Master’s Programme in International Relations, Development Studies

1: Preface

Pursuant to consolidation Act 172 of February 27, 2018 on Universities (the University Act), the following is established. The programme also follows the Joint Programme Regulations and the Examination Policies and Procedures for The Faculty.

2: Basis in Ministerial orders

The Master’s programme is organised in accordance with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Order no. 1328 of November 15, 2016 on Bachelor’s and Master’s Programmes at Universities (the Ministerial Order of the Study Programmes) with subsequent changes and Ministerial Order no. 1062 of June 30, 2016 on University Examinations (the Examination Order) with subsequent changes. Further reference is made to Ministerial Order no. 106 of February 12, 2018 (the Admission Order) and Ministerial Order no. 114 of February 3, 2015 (the Grading Scale Order).

3: Campus

The programme is offered in Aalborg.

4: Faculty affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under The Faculty of Social Sciences, Aalborg University.

5: Study board affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under Study Board of International Affairs

6: Affiliation to corps of external examiners

The Master’s programme is associated with the external examiners corps on International Studies

7: Admission requirements

Admission to the Master’s Programme in Development and International Relations presupposes a social sciences Bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor’s degree in political science, economics, sociology, international studies, history, anthropology, business economics etc.
Students with other Bachelor’s degrees may be admitted on the basis of an application to the Study Board, which will make an individual academic assessment of the applicant’s educational competences and determine whether these are comparable to competences acquired through the above Bachelor’s programmes.

8: The programme title in Danish and English

The Master’s programme entitles the graduate to the Danish designation Cand.soc.. The English designation is: Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences in International Relations.

9: Programme specifications in ECTS credits

The Master’s programme is a xx-year, research-based, full-time study programme. The programme is set to 120 ECTS credits.

10: Rules concerning credit transfer (merit), including the possibility for choice of modules that are part of another programme at a university in Denmark or abroad

The Study Board can approve successfully completed (passed) programme elements from other Master’s programmes in lieu of programme elements in this programme (credit transfer). The Study Board can also approve successfully completed (passed) programme elements from another Danish programme or a programme outside of Denmark at the same level in lieu of programme elements within this curriculum. Decisions on credit transfer are made by the Study Board based on an academic assessment. See the Joint Programme Regulations for the rules on credit transfer.

11: Exemptions

In exceptional circumstances, the Study Board study can grant exemption from those parts of the curriculum that are not stipulated by law or ministerial order.  Exemption regarding an examination applies to the immediate examination.

12: Rules for examinations

The rules for examinations are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures - published at this website: https://www.studieservice.aau.dk/Studielegalitet/

13: Rules concerning written work, including the Master’s Thesis

In the assessment of all written work, regardless of the language it is written in, weight is also given to the student's formulation and spelling ability, in addition to the academic content. Orthographic and grammatical correctness as well as stylistic proficiency are taken as a basis for the evaluation of language performance. Language performance must always be included as an independent dimension of the total evaluation. However, no examination can be assessed as ‘Pass’ on the basis of good language performance alone; similarly, an examination normally cannot be assessed as ‘Fail’ on the basis of poor language performance alone.

The Study Board can grant exemption from this in special cases (e.g., dyslexia or a native language other than Danish).

The Master’s Thesis must include an English summary (or another foreign language: French, Spanish or German upon approval by the Study Board). If the project is written in English, the summary must be in Danish (The Study Board can grant exemption from this). The summary must be at least 1 page and not more than 2 pages (this is not included in any fixed minimum and maximum number of pages per student). The summary is included in the evaluation of the project as a whole.

14: Requirements regarding the reading of texts in a foreign language

It is assumed that the student can read academic texts in his or her native language as well as in English and use reference works etc. in other European languages.

15: Competence profile on the diploma

The following competence profile will appear on the diploma:

A Candidatus graduate has the following competency profile:

A Candidatus graduate has competencies that have been acquired via a course of study that has taken place in a research environment.

A Candidatus graduate is qualified for employment on the labour market based on his or her academic discipline as well as for further research (PhD programmes). A Candidatus graduate has, compared to a Bachelor, developed his or her academic knowledge and independence so as to be able to apply scientific theory and method on an independent basis within both an academic and a professional context.

16: Competence profile of the programme

The objectives of the Master’s Programme in Development and International Relations are that students will:
• gain academic insight in development studies and international relations in the context of social science and history and knowledge of various social and cultural patterns and their development
• develop the academic knowledge and skills which they have acquired from their bachelor programme, and increase their theoretical and methodological qualifications and independence as compared to the bachelor level
• acquire qualifications in identifying and analysing complex societal phenomena within development studies and international relations from an interdisciplinary perspective on the basis of theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills
• be able to apply advanced elements of theory and method in the field of development studies and international relations in an independent and cross-disciplinary manner on the basis of scientific study
• master key concepts within the field of development and international relations, such as power, interests, institutions, norms and operators
• qualify to participate in scientific development work, including research training (PhD programme)
• qualify for specialised professional functions in the public and private sectors.

(2) Courses and options for specialisation
The Master’s Programme in Development and International Relations comprises compulsory modules (constituent elements) of 90 ECTS credits, including the Master’s thesis of 30 ECTS credits, as well as elective modules of 30 ECTS credits within the field of development studies and international relations, or other electives approved by the Study Board. The Master’s programme offers options for specialisation within Chinese Area Studies (Aalborg), Latin American Studies (Aalborg), Global Gender Studies (Aalborg) or Global Refugee Studies ((Copenhagen). The specialisation in China and International Relations (CIR) is described in a separate appendix to this curriculum.


(3) Academic and professional competence objectives
The overall objectives of the students’ acquisition of knowledge are that, on completion of the Master’s programme, students will have acquired the following, based on experience, understanding and reflection:
• knowledge about the key aspects of development and international relations
• ability to critically and independently reflect on key aspects within the fields of development and international relations on a scientific basis, as well as identifying scientific problem areas
• knowledge of various theoretical approaches to the study of development and international relations
• knowledge of the organisation of the international system and the social, cultural, political and economic dynamics that affect developments in international relations, both globally and in selected regions
• understanding of basic principles of academic integrity and of dilemmas of research ethics within the relevant subject areas of the programme
The overall objectives of the students’ acquisition of skills are that, on completion of the Master’s programme, students will have the abilities to:
3/46
• apply scientific theories, methods and tools within the fields of development and international relations in an independent manner
• evaluate and choose among scientific theories, methods and tools within the fields of development and international relations, as well as to develop new analysis models and solutions on the basis of scientific knowledge
• analyse and communicate economic, political and social aspects of development and international relations from an interdisciplinary perspective
• contribute, discuss and communicate research-based knowledge on development and international relations to peers and non-specialists in fluent and terminologically correct English.


The overall objectives of the students’ acquisition of competences are that, on completion of the Master’s programme, students will have the abilities to:
• cooperate on problem based cross-disciplinary projects with international and intercultural perspectives in professional contexts
• master strategies for planning, initiating and undertaking a project based on an issue relevant to the subject field and to take professional responsibility
• manage complex situations and workflows and to find new solutions
• take independent responsibility for their own continued learning and competence development within the fields of development and international relations
• perform job functions in international institutions and organisations, diplomacy, public and private businesses, and to undertake doctoral studies within the fields of development research and international relations.


The Master’s Programme in Development and International Relations also provides each student the opportunity to create an individual competence profile through the choices of specialisation and elective courses.

17: Structure and Contents of the programme

The programme is divided into individual modules and organised as a problem based study programme. A module is a subject element or a group of subject elements whose purpose is to provide the student with an entity of academic and professional qualifications within a stipulated time frame stated in ECTS credits, and which is completed by one or a number of examinations according to a certain examination schedule stipulated and defined in these curriculum and regulations. 60 ECTS credits correspond to one year of full-time study.

The Master’s programme consists of 11 modules, some of which are constituent , while others are elective modules (E), including any specialisation. The modules will be offered over four semesters (semesters 1 to 4). The first nine modules on the first and second semester include courses, exams and project work at Aalborg University. The third semester module consists of a stay in Denmark or abroad at an international organisation, company or institution with activities related to development and international relations or a stay at a university abroad with studies in the fields of development and international relations or similar programmes. Students specialising in Global Refugee Studies also have an option of studying Mobilities, Social Change and Development at Aalborg University, Copenhagen campus, for one semester. The fourth semester module will be dedicated to thesis writing.

Objectives, content, scope, teaching and working forms, schedule, prerequisite requirements for participation, general and specific learning objectives, assessment criteria and examination forms for the four semesters and their modules are described in chronological order below.

The programme is based on a combination of academic, problem oriented and interdisciplinary approaches and is structured as a mixture of the following study and evaluation forms combining skills and academic reflection:

• lectures

• seminars

• classroom teaching

• problem based project work

• case work

• discussion sessions

• feedback from teaching staff

• simulation games.

18: Overview of the programme

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Regional Integration and Regionalization Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Political, Economic and Social Development Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten and oral exam
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Rising Powers and Emerging Markets Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Management and International Organisations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam
3 Semester
Project Oriented Course (internships) or Study Period at a University Abroad Project 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
107-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master's Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam

Offered as: 1-proffesional specialisation: European Studies

Offered as:
Specialisation: European Studies
Study programme: European Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
1st Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Regional Integration and Regionalization Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
The European Union in the World - EU Foreign Policy Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten and oral exam
2 Semester
2nd Semester
European Policies, Economics and Society Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Rising Powers and Emerging Markets Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam
3 Semester
3rd Semester
Project Oriented Course (internships) or Study Period at a University Abroad Project 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
107-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
4th Semester
Master's Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam

offered as: specialisation: Latin American Area Studies

Offered as:
Specialisation: European Studies, Latin American Studies
Study programme: European Studies, Latin American Area Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
1st Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
The European Union in the World - EU Foreign Policy Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Contemporary Latin American Studies Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten and oral exam
2 Semester
2nd Semester
European Policies, Economics and Society Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Latin America: Contemporary Themes and Issues Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam
3 Semester
3rd Semester
Project Oriented Course (internships) or Study Period at a University Abroad Project 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
107-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master's Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam

Offered as:
Specialisation: European Studies, Global Gender Studies
Study programme: European Studies, Global Gender Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
1st Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation and/or written assignment
The European Union in the World - EU Foreign Policy Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Global Gender Studies Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten and oral exam
2 Semester
2nd Semester
European Policies, Economics and Society Course 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Gendering Global Governance Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam
3 Semester
3rd Semester
Project Oriented Course (internships) or Study Period at a University Abroad Project 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
107-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
4th Semester
Master's Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationWritten and oral exam

19: Additional information

Studienævnet offentliggør på studiets hjemmeside mere udførlige oplysninger om uddannelsen, herunder om eksamen.

20: Commencement and transitional rules

The curriculum is approved by the dean and enters into force as of 01.09.2019.

Studieordningen er godkendt af dekanen for Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet og træder i kraft pr. 1. september 2019.

21: Amendments to the curriculum and regulations