International Relations

Programme - first cycle - 180 credits


Admission requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6


credits 20% final grades 40% national university aptitude test 40%

Telmen_Tamir_student_International_Relations“Interaction among students and teachers is very extensive both during lectures and within the University. We learn about what is happening in the world both politically and socially. Education is the most powerful tool we can use. Houses, cars, objects can be taken away from you, but no one can take away your knowledge. It is the best investment you can make.” - Telmen Tamir, Student.


This programme develops your skills in analysing and reflecting upon central questions in current international relations. During the first year of the programme you learn about the current workings of international relations as well as recent key trends through lectures, seminars and group work. You study central theoretical concepts such as the relationship between the state and the individual and develop your ability to use these concepts for independent analysis. In the second year, you can enrol in various exchange programmes or combine studies with a relevant internship. In the third year you will study current issues in global politics. The programme ends with a 15 credits bachelor thesis.


What is International Relations?

World politics is constantly evolving. The preconditions for international peace and security as well as human security are changing. New patterns of cooperation and conflict are developing on the regional as well as the global level. The bachelor's programme in International Relations develops your skills in analysing and reflecting upon central questions in current international relations.

Students hanging out at Malmö University

Inside Gäddan 8, the building for the Faculty of Culture and Society.

During the programme you will learn about the current workings of international relations as well as recent key trends. You will also learn about predominant theoretical perspectives and central concepts upon which the International Relations discipline rests, and develop your ability to use these for independent analysis.

What makes International Relations unique?

In addition to compulsory courses, you will also have the opportunity to do an internship or take optional courses in Sweden or abroad. This means you are able to get valuable practical experience in international relations, as well as the possibility to develop and create networks and contacts with relevant organisations. Former students have interned at emabassies, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations.


Read about  content , learning outcomes etc under Syllabus. 
Read about the course Internship


“Knowledge is the best investment you can make!”

Telmen Tamir came from Mongolia in 2013 to study International Relations. Meeting Swedish culture and the way of studying was a whole new experience.


“The studies are very interesting. It´s all very new to me. Interaction among students and teachers is very extensive both during lectures and within the university. I like that the teachers are like our friends. We learn about what is happening in the world both politically and socially. Education is the most powerful tool we can use. Houses, cars, objects can be taken away from you, but no one can take away your knowledge. It is the best investment you can make.”

He likes studying at Malmö University but says that since he is only 19 years old he has no other university to compare with. The reason he started studying International Relations is partly his ambition.

“I have always wanted to go deeper into what happens in the world.”

Partly, it is also Telmen´s parents' influence. Both his brother and mother have studied International Relations.

“Globalisation has such a big impact on the whole world, so it is very important to have knowledge about the outside world. Take, for instance, the situation in the Ukraine; it is important to have background information on how the problems started in order to provide a solution.”

Telmen Tamir plans to do his internship at the Mongolian Embassy in Stockholm, in January 2015. He has already met the representatives of the embassy.

“They are very open and welcoming. They told me that they really need a person to help them out since they are so few and have a lot of work. For me it will be a great opportunity to apply theories to real life.”

After he receives his Bachelor degree in 2016 Telmen would like to return to his native country, Mongolia. But before that he will continue with further studies for a master’s degree in the field of IR.

“I love Sweden, but Sweden doesn´t need me. But my country is a developing country and they need people with knowledge in this field. Mongolia needs me!  And I aim to look for work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia. Perhaps later I will return to Sweden and work as ambassador of Mongolia, improving relations between Sweden, Scandinavian countries and Mongolia.”

Abdul loves studying at Malmö University

Abdul Rehman, International Relations, 180 credits, Malmö University

Abdul Rehman came from Pakistan in 2009 to study International Relations. The meeting with the Swedish culture and the way of studying was a whole new experience.

“I love studying at Malmö University, there is no stress, it´s a very relaxing environment and everybody is very friendly and want to help. That is why I am still here!”

The other thing that Abdul appreciates in Malmoe University is the freedom of speech.

“In my country questions are not allowed at the university, people simply don´t know how to deal with inconvenient questions. But here we have discussions all the time, and I really love it! I learned how to be patient and how to address different issues.”

In Pakistan he studied political science and journalism.

“We had a lot of discussions about inferior and superior states, meaning the states in the third world. These states usually have little money and power and depend on powerful states like the US for instance. So if an inferior state wants contributions they have to compromise and do what the superior state tells them to do. In Sweden you discuss things from a totally different point of view.”

During his studies in Pakistan, Abdul decided to take a break and work. But after two years when his job contract ended as customer services officer, he found out that education was free in Sweden. So he continued his studies at Malmoe University.

“Here it is so nice, the teachers and the administrational staff are so friendly, they even remember your name, I appreciate that a lot.”

Abduls most memorable moment during the four years of education was when he was elected to the student union parliament, FUM.

“That was my best day! I was the member of the student union parliament for two years and had the possibility to give a voice to student problems. That was great!”

Abdul Rahman recently completed his bachelor degree. He is working part time with the helpdesk at Malmoe University and hope to find a job in customer services in the future.


I was impressed with the teaching standards and diversity offered

Zeynep Erdal has certainly come a long way since embarking on her studies at Malmö University back in 2006.

Zeynap Erdal, International Relations

The 27-year-old, who is now based in Shanghai where she works as an analyst and consultant, studied International Relations for three years graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Having travelled the world since then, the multilingual Erdal cites her time in Malmö as being crucial on her path to professional success. 

“After finishing high school I worked in sales for an international company. I enjoyed working in a cosmopolitan setting and was keen to enhance societal development. The unique elements of the course, along with the multi-cultural environment the city has to offer, made Malmö an attractive place to study,” says Erdal.

Erdal was particularly impressed with the teaching standards and diversity offered on the International Relations course at Malmö University.

“The interdisciplinary nature of my program enabled me to meet professors from a variety of academic backgrounds and philosophical standpoints, which provided us with a comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted nature of our discipline,” says the Swede.

The Skåne native adds; “Malmö has the best food in Sweden. I’m biased but it’s true! A student can eat out in town for a decent price.”

Many of the students on the courses taught in English a Malmö University come from overseas. Going abroad is something Erdal highly recommends having spent a year as an exchange student in Istanbul.

“It’s a great opportunity that should be seized whenever such a possibility is presented. Meeting great people from around the world and experiencing my first culture shock were the things that turned this exchange into one of the most valuable experiences in my life,” says Erdal who later spent a year respectively at Fudan and Jiaotong Universities in China.

A glance at Erdal’s CV reveals a whole host of accomplishments. Her time in Turkey was courtesy of being awarded an Erasmus scholarship. Before going to Shanghai she was President of the Red Cross Youth Association in Malmö, a time when the organisation received an integration award.

After graduating from Malmö in 2009 Erdal continued her studies at Lund before China came calling. The nation’s growing strength internationally swayed her decision to go further east and she is busy learning Mandarin which she balances with her work commitments.

“I am involved in several projects that cover a wide range of issues including employment sector development, the Sino-Africa economical cooperation and geopolitics in the Arctic region. I am also engaged in a local NGO where we set up libraries in schools at the Chinese countryside,” says the 27-year-old.

She concludes; “Upon completing my Mandarin studies, and gaining some more working experience, I am planning on pursuing a Phd degree in Development Studies. 


What career will I be prepared for?

This programme provides a good foundation for further studies at the master's level. You will also be able to work with a whole array of issues related to international relations, such as foreign policy, international aid, development, international cooperation, conflict prevention and human rights. Potential employers could be the diplomatic service, local and national administrations, non-governmental organisations and international organisations.

Internship - an optional course

At the Department of Global Political Studies, students have the opportunity to undertake an internship during one semester. Read more about the course Internship


Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2015

Other semesters:

Programme Code:
SGINE revision 10
Date of establishment:
30 November 2006
Date of ratification:
07 November 2012
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
02 September 2013
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
15 December 2011

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.


International Relations as an academic subject contains a number of theoretical perspectives seeking to illuminate and explain relations between different types of actors and structures within global politics.

The overarching aim of the bachelor program of international relations is to provide students with the ability to gain skills, knowledge and insight in relation to the following main areas: the basic features of international relations; the changeable nature of international relations; the relationship between global politics the state and the individual; the nature and modes of operation of the international system; and the emergence of international norms and institutions. Furthermore, the program seeks to provide knowledge and insight into salient theoretical endeavors, methodological issues and current research debates within the field of study.

The program also aims to equip students with the necessary analytical skills in order to be able to work with subject related issues in national and international environments, for example within voluntary organizations, national public authorities and international organizations. In addition, the program provides necessary skills and knowledge for continued studies on master or graduate studies levels.

The bachelor program consists of six terms of study and leads to a bachelor’s degree in International Relations.

The program is organized in the following way:

  • Term 1: International relations 1. This term is based on the theoretically pluralist character of the discipline, i.e. it engages different perspectives on IR, providing the foundation for further study. This course also gives students an introduction to current issues and trends in global politics, and their historical background and development. In addition, an introduction to scientific methods and academic writing is given.

  • Term 2: International Relations 2. This course builds on the theoretical and empirical knowledge gained in the first semester, but focuses on specific processes and structures central to the development and operation of the contemporary international system, as well as on questions relating methodology and the research of international relations. The latter includes the writing of a research paper.

  • Term 3: Elective. This semester makes it possible for students to enroll in elective courses, but it is recommended that students chose subjects either related to IR or courses of relevance for future professional careers.

  • Term 4: Elective. This semester also makes it possible for students to enroll in elective courses but it is recommended that students either conduct studies at a university abroad, or do an internship which the program coordinator deems relevant to the study program.

  • Term 5: In–Depth Studies in Global Politics. This course aims to provide students with deepened understanding of theory within the discipline and to broaden their knowledge of the empirical scope of Global Politics. Specific attention is given to global governance and foreign policy strategies.

  • Term 6: International Relations 3. In the final semester, we focus on analysis of contemporary challenges in Global Politics in relation to more advanced studies of methodology and philosophy of science. Specific attention is given to the research process and the design and completion of a research project. The course ends with a Bachelor Thesis (15 credits).



For programme with start Autumn 2015:
Autumn 2015 - Semester 1
Spring 2016 - Semester 2
Autumn 2016 - Semester 3
  • -
Spring 2017 - Semester 4
  • -
Autumn 2017 - Semester 5
Spring 2018 - Semester 6

Learning outcomes

After completion of the program, students will be able to

  • Identify and describe, compare and analyze, as well as critically assess and evaluate the theoretical perspectives, research problems, and areas of study germane to the discipline of International Relations
  • Through the application of scientific methods independently identify, seek, collect, and critically compile and interpret material and information relevant to the subject.
  • Orally and in writing participate in a dialogue with different respondents within the academy and in society at large, concerning subject related problems, arguments and solutions.
  • Within allotted time-frames formulate and conduct independent analysis of research problems within international relations, individually as well as in groups.
  • Evaluate relevant scientific, societal, and ethical aspects of their own and others’ independent research products.
  • Independently design, conduct, and present a research project.


Bachelor's Degree.
Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Relations.


Further information

Ingrid Alexandersson, Student Services Assistant
Phone: 040-66 57331

Johan Modée, Programme Coordinator
Phone: 040-66 57586

The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department Department of Global Political Studies.