History and Overview of the Department
Department’s history and profile
The department of Political Science and History is the organic evolution of the first political science department in Greece, the Higher School of Political Science, founded in the early 1930s. In its current form, it was established in 1997 (after a split of the Department of Political Science and International Studies) and started functioning as an independent department in the academic year 1998-1999.
The department is devoted to the study and research of political science and modern history, with a special emphasis on the following fields: comparative politics; political sociology; contentious politics and social movements; political and electoral behavior; public policy; globalization studies; constitutional law; economic theory and history; political philosophy and social theory; minorities and migration; public history; modern and contemporary world, European, Balkan and Greek history.
The departmental curriculum promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social and political phenomena. The courses offered allow for both a regional focus (primarily Europe and the Balkans) and encourage the in-depth exploration of contemporary problems in an increasingly globalized world.
The department is actively engaged in promoting and facilitating student professional prospects despite current employment difficulties. Comparative studies conducted by international organisations have shown that single-discipline or excessively specialised study programs in the social sciences tend to fail in establishing solid links with the job market. On the contrary, interdisciplinary programmes, be they thematic (problem-oriented) or regional (area studies), based on the pedagogical principle of well-informed student autonomy, greatly enhance employability. Since nowadays more and more people are forced to seek alternative occupations during their professional life (many of them turning to adult education), a good grounding in general knowledge and the scientific method is a most valuable tool.
Likely employment opportunities available to the students include:
♦ In secondary education: teaching in the political science and history modules;
♦ in the public sector;
♦ in public and private enterprises interested in geographical, historical and cultural areas (Greek, Balkan and European studies);
♦ in European institutions;
♦ in the media: general and specialized web sites, in the daily press, television and radio shows as well as publishing houses;
♦ in a broad spectrum of office work in combination with language and computer skills,
♦ in research institutions and archives.
Structure of the studies
The Department has an undergraduate as well as an MA and PhD programme of studies.
The undergraduate programme includes both core and elective modules. It provides students with a wide range of options within and outside the Department and interdisciplinarity is its main feature.
Apart from a limited number of compulsory ‒core‒ courses offered in the first and second year, the curriculum provides students with a large number of electives (primarily in their junior and senior years), allowing them to construct their personal program of study in a manner that best reflects their individual interests, talents, and goals. In addition, access is given to a variety of study modules both within other Panteion departments as well as other universities in the Athens area.
- The undergraduate program of study consists of eight semesters (four years), corresponding to 240 ECTS.
- Undergraduate studies consist of eight semesters (four years) corresponding to 240 ECTS.
- Courses are taught in Greek. A small number of courses are also taught in English and French.
- All courses (both compulsory and elective) are awarded with 6 ECTS credits.
- The bachelor’s thesis is optional and is awarded with 12 ECTS credits.
- Each teaching semester includes 5 courses.
- The program can be revised each academic year depending also on teachers’ sabbatical leave.
The Postgraduate Studies Programme (PSP) “Political Science and History” was founded in 2003 and admits up to 60 students per academic year. Studies are free of charge and their duration is three academic semesters. The sum total of the ECTS required for obtaining the Master’s Degree are ninety (90), thirty (30) of them for every semester and thirty (30) for the Dissertation.
There are two specialisations in the PSP:
1) Political Science, with two distinct fields:
Political Sociology and Comparative Politics
Social Theory and Political Philosophy
2) Modern and Contemporary History
The PSP grants a Master of Science (MSc) Degree having the title “Political Science and History” while stating one of the above Specialisations and the corresponding Field.
The PSP programme is supported by more than 50 teachers, and more specifically a) the Department Academic Staff, b) members of the Academic Staff from other Panteion University Departments, c) Academic Staff from other Universities, d) researchers from Research Institutes and Centers.
The PSP programme is taught in Greek but is includes also courses given in English and French.
A special quality of this PSP consists in the fact that its students are not obliged to attend a common for all Studies Programme, but each of them can form his/her own individual programme of studies, being allowed to choose from a wide range of elective courses, after consulting the Studies Tutor.
The Department offers Doctoral Studies in Political Science and Modern History. The thesis can be written and defended in Greek or in English. Interested persons with the necessary qualifications submit their research proposal to the Departmental Assembly for Postgraduate Studies. The application is assessed and if approved, a three-member Thesis Advisory Committee is appointed (including the thesis supervisor who must be a faculty member of the Department). The other two committee members may be either from the same Department, other Departments at Panteion University, or other academic institutions (from Greece or abroad). The period, over which the dissertation will be elaborated, cannot be less than three years. After the thesis is submitted, a seven-member Examination Committee is appointed before which the candidate must present his/her thesis in a public session. The Committee decides to approve or not to approve the thesis, awarding also the mark decided (unanimously or in majority) by the members.
The Administrative Bodies of the Department
The Department is governed by the General Assembly, the Board of Governors and the Chair.
The General Assembly:
The General Assembly (GA) consists of the Department Chair, the faculty members, undergraduate student representatives (equal to 50% of the faculty members), postgraduate student representatives (equal to 15% of the number of faculty members) and scientific collaborators (equal to 5% of the number of the faculty members). The GA determines the educational and research policy of the Department and has the general supervision of its operation.
The General Assembly of Special Composition (GASC) is composed of the Department Chair, the faculty members and two representatives of the postgraduate students. GASC determines the Department’s policy regarding postgraduate studies.
The Governing Board:
The Governing Board (GB) consists of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Department, the Directors of the Academic Divisions, two undergraduate student representatives and one postgraduate student representative. The GB is a more flexible administrative body than the GA and is responsible for executing its decisions, as well as continuously monitoring the smooth operation of the Department.
The Chair represents the Department and heads its administrative function. S/he calls the General Assembly and Governing Board, draws up the agenda and presides over the work of these bodies. S/he puts forward proposals to the GA and GB, forms committees and monitors the implementation of their decisions.
The Administrative Bodies of the Academic Divisions:
– The General Assembly of the Division
The Division is governed by the General Assembly and its Director. The GA consists of the Division’s faculty members, one representative of the non-teaching assistants and scientific collaborators from the Division, one representative of the Postgraduate students and 2-5 undergraduate representatives (according to the number of faculty members in the Division). The GA elects the Director, submits proposals concerning the Curriculum to the Department’s General Assembly, allocates funds from the Division’s budget, makes recommendations over the distribution of teaching workload to its faculty members and over the fields of expertise required in the announcements of new academic openings.
– The Division Director
The Section Director calls the General Assembly, draws up the agenda, presides over the works of the GA and monitors the implementation of its decisions.