Introduction to Political Science

Course description:

This course explores key concepts in political science. It is organised as an introductory exploration to the wider study of politics and presupposes little or no knowledge of politics and their diverse literatures and methodologies of investigation.

The course is designed with a comparative politics flair and provides a good deal of material and room for discussion on key concerns of political analysis. The online lectures, the literature, and the tutor-student interactions will provide a fairly easy path into the discussion.

The aim of the course is to provide participants with a broad overview and understanding of basic elements of political analysis. The course is designed to accentuate the importance of politics and to assist participants in developing the tools to analyse and understand current events.

The course is organised as a four weeks course, along 5 modules. The first is an introduction the notions of governments, regimes, and ideologies. It is followed by a conceptualisation of democracy and the modern states. After that, the concepts of nations, ethnicity and identity are introduced. The fourth module presents the national and international politics in a comparative way. Finally, there is a module on political representation with a focus on party systems and the interest groups surrounding the political representation. The course will offer online lectures, online discussion boards, assignments, weekly tutorial meetings to discuss readings and assignments, and an oral exam at the end of the course.


A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent). Candidates with any educational background are welcome to enrol.

Course completion, ECTS, edubadges and estimated workload:

The course is completed once you fulfill the course requirements and pass the final assignment and oral exam. Your coursebook will also include the explanation of resit options. Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalence credits and the certification will be offered through an online educational badge. The estimated workload is 60 hours, including 10-15 hours per week and 10-15 hours per assignments/oral exam.

Course Activities:
Online lectures, online discussion board, assignments, weekly tutorial meeting to discuss readings and assignments, and an oral exam.

ECTS equivalent credits obtained:
Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalent credits, upon the successful completion of the course requirements, and oral exam. This certification will be offered through an online educational badge.

The course is completed once you fulfil the course requirements and pass the oral exam. Your coursebook will also include the explanation of resit options.


500 euro

Required Readings:

The cost of the course does not include books or hardcopies of the course material. Course materials can be bought, ordered or downloaded by the participant him/herself.

Below the course reading and ISBN number for the book required for the course “Introduction to Political Science”

Andrew Heywood, Politics, Palgrave Foundations
(only for the Political Science course)
ISBN: 978023036380 (4th edition)

Starting date, enrollment time and payment:

Individually decided.

Upon a successful enrollment, every participant will start the course on an individual basis, immediately after the acquisition of the course materials. Your tutor will reach out to you to agree on a timeline.

You will be enrolled for 10 weeks, including 1 week to access the platform and become familiar with the materials, 4 weeks of coursework, 2 weeks to submit the final assignment and do the oral exam and 3 weeks of potential resit time.

In case you prefer to use the 10 weeks in a different way, please agree with your tutor during your first exchange.

To pay the tuition fee, please make the transfer to the following account. Upon payment, you will be registered as student, and contacted by your tutor. On average this takes 1-2 weeks.

Bank account no.
IBAN NL05 INGB 0657 618705
Swift or BIC code INGBNL2A
Beneficiary Maastricht University
Bank name ING Business Banking
Bank address P.O. Box 90153
5600 RE  Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Payment specification your last name and 45320002001N

Download the coursebook

Christian Nicola Nota - Course tutor

Tutoring this course has been a very enriching experience. I not only experienced the engagement of motivated and knowledgeable students, with interesting and valuable insights, but I also had the chance to acquire a new perspective on development and development policies. I have gained even more awareness about the importance of considering the context and about the particularity of each specific case. It is a unique opportunity to grow both professionally and personally!
Christian Nicola Nota, UNU-MERIT