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


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 5 hours E

Course content

POL1000 offers an introduction to central theories and research questions in international politics and comparative politics - two of the most important subfields of political science. In international politics we analyze how states interact with one another through war, conflict, trade and cooperation. We also study international organizations such as the EU and the UN. The lectures will provide the students with an overview of how the field of international relations has developed throughout history with the emergence of different theories and schools of thought (academic traditions or approaches). 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 will 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 concepts, arguments and theses in the most important academic traditions in the study of international politics
  • know the main features of the academic debate - among other things, the criticism different academic traditions have met and the answers that researchers have given 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 methods that can be applied 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:

  • account for the different theoretical academic traditions in international politics
  • place the scientific work of political science in light of the field's history and academic traditions
  • critically consider which academic tradition is best suited for a research question
  • apply core concepts and basic models from the different academic traditions in one's own analysis of international events
  • be able to use comparative methods to compare two or more countries within a particular problem area
  • critically analyze literature in comparative and international politics
  • be able to write an independent term paper 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.

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 2024

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: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD School exam 100/100 E INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD School exam 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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