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Bachelor in Political Science

Imagen Ciencias politicas
4 years (240 ECTS credits)
Bilingual, Spanish


The Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science offers the training necessary to produce specialists and professionals prepared to understand and analyze politics in all its complexity with academic rigour and depth.

By building a sound foundation of essential knowledge, skills and abilities in political science and administration, students’ critical knowledge and interest in political analysis in national and international contexts is encouraged. 
The program content provides a careful balance between compulsory political science courses and an attractive range of methodological, legal, economic and sociological subjects to complement these courses.

The degree is focused on job placement in the public administration or political analysis, with special attention paid to a new and growing demand for quality management, consultancy, and assessment of public programs. At the same time, it is also currently exploring new career paths, such as NGOs, foundations and international cooperation. 

Employability and profesional internships

UC3M has agreements with over 3000 companies and institutions in which students can undertake internships and access job openings.

A total of 93.4 % of graduates from this University enter the job market the first year after finishing their studies, according to the 2019 XXIV Estudio de Inserción Profesional (Professional Placement Study).


International Excellence

QS Top 50 Under 50
Times Higher Education (THE)



  • Exchange programs

    Exchange programs

    The Erasmus programme permits UC3M first degree and post graduate students to spend one or several terms at one of the European universities with which UC3M has special agreements or take up an Erasmus Placement, that is a work placement or internship at an EU company. These exchanges are funded with Erasmus Grants which are provided by the EU and the Spanish Ministry of Education.

    The non-european mobility program enables UC3M degree students to study one or several terms in one of the international universities with which the university has special agreements. It also has funding from the Banco Santander and the UC3M.

    These places are offered in a public competition and are awarded to students with the best academic record and who have passed the language threshold  (English, French, German etc..) requested by the university of destination.

  • European mobility

    European mobility

  • Non european mobility

    Non european mobility

Student profile

  • Entry profile

    Entry profile

    No specialised knowledge or skills are required to do the degree, apart from those which any student entering a university should possess and which have been acquired during pre-university education.
    However, students applying for a degree in Political Science should have some of the following attitudes and general qualities:

    • An interest in and sensitivity towards the political and social problems of our world.
    • An intellectual curiosity to learn about and understand in depth the political and social reality which surrounds us with critical thought.
    • An appreciation of reading, communication and debate, discussion of ideas orally and in writing.
    • An interest in following current affairs through the media.

    Application for a place in the degree


  • Graduate profile

    Graduate profile

    Our aim is to train students so that by the end of their degree studies they have acquired a set of knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to a graduate in Political Science from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid and which will enable them to become good professionals capable of adapting effectively to different work situations, activities and professions. The graduate will have acquired:

    •     Analytical instruments for participating in the search for practical and theoretical solutions to the world’s political and governmental problems
    •     Instruments for the analysis and management of different public policies which can be applied in carrying out management and technical roles in public Administration
    •     Practical and theoretical knowledge of the functioning of public Administration and management
    •     Basic ability to perform tasks in the international arena and in international organisations (UN, EU, World Bank, etc.)
    •     Capacity to reflect on and critically analyse important current events
    •     Handling of different procedures to analyse political reality (comparative, analytical, historical…)
    •     Knowledge of the principal political ideologies and theories and the ability to recognise these in the discourse or actions of political, economic and social players
    •     Capacity to carry out qualitative and quantitative research into socio-political phenomena
    •     The means and abilities to guide the private sector in its relationship with public administrations and the forging of links between both
    •     Communication and negotiation skills and conflict resolution
    •     Tools for the interpretation of electoral processes and results, legislative processes, political conflicts
    •     The capacity to explain historical events in political terms
    •     The knowledge and skills for forming basic opinions about the development of government activity

    A degree in Political Science from Universidad Carlos III of Madrid lays the foundation for the training of students in areas or professional fields with important value in the labour market. Among graduate professional profiles, published in the White Book of Degrees by ANECA, we should highlight the following four:

    • Political Analyst: they analyse and interpret data concerning citizens’ values and attitudes and regarding the different political players. They analyse election results, define political scenarios, design political strategies and election campaigns for political, social and institutional organisations. They supervise and test the quality and reliability of socio-political indicators for decision-making purposes.
    • Manager and expert in public administration: performs management, coordination, inspection, control and study and the design and planning of improvement measures for public administration, constitutional bodies and, in general, public organisations operating in the European, state, regional and local arenas.
    • Public Policy Analyst: they analyse public policies in the respective stages of identification and definition of problems and the formulation and execution of programmes and actions. They assess public policies and pose alternatives to improve subsequent public policies and performance.
    • Advisor and Consultant (national and international): they provide advisory services and technical assistance to public administration and political institutions; to political organisations (parties, trade unions...) and NGOs; to private enterprises in their relations with the public sector; to public and political leaders of national and international institutions and internationally focussed businesses. They plan, execute and evaluate cooperation and development projects in other countries. They act as international observers in peace and democratisation processes. They mediate in crisis management and conflict resolution.

    General skills in Politics

    The skills proposed respond essentially to those contained in the White Paper on qualifications (ANECA 2005) with some changes and additions proper to the characteristics of the Degree course presented by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

    The proposed skills, which have been divided into general, specific and basic, are fully consistent with fundamental and equal rights between men and women with the principles of equal opportunities and universal accessibility of disabled persons and with the values of a culture of peace and democratic values.

    In addition, these skills and competence are organised on the basis of two basic criteria associated for the ultimate aims of the Bologna declaration: "knowing" and "knowing how to" Therefore within each competence, disciplinary skills are identified ("knowing") and professional skills ("knowing how to").


    General Skills:

    1. Master the methods and techniques of political and social research. Ability to propose study of political phenomena, design techniques for data compilation and test hypotheses.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Familiarity with approaches and methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis
    • Knowledge of the comparative method
    • Familiarity with case study techniques
    • Knowledge of information sources
    • Knowledge of applied statistics

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to)

    • Define research objects and proposing hypotheses.
    • Apply theoretical models
    • Design research techniques
    • Produce, compile, analyse and interpret data

    2. Operate with quantitative and qualitative research data.  Master instruments of quantitative and qualitative data analysis in order to apply them in a research process.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of statistics applied to social sciences.
    • Knowledge of qualitative analysis techniques
    • Knowledge of databases and relevant indicators

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to)

    • Analysing and interpreting statistical information
    • Analysing and interpreting qualitative information
    • Compile and explain comparative information

    3. Knowledge of techniques and basic instruments of political communication

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of instruments for disseminating political messages and information.
    • Knowledge of the main communications techniques.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to)

    • Design political campaigns
    • Transmit political messages and information
    • Identify issues for public debate

    4. Ability to use information and communications technologies (ICT) in political analysis and public administration and capacity for understanding their impact on the political system.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Familiarity with ICT applicable to political analysis and public administration.
    • Knowledge of theoretical basics of electronic governance and administration

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to)

    • Manage computer programmes applied to political and social research and public administration.
    • Contribute to design of websites of political institutions and public authorities.
    • Ability to manage and improve electronic management instruments.


    Specific Skills:

    Specific skills and the details of the abilities and knowledge implicit in each are as follows:

    1. Understanding conceptual development, theoretical frameworks and approaches to politics.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of basic theoretical proposals
    • Knowledge of methods and problems of different approaches.
    • Knowledge of the nature of the policy as a subject of study.
    • Knowledge of theories and approaches to power.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Identify documented sources
    • Recognise and use theories, paradigms, concepts and principles pertaining to the discipline.
    • Argue from different theoretical perspectives.

    2. Understand the various elements of political systems and the sphere within which they interact.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the theories and doctrines of political systems.
    • Knowledge of democratic theories
    • Knowledge of the dynamics of political systems
    • Knowledge of different political systems: local, autonomous and state.
    • Knowledge of the integral components of the system, their operating logics and reciprocal effects.
    • Knowledge of comparative electoral systems

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Identify the political system components and understanding relations between the different components of a system.
    • Analyse the parts and subsystems of political system and integrating the resulting information.
    • Note and extract conclusions on the different political systems.
    • Determine the variables which would permit comparative research and construct reliable indicators.
    • Relate the political and administrative systems with the social and economic sphere.

    3. Understand the structure and the way political institutions operate.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the main theories on political institutions.
    • Knowledge of the position of political institutions within the global structure of the political system.
    • Knowledge of the legal framework of political institutions.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Create knowledge maps of  the organisation
    • Propose outlines for structural transformation processes.
    • Identify elements and networks in an organisation.
    • Determine influential relations and hierarchical mechanisms.
    • Analyse the consequences of a specific institutional configuration in relation to a political economic and /or social given environment.

    4. Knowledge of the basics of comparative politics.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of different theoretical approaches and the methodological principles in comparative politics.
    • Knowledge of principal political structures especially in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Mediterranean world.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Analyse institutions, processes and policies in different countries.
    • Carry out case studies
    • Apply the comparative method
    • Capacity for applying and adapting knowledge to various contexts

    5. Understand the behaviour of political actors.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the main theoretical contributions regarding political actors and their networks.
    • Knowledge of how they interact.
    • Knowledge of the activities within political systems.
    • Knowledge of the main dynamics and paradigms applied to political socialisation.
    • Knowledge of the processes of political leadership.
    • Knowledge of key factors and characteristics of collective action.
    • Knowledge of courses of action, representation and intermediation.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Identify national and international politicians, political parties, leaders, pressure groups, social movements and organisations.....
    • Interpret relations established with political institutions and with parties conforming to the political system.
    • Analyse the effects generated in the political system, in particular in the institutional and administrative subsystems in the performance of their activities.
    • Designing political campaigns

    6. Understand civil conduct and democratic values. This competence focuses on the student's understanding of political attitudes and conduct, and the process of forming and expressing political preferences. Special emphasis will be placed on the student's comprehension of democratic political culture and democratic values consistent with fundamental and equal rights between men and women with the principles of equal opportunities and universal accessibility of disabled persons, and with the values of a culture of peace and democratic values.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the prevailing and alternative paradigms with respect to political culture and democratic values.
    • Knowledge of theories on political behaviour and culture.
    • Technical knowledge of political and social research into political culture.
    • Knowledge of variables which influence collective and individual conduct.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Identification of institutional, political and social variables.
    • Apply the methods and techniques of political and social research.
    • Identification of data sources
    • Explain and anticipate patterns and trends in political behaviour.

    7. Knowledge of how electoral procedures function.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of theories on the processes of social election.
    • Knowledge of how electoral campaigns operate.
    • Knowledge of main electoral systems and their political implications.
    • Knowledge of the processes involved in compiling, analysing and interpreting surveys.
    • Knowledge of analytical techniques and interpretation of electoral results.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Perform an electoral analysis
    • Analyse electoral campaigns
    • Define post electoral scenarios
    • Design and analyse opinion polls
    • Familiarity with electoral data sources

    8. Understand contemporary political theories and ideologies. 

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the main regulatory and positive political theories.
    • Knowledge of the main 20th century political ideologies.
    • Ability to interpret political texts arising from a number of different cultural and geographic contexts.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Recognise the main classic political texts.
    • Ability to interpret current political texts in different ideological keys.
    • Ability to argue from different theoretical positions

    9. Comprehend the historical dimension of political and social processes. The skills and competence consist of knowing and interpreting historical, political and social frameworks, as an explanatory background to the current systems, in order to obtain a greater comprehension of the current reality and future prospection.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of theories on power and politics.
    • Knowledge of political texts in order to integrate them in global interpretative contexts.
    • Knowledge of contemporary political and social history and their specificities in Spain.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Handling of  historical documentation sources
    • Interpret political and social phenomena.
    • Set up comparative analyses in order to highlight continuity and discontinuity factors in situations of historic change.
    • Critically relate current political processes and events and those of the past.

    10. Understand the structure, organisation and operation of Public Authorities at various levels.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the structure and organisation of public authorities.
    • Knowledge of the legal framework regulating the structure of Public Authorities.
    • Knowledge of the political decision making process and its distribution throughout Government structures.
    • Knowledge of theoretical estimates of intergovernmental relations.
    • Knowledge of the theory of organisation.
    • Knowledge of relations between administrations and the administered.
    • Knowledge of the theory of bureaucracy

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Apply organisational techniques for the adequate operation of the Administration.
    • Identify and analyse the different operational units.
    • Establish strategies for organisational improvements and quality assurance of public services.
    • Ensure compliance with politically defined objectives.
    • Advise in decision making processes.

    11. Understand public managerial administration. This competence assumes knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects relating to planning and management, at a pre-managerial and managerial level, of resources in Public Authorities.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of public management theories
    • Knowledge of the principles and tools of New Public Management.
    • Knowledge of the basic principles and tools for human resources management.
    • Knowledge of the quality systems applied to public management.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Decision making techniques and strategic management.
    • Human resources management techniques
    • Information management and public marketing techniques.
    • Intergovernmental management techniques.
    • Techniques for evaluating policies, programmes and public services
    • Evaluation systems for management of public service quality.

    12. Comprehension of the legal framework of the activity of Public Authorities. This skill requires comprehension of the current regulations affecting the different activities carried out by the Public Authorities.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the institutions and regulatory norms governing Public Authorities.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Manage and process legal sources.
    • Comprehension of a legal text and the resulting consequences.

    13. Comprehension of the economic environment and the economic dimension of the public sector. This competence leads to a global vision of the economy and understand the importance of the economic dimension of the public sector

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the theoretical and practical basics of political economy.
    • Knowledge of the theoretical and practical elements of the economic dimension of the public sector.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Critically interpret and analyse economic reality.
    • Evaluate the economic dimension of public policies.
    • Relate economic aspects to the actions of public powers and politicians.

    14. Ability to plan, implement, assess and analyse public policies. This skill will permit knowledge of all the phases of public policy and identify the scope of decision making as well as alternatives for achieving political ends.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of theoretical proposals on the analysis of public policies.
    • Knowledge of approaches to governance.
    • Knowledge of the processes of political and public leadership.
    • Knowledge of decision making processes and establishment of public objectives.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Design strategies and programmes for action in order to implement public policies.
    • Knowing how to make an assessment of a public event.
    • Mobilise and coordinate resources, agents and networks needed to implement policies.

    15. Comprehension of international politics. This skill centres on an understanding of the complex international scenario through the identification of its political actors, its institutional, organisational and political structure and the interaction and activity that these develop.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the theories underlying international politics.
    • Knowledge of the structure and the way that the main international institutions operate.
    • Knowledge of regionalisation processes and regional integration in the world.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Analyse and evaluate scenarios in international politics.
    • Identification of new decision making scenarios.
    • Identification of political effects which foreign political processes have on the national political system.

    16. Understand the structure and the way the European Union operates. Knowledge and understanding of the main institutions and political actors operating within the framework of the European Union and the mechanisms for political integration.

    Disciplinary skills (knowing):

    • Knowledge of the EU political system and its policies.
    • Knowledge of the political, economic and social dimension of the EU.
    • Knowledge of the main European political actors.

    Professional knowledge (knowing how to):

    • Recognise and interpret political and legal structures.
    • Evaluate the impact of the European policies in the national political system.
    • Analyse the conduct, attitudes and values of individuals and groups involved.

    Basic Skills:

    The basic skills required pursuant to the terms of Royal Decree 1393/2007 establishing the organisation of official university teaching are as follows:

    • Ability to organise and plan, while motivated by quality
    • Written and oral communication in mother tongue
    • Ability to transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to both a specialised and non-specialist public;
    • Ability to compile and interpret information in order to issue opinions which include a reflection on relevant themes of a social, scientific or ethical nature.
    • Communication in a foreign language
    • Comprehension of basic instruments of learning and research in order to undertake subsequent studies with a considerable degree of autonomy.
    • Ability to apply the knowledge acquired to his/her work or vocation of a professional nature
    • Mastery of computer skills applicable to the scope of  study
    • Ability to devise and defend arguments, and to resolve problems and make decisions based on critical reasoning.
    • Interpersonal skills and teamwork
    • Recognition of  diversity and multiculturalism
    • Commitment to democratic values and principles, with respect to fundamental rights and gender equality, principles of equal opportunities and universal accessibility of disabled persons and the values associated with a culture of peace, and ethical commitment and dedication to public service.
    • Ability to adapt to new situations
    • Initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship and leadership skills

Study in english

Bilingual studies

This degree courses in English and Spanish. In the courses taught in English there aren't groups in Spanish, so there isn't possibility to choose the language in which you will carry out your studies. You must take into mind that:

  • In groups in English, all works (classes, drills, exercises, tests, etc.) will be conducted in English.
  • Along the first year, it must be established an English B2 level, performing a test, providing one of the supported official certificates or any way determined by the university. In the first weeks of the course will inform students how they can prove their level.
  • After completing the studies, in your DS will appear a mention of bilingual studies.

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