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Programme Setup

The Denver-Lund Study Abroad Programme has an exciting structure. During the first year at Lund, which corresponds to the last year at Denver, you will have the opportunity to study specialisation courses together with Swedish students and other international ones. By the end of year 1, you will have the option to extend your stay in Lund by one year and in that time complete a one-year master’s in Political Science.

Year 1 – Completing your Bachelor Degree 

Your first semester in Lund will focus on deepening your knowledge in Political Science by offering you specialised courses in comparative politics and an introduction to Swedish Politics. The course Parties and Political Behaviours explores the theories, methods and empirical results that relate to political decision-making in different political systems. Two salient themes that are discussed during the course are gender and right-wing populism insofar as they matter for political parties and political behavior. In the second half of the first semester you will get acquainted with various aspects of Swedish politics and learn about public policy in areas such as the welfare state, foreign policy and security policy. 

The second semester of the programme starts by focusing on modern policymakers and the dilemma that is created when we try to balance expert knowledge and citizen influence. The course also examines different theoretical perspectives on the meaning of key concepts like democracy, experts, and expert knowledge. Parallel to this, you will get a chance to explore Political Science Methodology and within the scope of the course start planning for your Bachelor thesis. The final 10 weeks of the semester will be devoted to thesis writing where you are expected to explore a topic of your choice, discuss it during sessions of supervisions and finally present and defend in the beginning of June. In this process you will also learn how to peer review other papers and partake in opposition.  

Year 2 – Getting your Master’s  

If you choose to extend your studies at Lund University you will have the opportunity to complete a one year Master’s in Political Science. Please note that the courses you will take will be studied together with Master students registered on other programmes within the Department.  

You will start the first semester by studying the course Policy Processes – Actors, Causes and Consequences where you focus on how public policy is made and how the process varies across different policy areas. The course pays special attention to decision-making models and instruments of control in public sector policy-making as well as the implementation of democracy and power. In the second half of the first semester you will study a course in Advanced Political Science Methodology. Through lectures, seminars and practical workshops, the course will guide you through various research methods, their respective uses and usefulness, and their relevance for the study of contemporary research problems in Political Science.  

In the fourth and final semester of the programme, the student has an optional 15 credits in which he or she can study additional courses or do an internship before focusing on writing a Master’s thesis.  

The structure of year 2 enables the student to explore on an advanced level an interest or research question that they are passionate about. If the student wants to, he or she can use the methodology course to write a research plan and identify methodology that are relevant for the study of their choice. In the spring, before writing the thesis, the optional credits can be used to specialise further in that subject area or gather data while being placed at a host organisation as an intern. At the end of the year the student will as such be well equipped to finalise the Master’s degree by writing a thesis which is theoretically grounded and in line with their interest.

The Academic Year 

The academic year starts in the first week of September and ends in the first week of June. You will be off during the winter holidays (approximately 22 December – January 7) and other public holidays. Before the start of your first year you will be expected to be in Lund in order to take part in introduction activities and Swedish language courses.  

Please note that each semester of full time studies consists of 30 credits. 

The teaching will be in the form of lectures, seminars and various written examinations, most often written home exams and essays.

Programme structure: 

Year 1 

Autumn Semester 

  • Parties and Political Behaviour 7.5 credits 
  • Optional course 7.5 credits 
  • Swedish Politics 15 credits 

Spring Semester 

  • Experts and Democracy 7.5 credits 
  • Political Science Methodology 7.5 credits 
  • Bachelor’s thesis 15 credits 

Year 2 

Autumn Semester 

  • Policy Processes 15 credits 
  • Political Science Methodology 15 credits 

Spring Semester 

  • Optional/Internship course 15 credits  
  • Master’s thesis 15 credits 


Joshua C Wilson
University of Denver
Professor and Chair
Political Science Department
E-mail: joshua [dot] c [dot] wilson [at] du [dot] edu (joshua[dot]c[dot]wilson[at]du[dot]edu)

Jakob Gustavsson
Lund University
Director of Studies
Department of Political Science
E-mail: jakob [dot] gustavsson [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (jakob[dot]gustavsson[at]svet[dot]lu[dot]se)