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If you’re already studying Political Science and would like to find out more about specific details of your master’s programme, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the Pages relating the Programme structure of the M.A. Political Science.

Key Facts

Degree: Master of Arts
Duration: 4 semesters, full-time
Credits: 120 ECTS
Language: English
Content: Analysing politics from an empirical-analytical perspective using a wide array of quantitative, qualitative, and computational methods
International: Semester Abroad, summer school (optional), Double Master’s Programme in European Studies with Maastricht University
Application deadline: 15th June

This programme provides you with:

  • training in a comprehensive range of political science subfields and the freedom to choose, which offers a lot of flexibility in pursuing your thematic interests.
  • a strong emphasis on empirical-analytical training including research design and logic, qualitative methods, and quantitative and computational methods with the statistical software R.
  • projects in which you apply advanced empirical methods to current research questions in politics, e.g. including training in quantitative text analysis, social media analysis, experiments and causal inference, process tracing, and qualitative comparative analysis.
  • an international study environment and the opportunity to complete your degree fully in English

Your family background and financial situation do not play a role in studies. However, you should be aware that despite the fact that there are no tuition fees at German public universities, living and studying in Germany may require substantial funds, especially for international students from outside the European Union who need to take visa regulations into account.


The M.A. Political Science degree from the University of Cologne equips students with the unique opportunity to study multiple scientific fields within the programme. I chose the interdisciplinary studies because it sharpens students’ critical thinking to become highly qualified experts in a professional career.

Mariya-Yelyzaveta, Student of M.A. Political Science at the WiSo Faculty

This programme is right for you if you:

  • have successfully completed a bachelor’s or equivalent degree in political and/or social science. This could include political science, sociology, economics, public administration, international relations, or modern history.
  • have a political or social sciences background with some basic exposure to social science methods training including statistics.
  • have mathematical understanding and good verbal and written English language skills. German language skills are also helpful.

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Programme Overview

Preparing you for future challenges

The Cologne Master in Political Science offers a research-oriented study programme with course offerings across a range of political science areas. Thematic areas include:

  • Comparative Political Institutions
  • Comparative Political Economy
  • Empirical Democratic Theory
  • International Relations
  • European and Multi-level Politics
  • Political Science Methods

The empirical and analytical focus of the programme enables you to analyse political phenomena using state-of-the-art research methods and to carry out an independent research project. Upon graduating from the programme, you will be ready for a professional career in many areas of politics or for the continuation of your studies through a PhD programme in political science.

Prof. Sven-Oliver Proksch

The M.A. programme in Political Science in Cologne provides a unique study environment. Our programme covers a wide range of thematic areas and provides state-of-the-art training in empirical methods. Students have the opportunity to complete the M.A. programme fully in English. If you choose Cologne, you invest in an excellent education and your professional future.

Prof. Sven-Oliver Proksch, Academic Director and Professor of Chair for European Politics - Cologne Center for Comparative Politics

Strong Research Track

The institute hosts numerous research projects funded by international and national funding agencies (such as the European Research Council), providing Master students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in conducting political science research as student assistants.

The associated research center Cologne Center for Comparative Politics (CCCP) brings together junior and senior political scientists at the institute who work on comparative research related to electoral politics and representation, political institutions, political economy, and political methodology. Moreover, professors at the CCCP are part of the Cluster of Excellence “ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy”, a joint research center at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn funded by the German Excellence Strategy.


International Programme

The Cologne M.A. in Political Science provides an international study environment in Germany with a high percentage of international students enrolling into the programme. This M.A. programme can be completed fully in English, but selected courses are also offered in German.

More than 25 % of our students have an international background. Moreover, we also have several faculties who have received their PhDs and worked abroad, thereby bringing international experience to the programme.

Political Science is an international topic

Relations between states form an important subarea of study but also the international comparison of political systems or economies, and the analysis of international organisations and structures such as the European Union are set against an international background.

We are keen to include different perspectives brought into our seminars by students from abroad. We also receive a number of Erasmus exchange students each year, and about a quarter of students in the Political Science Master make use of the opportunity to spend a semester abroad. International experience is an asset for a number of employers in the field of political science.

International Option

Double Master's Programme in European Studies

We offer a double degree Master in European Studies in combination with the University of Maastricht. This alternate programme gives you the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of two top-ranking universities in two different countries:

  • Enjoy the advantages offered by the interdisciplinary approach and the participation of two renowned universities: the University of Cologne and Maastricht University.
  • Study at each university for one year and graduate with two Master’s degrees: spend your first year in Maastricht and your second year in Cologne.

Find further information on the Double Master’s Programme in European Studies online.


Career Opportunities

Our M.A. programme opens the door to start your professional career in many areas of politics, including:

  • Political Consulting
  • Public Administration
  • International Organisations
  • European Union Institutions
  • Political Parties
  • Interest Groups
  • Data Science Companies
  • Private Media Enterprises
Dennis Höfer

I really enjoyed that students of political science in Cologne were allowed a high degree of freedom of choice, enabling us to specialise according to our own thematic interests.

Dennis Höfer, Officer for family affairs, children and youth, Europe and international affairs, faction of the Free Democratic Party, state parliament North-Rhine Westphalia, Düsseldorf and Alumnus of the WiSo Faculty (M.A. Political Science 2017)

For those who wish to stay in academia, the WiSo Faculty offers its own PhD programme through the Cologne Graduate School.

The Institute for Political Science and European Affairs also closely cooperates with the Max Planck International Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy. Former graduates have embarked on PhD programmes at renowned universities such as the London School of Economics and Political Sciences or the European University Institute in Florence. Some have become professors themselves, for example at the University of Konstanz, the University of Düsseldorf or the University of Innsbruck.

Additionally, we offer career perspective workshops specifically for political science students, during which you will be able to meet potential future employers.

Dr. Armin Mertens

Excellent training in research methods is one of the strong points of the Cologne Master in Political Science.

Dr. Armin Mertens, Data scientist, German Economic Institute, Cologne and Alumnus of the WiSo Faculty (M.A. Political Science 2016, Ph.D. 2019)



All information about the Master's application at the WiSo Faculty.

Detailed information and contact

We are happy to support you in your ambitions:

Beratungssituation: Dialog im WiSo Student Service Point

If you are interested in or have questions about our WiSo degree programmes, the student advisors at the WiSo Student Service Point  will be happy to help: