The Politics and International Relations Program aims to contribute to the Institute's key objective of producing competent academics through equipping students with the learning tools and knowledge that will enable them to be accomplished political scientists of the highest calibre. It seeks to achieve this through political science methodological training to the highest international standards, and providing students with the knowledge and skills to become independent researchers capable of original contributions in various fields of Political Science. In this regard, the curriculum does not only match curricula in the mostly highly regarded universities internationally, but also incorporates a unique dimension featuring Arab contributions and concerns. Additionally, the approach to teaching and learning embodies the Institute's goal of integrating research into teaching and learning in two ways: first, by featuring a teaching team of internationally recognized active researchers, who are encouraged to maintain and enhance their research output; and, second, by adopting interactive and participatory teaching methods that actively encourage students to engage in original research. The program also takes seriously the Institute's emphasis on inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary methodology. In this regard, it is not content with the courses all students access as interlocution to methodologies in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, but also provides courses which embody interdisciplinary approaches. It makes these courses available as electives to students from other programs, and also encourages its students to take electives from other programs when this is deemed conducive to enhancing their specialization.

The program is designed to deepen students' understanding of contemporary political science and enhance their methodological competence and learning skills in this field. By engaging with major debates in contemporary political thought, students will develop analytical and critical thinking, and acquire advanced research and writing skills. By the end of the course, students will be critically aware of the core issues and rival positions in contemporary political thought, and able to show evidence of critical-analytical skills in applying theories to modern Arab and Middle Eastern politics. The unique training provided by the program should additionally encourage students to challenge and improve accepted international approaches with reference to Arab experiences, using their own research and perspectives on the issues. The resulting sound theoretical grounding and practical training will qualify students to become competent postgraduate-level researchers in the fields of Comparative Politics and International Relations. 

Political Science Program Learning Outcomes:

1. Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological frameworks underpinning political science. 

2. Identify the core challenges and contemporary debates within the discipline and its respective subfields.

3. Situate the main concepts and theories in the discipline within their historical, cultural, and socioeconomic contexts, and critically evaluate the politics of the Arab world in relation to them.    

4. Formulate logically coherent, evidence-based arguments relevant to complex contemporary political challenges.  

5. Design, conduct and present innovative research, incorporating qualitative and/or quantitative research methods to explain political phenomena.

6. Assess the effects and policy implications of global, regional, and national developments using the tools of theoretical and empirical analysis commonly used in the field of politics and international relations.

7. Effectively communicate ideas, theories and issues related to politics and international relations to diverse audiences.