Joint Master Programme in International Relations: Europe from the Visegrád Perspective is a graduate study program taught in cooperation of 4 universities. The Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno cooperates here with the Faculty of International and Political Studies of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow; the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Pécs; and with the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations of Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica. The 2-year (4-semester) program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience the environment of all four schools. The first semester is organized in Krakow, the second semester in Brno, the third semester in Pécs and the fourth semester in Banská Bystrica.
All the four semesters are devoted to coursework, but during the third semester the students already start writing of the thesis and in the last semester the Master thesis is finished and submitted. Coursework includes reading assignments, written assignments, class presentations and exams. All courses are taught in English. The language of assigned readings, exams and individual consultations is also English.
Courses are divided into two categories: compulsory and optional courses. Compulsory courses constitute the core of the program. All of them must be completed in the course of study. In addition, the programme offers optional courses. The number of optional courses taken must be such that the ECTS credit requirements for optional courses are fulfilled. Credits are awarded for successful completion of the courses.
The first semester of the programme (in Krakow) is focused on modern history and contemporary development of the international relations, the theory of international relations, present development in the area of international law and the working of international financial markets. At the same time detailed attention is devoted to cultural and social aspects of the current development in Europe and especially Central Europe. The optional courses also include the course which is devoted to Polish history and culture. Similar courses dealing with Czech, Hungarian and Slovak history, culture and language are also included among the optional courses in following semesters.
The second semester of the programme (in Brno) is focused on the deepening of knowledge of the history of formation of the state system in Europe with the emphasis on the process of political transformation in the Central and Eastern Europe. It includes the introduction to the theoretical concepts of governance with the emphasis on the perspective of multilevel governance in contemporary Europe. The selection and content of the compulsory courses should serve as a basis for acquiring good and sound knowledge, especially about the political systems of the states in Central and Eastern Europe, which corresponds with the overall thematic orientation of the programme. The faculty includes lecturers who combine political science approach with law, history, and economy which helps the student to connect comprehensive orientation in international relations with interdisciplinary perspective. Interdisciplinary approach is further developed in the set of optional courses that allow the student to shape his or her qualification according to own preference and interests.
The recommended study plan for the second semester is to take all three required courses and 1-2 selective courses from the list below according to personal preferences and study strategies. The number of optional courses for each semester is only a recommendation, students may choose another strategy how to distribute the number of optional courses during the academic year, with respect to the overall required number of credits for optional courses and the mininum required number of credits per semester and academic year.
The third semester of the programme (in Pécs) is focused to even more detailed deepening of the knowledge about political culture and transition of political regimes in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, with the emphasis on V-4 countries. The emphasis is also on international political economy and economic transformation of V-4 countries. The problems of sustainable development are also included. In this semester the students begin to work on their Master theses.
The fourth semester (in Banská Bystrica) concludes the whole study programme. The curriculum is focused here on political systems of Visegrád countries with the emphasis on security aspects, geopolitics and the problems of internal security. Students submit the Master thesis in this semester.