Department of Government

New master’s programme at the Department of Government

This autumn we offer a new and redesigned English master’s programme in Politics and Governance of Global Challenges

A rear view of people with placards and posters on global strike for climate change

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The world is in a precarious place. Global challenges, such as climate change, inequality, poverty and migration affect us all and solutions to these interwoven challenges require us to rethink our economies, our institutions, our norms and our behavior, from the local to the global level. This requires that we start with how we teach political science in an increasingly more global and interconnected world, seeing as higher education and academia play a key role in providing scientific knowledge to transform society. Knowledge about how global challenges affect us and how to address them at the local, national and global level is in high demand, and as a master student in GLGOV you become part of the solution. 

The programme combines a distinct advanced disciplinary training – in political science theory and methods – with a hands-on practical focus on global challenges. This builds on the success of other social science programmes at UiB such as Global Development or Geographies of Sustainable Development but adds a specific political science lens to the study of contemporary global challenges by zooming in on the ways in which solutions are developed, implemented, and contested in complex constellations of actors, structures and processes of multi-level governance. You will meet a wide range of teachers and lecturers for the Department of Government, such as Lise Rakner, Simon Neby, Regine Paul, Zuzana Murdoch, Martina Vukasovic, Fabian Hattke, Corentin Poyet, Carlo Koos, Endre Tvinnereim and Jacob Aars, as well as international guest lecturers from UN institutions, NGOs and private companies. 

What makes this programme different from existing master’s programmes? 

The third semester of the program gives students a choice of three options: One, our students may go abroad with a structured exchange (Erasmus+ etc.) through a UiB established network or an exchange selected by the students. Second, our students may choose to do an internship where they apply to a pre-established list of placement institutions in Bergen, Oslo or internationally. Third, students may choose to stay in Bergen and self-organize a term of interdisciplinary studies within UiB. To help students navigate their autonomy and choice, all three options are structured thematically around the “global challenges” hub of our program, and organizationally through administrative facilitation from the department and an individual mentorship with one professor who will be assigned towards the end of the second term and who will also supervise the student’s thesis work in semester four. There will also be an annual Global Challenges-day where students meet again to discuss what they learnt from their third term and to present their initial ideas for MA theses. This joining of advanced level academic education and hands-on training prepares our graduates to stay in academia, but also to work in government, private or third sector organizations, internationally, nationally and locally, which develop policy on the challenges of our time.  

Lastly, the programme differs from more traditional master’s programmes because it is built on project-based learning. Project-based learning is a teaching philosophy that puts student choices and active learning at the center stage. Rather than mainly hearing professors’ lectures and reproducing knowledge by writing individual exams and essays, students learn through planning, conducting and presenting their own small projects with real life relevance – for example on the UN Global Compact on Migration or analyses of IPCC reports on climate change. Much of the learning is organized as group work and discussions. Forms of assignment go beyond the traditional approaches and involve writing and presenting policy briefs, blog entries, podcasts, designing posters and organizing roundtables at the Global Challenges-day. 

Who should apply? 

The program is open for a wide range of interests and ambitions. As a student, you have some background in social sciences theories and methods from the bachelor level. You thrive in groups of international students, and you like varied group and individual assignments. You are interested in further work in the public or private sector, nationally or internationally that allows you to part-take in processes that address global challenges at a local, national or international stage. Perhaps you are interested in testing your competencies and qualifications as an intern in a company or public institution? 

The new master’s programme starts in the autumn of 2023 and the deadline for applying is April 15th for Nordic students and March 1st for students in the EU. Read more about the programme and application process on the programme website.