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Program Description

Whether you would like to work in government, a global corporation, academia or a nongovernmental organization, a degree in International Relations can open many doors. Our curriculum enables you to analyze the legal, historical, socioeconomic, humanitarian and political factors that influence global affairs. You will learn how to perform rigorous and structured research, to understand and explain a comprehensive range of international relations issues and to develop scholarly analysis, as well as how to apply it. Tailor your degree by choosing enrichment courses in fields such as European integration, Asian security studies, energy politics, terrorism or international law. Our international classrooms, with students and faculty from around the world, enhance political and cultural discussions leading to a better understanding in the field of international relations.

Two students holding a book and looking at each other in front of a map on the wall.

Learning Outcomes

Two students holding a book and looking at each other in front of a map on the wall.

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of key subfields and theories of international relations as a discipline including their relevance and application.
  • Identify major actors and institutions of international relations and know their functions.
  • Distinguish systemic from actor-specific causes determining political, economic and military conflicts.

The program will also teach students to:

  • Analyze international issues from perspectives other than their own, and display familiarity with foreign cultures and languages.
  • Analyze the potential and constraints of international organizations, such as the United Nations, the European Union or ASEAN, on a regional and global level, as well as in relation to their member states.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of region-specific developments to understand the role of international actors such as the United States, the European Union, China or Russia.
  • Assess the political, economic, legal, historic and societal implications of systemic changes on national, regional and global levels.
  • Apply analytical tools to explain past and current developments and crises in international relations.
  • Produce original research and present it in scientific papers.

BA in International Relations

WVPU’s BA in International Relations program comprehensively examines a range of international relations issues enabling students to understand the complexities and underlying processes involved in world politics and international affairs. Students undergo a rigorous program of scholarly training that prepares them to carry out requisite levels of research and proceed into more advanced studies. Through exposure to and participation in faculty research, as well as interaction with an array of experts and prominent external lecturers, students gain valuable insight into history and contemporary world affairs. They learn to work independently and to collaborate with others on analyzing political events and crises, understand and assess political risk, and formulate, as well as advocate policies that benefit the public good in line with WVPU’s profile and objectives.

Graduates of WVPU’s BA in International Relations program possess an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of international relations and can therefore perform tasks at a very high professional level. They are critical, independent thinkers capable of collaboration and leadership, able to deal with comprehensive challenges in changing contexts, able to take on and manage projects, and take responsibility for decision making.

The program’s strong focus on research, methods and analysis combined with frequent exposure to real-world cases ensures that graduates can develop innovative approaches to solve known and unforeseen problems. They are thus fully qualified for the degree they earned, professionally ready to begin their careers and make a difference, and they possess the scholarly foundation necessary to pursue an advanced degree. As a result, many of the program’s graduates enter into service among the international diplomatic and professional communities leading to successful careers in the public and private sectors while others go on to successfully complete advanced degrees.

WVPU International Relations Faculty Members:

Aner Barzilay, PhD

Topics in Modern European History
anerbarzilay@webster.edu

Dr. Elina Brutschin

Methods of Political Inquiry
Advanced Research Methods
elinabrutschin60@webster.edu

Dr. J. Werner Druml

International Affairs
johannesdruml66@webster.edu

Univ.-Ass. Mag. Dr. Marcel Fink

Comparative Politics
marcelfink07@webster.edu

Dr. Eric Frey

International Political Economy
efrey@webster.edu

Franz Stefan Gady
International Affairs: Understanding military power - theory, history, technology
gadyfra@webster.edu 

Mag. Gerlad Garber

Introduction to Political Argumentation and Debate
geraldgarber07@webster.edu

Dr. Sandra Goldstein

Middle East Area Studies

MMag. Dr. iur. Ralph Janik, LLM

International Law
ralphjanik18@webster.edu

Dr. Monika Mokre

Politics of Development
Refugee and Migration Movements
monikamokre25@webster.edu

Prof. Iver B. Neumann, PhD

Globalization
War and Diplomacy

Mag. Dr Dieter Reinisch MRes

The Age of Total War: Europe 1890-1945
Contemporary Europe: 1945-Present
dieterreinisch07@webster.edu

David Wilson
Philosophy of Leadership and Management

Dr. Astrid Reisinger Coracini

International Law


Laura Leyser and Irene Horejs

Advocacy, NGOs and Civil Society
lauraleyser@webster.edu

irenehorejs@webster.edu 

Coursework

The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations curriculum is organized into five modules and a thesis, including:

  • The Common Core Module (12 courses/72 ECTS);
  • Two Discipline Core Modules ( 14 courses/84 ECTS)
  • A Discipline Enrichment Module (2 courses/12 ECTS),
  • An Electives Module (64 ECTS), and
  • Thesis (8 ECTS)

Full-time students working toward the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations will usually carry a course load of five courses per semester (30 ECTS); the regular duration of the program is 4 years (8 semesters). For most courses in the program, students attend 36 hours of courses over a 12-week calendar period concurrent with 114 hours of self-learning.

Core Module 1: Foundation

  • INTL 1050 Introduction to International Relations (6 ECTS)
  • INTL 1500 World Systems since 1500 (6 ECTS)
  • INTL 2030 International Law (6 ECTS)
  • INTL 2680 International Relations Theory (6 ECTS)
  • INTL 3100 International Political Economy (6 ECTS)
  • INTL 3700 International Organizations (6 ECTS)
  • POLT 1070 Introduction to Political Theory (6 ECTS)
  • POLT 3310 Conduct of Foreign Policy (6 ECTS)
  • ECON 2030 Introduction to Macroeconomics (6 ECTS)

Core Module 2: Methods

  • ANSO 2720 Introduction to Measurement and Statistics
  • INTL 2700 Methods of Political Inquiry

Core Module 3: Clusters

Politics cluster (6 ECTS) — students must select at least one of the following courses:

  • POLT 1080 Introduction to Comparative Politics (6 ECTS)
  • POLT 2250 Politics in the Industrialized World (6 ECTS)
  • POLT 2550 The Politics of the Developing World (6 ECTS)

International Cluster (6 ECTS) — students must select at least one of the following courses:

  • INTL 3500 Environmental and Energy Security (6 ECTS)
  • INTL 3800 International Security (6 ECTS)

History Cluster (6 ECTS) — students must select at least one of the following courses:

  • HIST 3130 History of Human Rights (6 ECTS)
  • HIST 3150 International Affairs (6 ECTS)

Students must select at least 12 ECTS from any course with the corresponding prefixes: INTL, POLT, HIST.

Any of the above not used to satisfy core/cluster course requirements, or any other HIST/INTL/POLT courses, such as:

  • POLT 1550 Introduction to Political Argumentation and Debate (3 credit hours)
  • POLT 3650 Internship (3 credit hours)
  • INTL 2100 Model U.N. (3 credit hours)
  • HIST 2020 Topics in Modern European History (3 credit hours)
  • HIST 2230 The Age of Total War: Europe 1890-1945 (3 credit hours)
  • HIST 2240 Contemporary Europe: 1945-Present (3 credit hours)

Students may choose up to 64 ECTS among any of WVPU’s course offerings. Any excess ECTS from the Discipline Enrichment Module or Core Module 3 will be automatically considered as satisfying this category.

All major requirements and a minimum of 116 credit hours must be completed prior to registering for the thesis.

  • INTL 4700 Bachelor Thesis (8 ECTS)

Please see WVPU’s Thesis Guidelines (PDF) for more information on the thesis requirements, as well as the Media Communications Department undergraduate guidelines (requires login) on Connections (for current students).

Purpose and Scope

This Study Plan and Regulations lays out the specifications of the program Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, including the profile and learning outcomes, the structure of the curricula, program development and the criteria for admission and conferment of a degree.

This study plan and regulations is applicable to all students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations starting on or after Sept. 1, 2021. It pertains to the degree offered by WVPU which is accredited by the Agency for quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria in accordance with the Private Universities Act §2 and §3(1). The requirements for U.S. accredited degrees conferred by Webster University based in St. Louis, USA may vary slightly. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor for details. 

 

Overview Table

Degree program name International Relations (BA)                             
Common form name Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (BA)
Type of study program Bachelor degree program
Academic degree Bachelor of Arts (BA or B.A.) 
Cycle (Bologna) 1 (one)
NQF-Level VI
Organizational structure International Relations Department
Workload (ECTS)  240 
Regular study period 4 years, 8 semesters
Course weeks per semester 12
Language of study English
Maximum intake per year 35
Study format Full time
Entry points/dates 2/begin winter/summer semesters
Beginning of the winter semester August/September
Beginning of the summer semester January/February
Internships Encouraged, but not required
Study Abroad Encouraged, but not required

 

Profile and Learning Outcomes 

WVPU’s Bachelor of Arts in International Relations program comprehensively examines a range of international relations issues enabling students to understand the complexities and underlying processes involved in world politics and international affairs. Students undergo a rigorous program of scholarly training that prepares them to carry out requisite levels of research and proceed into more advanced studies. Through exposure to and participation in faculty research as well as interaction with an array of experts and prominent external lecturers, students gain valuable insight into history and contemporary world affairs. They learn to work independently as well as to collaborate with others on analyzing political events and crises, understand and assess political risk and formulate as well as advocate policies that benefit the public good in line with WVPU’s profile and objectives. 

Graduates of WVPU’s Bachelor of Arts in International Relations program possess an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of international relations and can therefore perform tasks at a very high professional level. They are critical, independent thinkers capable of collaboration and leadership, able to deal with comprehensive challenges in changing contexts, able to take on and manage projects, and take responsibility for decision-making. 

The program’s strong focus on research, methods and analysis combined with frequent exposure to real-world cases ensures that its graduates can develop innovative approaches to solve known and unforeseen problems. They are thus fully qualified for the degree they earned, professionally ready to begin their careers and make a difference, and they possess the scholarly foundation necessary to pursue an advanced degree. As a result, many of the program’s graduates enter into service among the international diplomatic and professional communities leading to successful careers in the public and private sectors while others go on to successfully complete advanced degrees.

 

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of key subfields and theories of international relations as a discipline including their relevance and application.
  2. Identify major actors and institutions of international relations and know their functions.
  3. Distinguish systemic from actor-specific causes determining political, economic and military conflicts.
  4. Analyze international issues from perspectives other than their own and display familiarity with foreign cultures and languages.
  5. Analyze the potential and constraints of international organizations, such as the United Nations, the European Union or ASEAN, on a regional and global level as well as in relation to their member states.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of region-specific developments to understand the role of international actors such as the United States, the European Union, China or Russia.
  7. Assess the political, economic, legal, historic and societal implications of systemic changes on national, regional and global level.
  8. Apply analytical tools to explain past and current developments and crises in international relations. 
  9. Produce original research and present it in scientific papers.
  10. The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations program’s learning outcomes align closely with those of NQF Level VI in all areas of knowledge, skills and competence. 

 

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations Learning outcomes

NQF Level-VI  LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Knowledge
Skills
Competencies              

 

Curriculum Overview and Workload

The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations curriculum is organized into five modules including a thesis. The five modules include the Common Core Module (72 ECTS)*, a Discipline Core Module (84 ECTS) consisting of three Sub-Modules, a Discipline Enrichment Module (12 ECTS) and an Electives Module (64 ECTS). The program is concluded with the successful completion of a Thesis Module (8 ECTS).

Full-time students working toward the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations will usually carry a course load of five courses per semester (30 ECTS). For most courses in the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations program, a notable exception being the thesis, students attend 32 hours of courses and respectively conduct an additional 114 hours of self-learning. Students working toward the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations can complete the program in a minimum of eight semesters. 

Each of the core Competency Courses (CC), Discipline Courses (DC) and Enrichment Courses (EC) are offered on a regular basis, usually at least once a year. Full course descriptions, individual learning outcomes, details about ECTS, weekly study schedules and assessment criteria are available in each course syllabus, available via WVPU’s publicly accessible course schedule

 *The Common Core Module satisfies the Webster University Global Citizenship Program (GCP) and the WVPU Methods Road Map (MRM) requirements


Curriculum Overview

 

Common Core Module (72 ECTS)

The Common Core Module (CCM) consists of 12 courses taken over the duration of a student’s studies, providing a foundation for understanding the social impact of science and scientific methods. 

Course Type** Format*** hrs./weeks AT/SL**** ECTS
GLBC 1200 Global Cornerstone Seminar: Scientific Reasoning and Society* CC IL 3/12 32/114 6
HIST 2240 Contemporary Europe 1945-Present DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
PHIL 2525 The Scientific Revolution and The Enlightenment DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
ANSO 2300 Social Movements: Economy, Labor and the Future of Work DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
ANSO 1050 Global Social Problems: Justice and Inequality DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
WGST 2610 Women, Gender and Sexuality in Social Justice Organizations DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
ANSO 2890 Health, Illness and Power DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
SCIN 1510 Global Climate Change DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
HRTS 2500 Current Problems in Human Rights: War and Peace DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
DESN 1210 Design Concepts: Arts and Politics DC IL/CO 3/12 32/114 6
KEYS 4014 Social Movements and the Impact of Technologies DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
STAT 1100 Descriptive Statistics* DC IL 23/12 32/114 6

*These courses also counts toward the Methods Road Map.

**Types of courses include: Competency Courses (CC), Discipline Courses (DC), and Enrichment Courses (EC)

***[IL] – Interactive Lecture, [SE] – Seminar, [PT] – Practical Training, [CO] – Colloquium, and [TH] – Thesis

****AT/SL = Attendance (in-class hours)/Self-Learning (time devoted on subject out of the classroom)

In addition to these 12 courses (72 ECTS), students seeking a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations take 12 ECTS in further methods training as part of their Core Module 2, satisfying the remaining requirements of the Methods Road Map. 

 

Discipline Core Module (84 ECTS)

Core Module 1 (54 ECTS)

Course Type Format hrs./weeks AT/SL ECTS

INTL 1050 Introduction to International Relations

Students may substitute this class with POLT 1050 if offered

CC IL 3/12 32/114 6
INTL 1500 World Systems since 1500 DC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
INTL 2030 International Law DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
INTL 2680 International Relations Theory CC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
INTL 3100 International Political Economy DC IL 3/12 32/114 6
INTL 3700 International Organizations CC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
POLT 1070 Introduction to Political Theory   CC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
POLT 3310 Conduct of Foreign Policy  CC SE 3/12 32/114 6
ECON 2030 Introduction to Macroeconomics DC IL 3/12 32/114 6

  

Core Module 2 (12 ECTS)

Course Type Format hrs./weeks AT/SL ECTS

ANSO 2720 Introduction to Measurement and Statistics

These courses (12 ECTS) toward the overall 24 ECTS requirement of the Methods Road Map.

DC IL 3/12 32/114 6

INTL 2700 Methods of Political Inquiry

These courses (12 ECTS) toward the overall 24 ECTS requirement of the Methods Road Map.

CC IL 3/12 32/114 6

 

 

Core Module 3 (18 ECTS)

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations must also complete 18 ECTS in total, 6 ECTS each from three clusters (politics, international and history): 

Politics cluster (6 ECTS). Students must select at least one course among:

Course Type Format hrs./weeks AT/SL ECTS
POLT 1080 Introduction to Comparative Politics EC IL 3/12 32/114 6
POLT 2250 Politics in the Industrialized World EC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
POLT 2550 Politics in the Developing World EC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6

International cluster (6 ECTS). Students must select at least one course among:

Course Type Format hrs./weeks AT/SL ECTS
INTL 3500 Environmental and Energy Security EC SE 3/12 32/114 6
INTL 3800 International Security CC SE 3/12 32/114

6

History cluster (6 ECTS). Students must select at least one course among:

Course Type Format hrs./weeks AT/SL ECTS
HIST 3100 Diplomatic History EC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
HIST 3130 History of Human Rights EC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6
HIST 3150 International Affairs EC IL/SE 3/12 32/114 6

 

Discipline Enrichment Module (12 ECTS)

Students must select at least 12 ECTS from any course with the corresponding prefixes: INTL, POLT, HIST. 

Course Type Format hrs./weeks AT/SL ECTS
Any INTL/POLT/HIST coded course EC varies 3/12 32/114 6
Any INTL/POLT/HIST coded course EC varies 3/12 32/114 6

 

Electives Module (64 ECTS)

Students may choose up to 64 ECTS among any of WVPU’s course offerings. Any excess ECTS from the Discipline Enrichment Module or Core Module 3 will be automatically considered as satisfying this category. However, elective courses with no distinct affiliation with International Relations topics must be pre-approved by the department head. 

 

Thesis Module (8 ECTS)

Course Type Format h/w AT/SL ECTS
INTL 4700 Bachelor Thesis CC TH - 25/175 8

Students working toward the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations can complete the program in a minimum of eight semesters. The following graphical roadmap illustrates a typical student’s progression through the program.

 

Roadmaps and Course Sequencing

Students working toward the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations can complete the program in a minimum of eight semesters. Curriculum in this program develops as students progress through their studies. For that reason, adhering to prescribed course sequencing is an essential component to success. The course syllabus or WVPU’s publicly accessible course schedule both list course prerequisites, if any. Additionally, each program roadmap denotes courses with prerequisites with an asterisk (*). 

Advisors are available to assist students with degree planning to help ensure proper course sequencing. Though most students will adhere to their respective program roadmap, advisors can help develop individualized degree plans when the situation warrants deviation from the roadmap. Advisors must approve all course registration requests before they are processed. Advisors also consult on issues related to academic and career goals, and university resources. 

The International Relations Department reserves the right to waive or adjust course prerequisites as necessary.

 

Program Development and Enhancement

The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations program is subject to WVPU’s systematic Internal Quality Management System  that incorporates continuous measures and involves the Executive Board, academic department heads and the University Senate. This ensures that its learning outcomes and the content of its curriculum impart advanced knowledge in the discipline while delivering the skills and competencies requisite for a bachelor’s degree. WVPU’s quality management processes include a triannual program review and assessment of learning outcomes, course evaluations and annual review of academic polices and processes, semi-annual performance reviews with units and employees and collected stakeholder feedback through semi-annual meetings and surveys supported by the university’s internal information systems. 

At the course level, each syllabus (including criteria and methods of assessment) is reviewed and approved by the department at least one semester prior to being published on the university’s course offerings , ensuring that learning outcomes are clearly stated and appropriately paired to the course’s content and assessment criteria. All students have access to the syllabus before the course begins, and in addition, faculty are required to review the syllabus on the first day of class. During the running of any course students interact with both the faculty member and the department’s administration alerting them to any problems that might arise and triggering procedures based on academic policies and procedures, particularly with reference to disputes between students and faculty.

The base selection of course offerings for any academic year is determined two years in advance through regular planning sessions. The process includes consultation with representatives of student government and incorporates additional student feedback through face-to-face meetings, town halls and anonymous course evaluations. Teaching assignments pairing faculty to courses are completed one year in advance. Prior to assigning a course to a faculty member, the department head verifies the individual’s qualifications and experience as an instructor. Students evaluate all first-time instructors in the third week of their course to provide feedback and allow for corrective measures if necessary. 

Other continuous processes also play an important role in sustaining and enhancing the integrity of the program. The university solicits semiannual student feedback on degree programs through student focus groups involving 30-minute structured dialogues at the start of selected courses. Additionally, the head of the department takes part in monthly video conferences with global partners to evaluate International Relations programs, adding and shaping curricula and course content to meet WVPU student needs and national regulations while also integrating partner experiences from around the world. Department representatives participate in on-going process evaluation measures providing suggestions on how to improve subject relevancy, program competitiveness and research components.

 

Admission to the Study Program

Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations program follows the General Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Programs.

 

Requirements for Conferment of the Degree 

WVPU confers the academic degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Relations following the successful completion of all modules as stated in the Curriculum Overview and Workload and in accordance with the following rules:

Students must successfully earn 152 ECTS in residence at WVPU, including: 

  1. all courses in the Common Core Module (72 ECTS)
  2. all courses in Sub-Modules 1 and 2 (72 ECTS) of the Discipline Core Module,
  3. a bachelor thesis (8 ECTS) and
  4. all required courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

The university reserves the right to approve and assign transferred credits as equivalencies to courses, which could result in fewer than 152 overall ECTS completed in residency. 

 

WVPU Policies and Student Obligations

WVPU policies support and maintain the highest quality of education and service level for students. All students attending WVPU are obliged to adhere to university academic policies, including the Study and Examination Guidelines and the Code of Conduct. Students are solely responsible for familiarizing themselves with all applicable university policies and procedures including those dictating academic standards. 

Students are also fully responsible for managing their degree progress in compliance with the curriculum. This includes, but is not limited to: ensuring schedule accuracy each semester, adhering to all registration and payment deadlines, proactively addressing any issues that may interfere with degree progress, exclusively using the university assigned email address for all academic-related correspondence and observing course-specific deadlines and policies. 

WVPU retains the right to update policies and procedures. Students will be informed of any such changes in a timely manner. 

International Relations Minor

A minor in International Relations requires 36 ECTS (6 courses) compiled from INTL, POLT or applicable HIST* course offerings. Of those, a minimum of 24 ECTS (4 courses) must be earned from INTL or POLT courses.

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