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I have written about the courses of the first semester before and will now write more about the courses of this second semester. This post is especially helpful for those who are thinking about applying to the MIER program and want to know more about the courses. Please feel free to ask me any further questions!
The second semester consists of four different courses: Contemporary European Institutions, International and European Security, Europe’s Relations With the World, and Research Design and Methods. Again, I would like to point out that it is always possible that the courses or their content change and are not exactly like described.
Contemporary European Institutions
This course mostly focuses on, as its name implies, European (European Union) institutions. In the course, students are expected to learn more specifically what different institutions do, and what is their main purpose. In addition, the course focuses on EU policies from different perspectives as well as the main challenges facing the EU. It has been a yearly tradition that a former Swedish MEP comes to hold a guest lecture about Brexit. Most likely this will happen in the future years as well, as Brexit still hasn’t officially even happened. The integration theories also have a big role in the course, and students are expected to learn more about them. The course includes a lot of group work pre-seminars, which is always nice!
The best part of this course is, of course, the (optional) study trip to Brussels. The trip is fully organized by students with some support from the University. The trip lasts usually up to 5 days and includes many visits to different kinds of EU institutions among other international organizations. More information about the trip you may read here. The course includes writing a report from the trip visits as well as a home exam.
International and European Security
If your main interest is in security, this is the course for you! This course is one of the most interesting courses of this program, at least for me. It focuses on security studies in general, but especially in European security issues. In the course, you will focus on theories in the field, but also on different kinds of concepts like power and security, which will help you broaden the way you see security and foreign policy issues, for example. This course highlights the importance of critically looking into issues. Like always, this course includes seminars where security issues are discussed and debated in small groups. A big part of the course also focuses on the EU Global Strategy, which you will most likely become familiar with in the Brussels trip the latest. A home examination is included.
Europe’s Relation With the World
This course’s main focus is on the North-South relationship as well as in European identity. You will learn about Europe’s (EU’s) relations with developing ACP (=African, Caribbean, and Pacific) countries. You will become familiar with related theories, such as Said’s Orientalism, among others. You will discuss more specifically about possible future developments of the ACP countries and the EU’s role in it. In addition to the normal seminars, you may also have the chance to participate in a role play with other students to better focus on a certain actor in the North-South relations, and learn more through that. If you are interested in developing countries, this course is for you!
Research Design and Methods
As boring as the name of the course sounds (trust me, I was not excited either…) it has got me excited about writing my master thesis! Like you probably would guess, the course focuses on prepping you for writing your thesis; what methods to use, how to formulate your research questions, what to pay attention to, etc. Even though the course is only halfway through for me, I still feel like I have gotten so many things out of it that will help me write my thesis. This course is a lot of work: a lot to read, many seminars + seminar papers, quantitative labs using SPSS and writing a report about it, writing your master thesis proposal and doing a home exam at the same time. However, this course will be your biggest asset in writing a good thesis. As you are expected to write your thesis proposal in this class, often times people have changed their topic for the actual thesis. However, as you have to put a lot of effort to the proposal anyway, you might want to start planning your thesis topic at this stage already and take advantage of drafting the proposal during this course.
My descriptions of the first semester courses can be found here.
More information about the courses can be found here (Linköping University Page).
Till next time,
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