Political Science


Politics is the human activity that integrates and articulates all others. It is impossible to understand (and act on) the contemporary world without an understanding of political phenomena, both in the domestic sphere and in the international arena. Indeed, this degree goes far beyond citizenship.

This undergraduate programme provides training - that can be deepened in the Master and PhD programmes in Political Science (PS) and International Relations (IR) – that comprehends, in fact, a highly technical component, whether in its more theoretical nature (curricular units: political theories, compared political systems, political parties and pressure groups, systems and electoral behaviours, citizenship and political culture, public opinion and politics, state and public administration, etc.), in its more instrumental nature (research laboratories, methods and research techniques, statistics and data analysis), or still at the level of complementary scientific areas (history, law, economics, etc.).

Therefore, there are several reasons for selecting this third cycle degree. First, to acquire training for an active and responsible citizenship. Second, to obtain theoretical and instrumental training with high quality. Third, to benefit from a highly qualified faculty (almost all teachers are holders of PhDs in PS or related areas) and with proven results in terms of publications, research projects and consultancy activities (national and international). Fourth, the ability to pursue studies in this area at the Master and PhD level, and thus benefit from a comprehensive internship program. Fifth, the connection to several research centres of excellence, including the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-IUL), comprising the School of Sociology and Public Policy. Sixth, the ability to pursue (or be a part of) studies at the international level, resulting from numerous international partnerships at the level of education and research.

Both at the level of education and in terms of research, there are numerous partnerships with universities (teaching and/or research) that allow students to continue or be part of their studies (or research) in Political Science abroad. The Erasmus programme also allows some funding for these activities. Noteworthy is the participation of foreign professors and researchers at various teaching levels (in Political Science and CP & RI) and at the level of several research projects of our centres but integrated into international research networks (True European Voter, Comparative Candidate Survey, PARTIREP, Citizenship, Involvement and Democracy, PIREDEU - Providing a Research Infrastructure for the Study of Elections and Democracy in the European Union, NORFACE - REM - Religion, Eurocepticism and the Vote, PARENEL - Parliamentary Representation at National and European levels, etc.).

The target audiences of this programme are all interested in understanding and studying political phenomena, and having the objective of future employability in some of the areas shown below as the (potential) "career opportunities". 

In general terms, the third cycle degree in CP is designed to prepare graduates who:

• demonstrate a general understanding of Political Science and knowledge of its main concepts, theories and methods, and of some of their specialised fields, such understanding and knowledge should be acquired through advanced and updated manuals of this area of knowledge (or equivalent basic texts) and, in some ways, informed by recent advances in the discipline;
• are able to apply this knowledge and understanding so as to reveal a professional approach to politological work, and have the skills to sustain reasoning and solve problems in this area of study and work;
• have the ability to collect, select and interpret relevant information, particularly in the field of Political Science, enabling them to substantiate the recommended solutions and issued judgments, taking into account the scientific, technical, social and ethical issues involved;
• can communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions, both among political scientists as to the public, constituted by non-specialists in this area;
• have skills to continue learning throughout life with a high degree of autonomy;
• have acquired knowledge and skills that constitute a solid basis for further and more specialised studies at the university level in Political Science, namely in "Master degree in Political Science" and "PhD in Political Science and International Relations" or similar (including "Sociology", in "Public Administration" or "Public Policies"). "

To achieve these objectives and provide these skills, the undergraduate programme in Political Science from ISCTE-IUL has three particularly strong points:

First, in terms of philosophy (and knowledge acquired in the School of Sociology and Public Policy and in its institutional history) regarding the paradigm of teaching and learning, which was already a hallmark of the Department of Sociology at ISCTE-IUL (where originally started the undergraduate degree in Political Science) and has proven success, particularly in terms of employability of graduates in Sociology. It is a teaching methodology that promotes a symbiosis between theory and methodology, between fundamental research and applied research, between theory and practice of political scientists.

Second, at the level of faculty, that has developed high quality research (and impact in the Portuguese society and abroad) in the areas of Political Science and Political Sociology. We consider that this quality is recognized nationally and internationally if we take as indicators the work published by the faculty in referenced magazines, books, etc., as well as the participation in research networks or in National and International Congresses of the area.

Third, the experience of the multiple methodological and data analysis disciplines (Laboratories, Research Methods and Techniques, Data Analysis). Additionally, the undergraduate degree in PS at ISCTE-IUL took advantage of knowledge, experience and quality of faculty from other scientific areas at ISCTE-IUL that provide disciplines and teachers to the PS course, particularly History (which also integrates the School of Sociology and Public Policy), Law, Economics and Quantitative Methods (a part of the latter integrates today the School of Sociology and Public Policy and is called the "Department of Social Research Methods").

Besides the fundamental training in Political Science, the Undergraduate programme in Political Science from ISCTE-IUL presents also (optionally and jointly with the Undergraduate programme in Sociology) a branch of specialisation in "Public Policy" (see "Study Plan" below).

The predominant scientific area in this degree is Political Science, with 90 mandatory credits, totalling 162 mandatory credits, but there are other several instrumental areas ("statistics and data analysis": 24 mandatory credits; "social research methods": 24 mandatory credits) or complementary (economics, legal political sciences, history and public policy have, taken together, 24 mandatory credits). There are still 6 optional credits for "soft skills" and 12 optional credits non-specified areas.

Prof. Doutora Ana Espírito Santo
School of Sociology and Public Policy
Avenida das Forças Armadas
1649-026 Lisboa PORTUGAL
Telefone: + 351 210464015
Video Center 40 Anos iscte-iul associação de estudantes clube iscte-iul loja online