POL1000 - Introduction to Political Science: International Relations and Comparative Politics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Written examination 100/100 5 hours E

Course content

International politics and comparative politics are the two most important fields of political science, and POL1000 offers and introduction to central theories and research questions within both fields. In international politics we analyze how states interact with one another through war, conflict, trade and cooperation. We also study international organizations as the EU and the UN. The lectures in international politics will provide the students with an overview of how the field of international relations has developed and how different theory traditions within the field have emerged. In comparative politics we study similarities and differences between countries in terms of regime type, social structure, and history. The main focus will be on European politics, but we also analyze countries outside the European sphere.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:

  • know the historical context for today's international society.
  • know the fundamental premises, arguments and theses in the most important traditions in the study of international politics
  • know the main features of the general academic debate over the last ten years with respect to international politics, the criticism different academic traditions have met and the answers that researchers have given in relation to this criticism.
  • have knowledge of more specific models and concepts used to describe and explain a state's foreign policy, international cooperation and international conflict and conflict-resolution.
  • have knowledge of the central concepts in the study of comparative politics 
  • have knowledge of different methodological approaches in the comparison of countries 
  • have knowledge about the similarities and differences between states with regard to forms of government, ideologies and history 

Skills - the student shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • place the state of scientific work within a field's historical and academic tradition context 
  • account for the different theoretical academic traditions in international politics in both an oral and written manner 
  • apply core concepts and basic models for the different academic traditions in international politics in one's own analysis of today's events in international politics 
  • critically evaluate the approaches or academic traditions international politics which are best suited for one's own research issue 
  • be able to compare two or more countries within a particular problem area 
  • critically analyze literature in comparative and international politics 
  • demonstrate independence in the preparation of a semester assignment which fulfills the criteria for scientific writing

Learning methods and activities

4 hours of lectures per week throughout the semester. 2 hours of group discussion every week and term paper supervision. A term paper of 4000 words (10 pages) has to be approved. The term paper may be a joint project of up to 3 students. A list of possible topics will be presented. The lectures are partly held in Norwegian and partly in English.

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved term paper

Further on evaluation

Form of assessment: 5-hour written exam.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge


Course materials

To be decided at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SVPOL105 15.0
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Foundation courses, level I


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2021

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Social Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Political Science
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science


Examination arrangement: Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD Written examination 100/100 E 2021-12-02 09:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 100/100 E INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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