by the University irrespective of the language of instruction (including any of the above courses if not already chosen).
- Up to a further 12 credits in professional or linguistic training to be covered (as 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, and 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).***

- A Thesis (24 credits).

* The Department provides a short course in the Italian language (3 credits, second semester). The course in Learning Italian is offered by the Department of Humanities in the second semester and is recognized by the Department for 6 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 are facilitated by conventions between the University of Pavia and specific institutions. 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