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Masters Degrees in International Politics, Switzerland

We have 7 Masters Degrees in International Politics, Switzerland

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The shifting balance between the state and the economy has given rise to new challenges at the intersections of law, business and government. Read more
The shifting balance between the state and the economy has given rise to new challenges at the intersections of law, business and government. Addressing these issues calls for professionals who understand their complexity and have the necessary legal skills and management capacities. The Master’s Programme in International Law (MIL) combines a specialist legal education with essential aspects of business and politics. We prepare our graduates for a wide range of careers in the corporate world, in government, diplomacy, international organisations, compliance and regulatory affairs and other public and private sector institutions.

Curriculum: structure and contents

The MIL offers students enormous latitude and flexibility in choosing courses from the programme’s rich and diverse curriculum to put together a degree course that meets their professional objectives and personal preferences. A distinctive feature of the MIL curriculum is the carefully arranged combination of compulsory courses and electives. Three compulsory courses ensure that students will acquire a sound general understanding of the normative and analytical Framework of international law. At the same time, a wide range of electives enables them to specialise in selected topics and, if they so wish, to complement their legal education with courses from related areas such as management studies or political science.

Compulsory courses
The three compulsory courses are foundational in character. They provide students with the knowledge, the analytical tools and the practical skills required for a general grasp of the theory and practice of international law. The compulsory courses are the basis upon which students can build when they attend more specialised legal classes in subsequent semesters.

Core electives
Core electives are courses designed to deepen students’ understanding of specific international law topics. Courses are organised in clusters, each concentrating on a particular subject area. Some courses seek to familiarise participants with the practical approaches to problem-solving at the intersections of law, business and politics. Others encourage theoretical reflection on basic legal issues or help to develop students’ professional skills. Students choose courses according to their own individual interests.

Legal electives
Legal electives enhance students’ legal expertise and allow them to specialise while granting great freedom of choice. Students may attend various courses from the MLaw and MLE. In addition, they are invited to participate in a variety of practice workshops, especially Moots, in which the Law School regularly takes part. They also benefit from special courses offered by visiting professors.

Independent electives
Independent electives present a wide range of options. Students choose courses according to their own preferences. They may wish to attend further core electives, legal electives, or courses offered throughout the other Master’s programmes, or they can opt for additional courses offered by the Law School.

Master’s thesis
The Master’s thesis allows students to concentrate on a research question in a specialised subject area of their own choice. Students develop their topic in consultation with their supervisor. While the subject may stem from the core studies or from a contextual discipline, it must focus on a research topic broadly related to international law. The thesis must normally be written in English.

Contextual Studies
The University of St. Gallen considers it essential that its graduates should be able to look beyond their academic specialisation and adopt a more comprehensive perspective that enables them to place contemporary issues in their wider cultural, social and historical settings. Contextual Studies complement the MIL’s core studies. Students can choose from a rich variety of options.

Exchange and double degrees

• CEMS Master’s in International Management (MIM)
• Exchange programmes with approx. 200 partner universities worldwide
• Double degree programme in preparation

Career perspectives

The MIL curriculum combines a specialised legal education with interdisciplinary training, an international perspective and an emphasis on practical problem-solving. With its innovative curriculum, the MIL opens the door to a wide array of attractive positions, preparing graduates for professional careers in multinational corporations, government, diplomacy, international organisations, compliance and regulatory affairs, business consulting, law firms, NGOs, as well as other public and private institutions. Given its strategic focus on international law and the interdependencies with global business and government, the MIL differs from standard legal programmes that focus on domestic law and are intended for students who, after their Bar exams, will go on to work as legal practitioners, particularly as attorneys or law clerks, in their national jurisdictions. Some law graduates, after completing their MLaw or MLE, might think about pursuing an international corporate or public-sector career in order to practise law in a global context. They may find that the MIL is just the academic programme they are looking for as it can make an essential contribution to fulfilling their international aspirations. Subject to the grades achieved, the MIL degree will also enable students to start a promising academic career as it provides access to Ph.D. programmes.


The programme is taught in English.

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The Master’s Programme in International Affairs and Governance (MIA) is designed for students who seek a professional career in business, government, non-profit organisations and international agencies. Read more
The Master’s Programme in International Affairs and Governance (MIA) is designed for students who seek a professional career in business, government, non-profit organisations and international agencies. MIA graduates are trained as generalists and know how to integrate the specialist knowledge required to address today’s pressing political, economic and social problems. Combining interdisciplinary study with a result-oriented approach, the MIA programme prepares graduates for a world in which leaders and professionals must increasingly be able to work across borders, disciplines and sectors.


The MIA programme is based on a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates the diverse perspectives constitutive of Economics, Political Science, Business Administration, and Law. Compulsory courses provide the conceptual foundations, Research methods, and knowledge indispensable for a thorough understanding of the complexity of international problems. Specific courses and practical projects enable you to choose and refine your areas of specialisation, and develop your own personal profile. The programme includes an attractive array of independent electives and contextual studies. Writing a Master’s thesis enables you to concentrate on a research question of your own choice. The MIA is particularly strong in the fields of trade and development, peace and security, as well as democracy and governance. The curriculum skilfully merges St. Gallen’s renowned expertise in economics and business with the analytical study of practical issues pertaining to politics and society as a whole. Linking theory to practice is a top priority in the MIA programme. There are several ways of bringing theoretical analysis to bear on the solution of distinctly practical problems. Our students participate in projects with experts from international organisations such as the European Central Bank or the World Trade Organization (WTO). They may earn credits towards their final degree through internships in companies and in public institutions. The University of St. Gallen has a long-standing commitment to provide its students with a rigorous practical training so as to facilitate their smooth transition from university to professional life as much as possible.

International cooperation

The four double degree programmes with the Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University in Boston, Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul and Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá provide selected students with the opportunity to obtain Master’s degrees from two renowned institutions within two academic years. MIA students can also apply for the one-year CEMS Master’s in International Management. In addition to the more than approx. 200 partner institutions of the HSG, there are also special exchange agreements for MIA students. The University of St. Gallen is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), which unites 36 leading schools in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Career perspectives

The MIA programme opens the door to a great variety of careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Our graduates now work in banking and financial institutions, insurance companies, consulting firms and other multinational corporations, federal, state and local governments, development agencies, international organisations and diplomacy, the media, political parties, NGOs, non-profit organisations, as well as universities and research centres. Moreover, the MIA prepares you for St. Gallen’s Ph.D. Programme in International Affairs and Political Economy.


Courses in the MIA programme are taught in German or English. Since autumn 2008, students have had the option of pursuing the MIA entirely in English.

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MAS in International and European Security. 08 October 2018 - 31 May 2019. Read more

MAS in International and European Security

08 October 2018 - 31 May 2019

This Executive MAS Programme, jointly run by the Global Studies Institute (GSI) of the University of Geneva and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), is designed to prepare participants for leadership roles in government and international organisations.

Participants will benefit from the expertise of over 100 highly qualified academics, experienced diplomats, government officials and distinguished practitioners from around the world. It is designed to advance participants' knowledge base and through practical application demonstrates its relevance to the implementation of effective and sustainable policies, which contribute to global peace and stability.

Programme Aims:

Enhance participant understandings of peace and stability in national, ‘world-regional’ and global contexts by:

• Identifying and characterizing strategic threats to peace and stability;

• Analysing the changing nature of actors that seek to manage existing and emergent threats;

• Assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of current policy responses and debating possible future alternative policy options

The MAS provides not just space for academic reflection, but also provides participants with skills, knowledge and networksenabling participants to constructively and critically inform policy debates and discourse by:

• Engaging in and influencing decision-making,

• Enhancing their professional development and institutional capacity,

• Leveraging their strengthened skills, knowledge and networks for collaborative leadership and cooperative solutions

Full Accreditation

Participants who complete the programme successfully will be awarded a 60 ECTS Master of Advanced Studies in International and European Security by the University of Geneva and the GCSP. It has also received the highest level of accreditation awarded to degrees in Switzerland by the AAQ. As a result, the MAS degree receives automatic equivalence in most countries worldwide.

Module 1: The Foundations of International Security

This module will provide an introduction and analysis of challenges and actors that shape the security context, such as the growing environment, economy and energy nexus, international law, human security and globalisation. It will enable participants to identify the range of structural and systemic dynamics that shape our understanding of the strategic context, linking different schools of thought and levels of analysis to practice.

Module 2: Actors and Issues in International Security

This module enhances participant understanding of security policy through a focus on the evolving role of traditional and emerging international security leaders, in addition to conflict management and transnational security challenges. These will be considered both from a hard and human security perspective. It will also expose them to a wide range of readings and specialist speakers, both scholars and practitioners.

Module 3: Regional & Global Security

This module will concentrate on cooperative and competitive dynamics in emerging regions such as sub-Saharan Africa; the Middle East and North Africa; conditions in South Asia; and developments in China and the Asia-Pacific region. It will build upon the analysis of challenges,actors and responses in the first two modules within the context of emerging regions.

Module 4: Issues and Concepts in International Security

This interdisciplinary module consists of a number of lectures and research methods seminars held throughout the entire nine-month period. Issues in international security are theoretically analysed within a multidisciplinary approach i.e. history, economics, law, political science and political philosophy. The conceptual lectures academically complement and reinforce the more practical and policy-orientated teaching and seminar work of the first three Modules. They broaden and deepen participant appreciation of the relationships between International Relations as an academic discipline and international relations as a daily practice.

Module 5: Research Paper (10-12'000 words)

Under the supervision of professors from both the University and the GCSP, participants will write a research paper on a security policy-related topic. This module allows participants to develop their ability to write a research paper incorporating the lessons learned during the first four modules, and from individual and group analytical work. To provide the opportunity to demonstrate an ability to select useful sources and literature for structured research through pertinent and scientifically valid arguments, in accordance with academic standards.

Please note the themes addressed in the modules may be subject to revision.


Candidates will be selected on the basis of an application which should consist of the following:

•A letter of motivation (800 words max).

•An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae.

•A copy of relevant university degree(s).

•Two letters of recommendation.

•A writing sample of 1500 words (verified with an anti-plagiarism software) on either:

What is the purpose and relevance of reforming the United Nations Security Council?  Or

Is the current crisis of the 'liberal world order' a turning point in international relations?

DEADLINE: 31 May 2018

Please note that places are limited.

For additional information, please contact:

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