Political Science Syllabus

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Political Science is one of the most fascinating and widely opted courses for people interested to make a career in fields related to politics. Focussed on building a strong foundation by imparting knowledge in areas such as Globalization, Liberalisation, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Political Development, Public Policy and Foreign Policy, a program in Political Science aims to nurture human nature and the moral purposes of political association. To stir ideas and in turn debates, Political Science courses include an in-depth study of governments, public policies, political theorists and their theories, and political behavior which is done via a series of lectures and discussions. Hence, if you are considering pursuing a career in this field, then through this blog, we would shed some light on the Political Science syllabus to help you understand what this course entails. 

Facts on Political Science

  • The Bachelor of Political Science is a three-year program divided into six semesters. The Master of Political Science program lasts two years and can be pursued after completing your Bachelor’s degree.
  • There are no age restrictions, and you can begin a BA in Political Science immediately after graduating from high school, based on cutoff marks or entrance exams.
  • Because the course is detailed and extensive, students should only take it if politics and everything related to politics interests them.
  • The subjects cover every aspect of history and economics, including Indian politics, public administration, international politics and relations, Indian nationalism, major world governments, and so on. Even though the course name varies by college, the main essence and core remain the same.
  • The scope is broad because many experts are needed in the political field, and the syllabus is well-aligned to help you achieve your goal.
  • This course is a good mix of political learning and soft skills development, with a focus on problem-solving, analytics, communication skills, and so on.

Must Read: Public Administration Vs Political Science

Class 12th Syllabus

The question paper for Class 12 Political Science is worth 80 points, while the project is worth 20 points. Students are advised to give equal weight to all syllabus topics in order to achieve good grades in their final examinations. They should read through the entire syllabus before beginning their preparation for a better understanding.

Part A: Contemporary World Politics 

1The End of Bipolarity8
2New Centres of Power
3Contemporary South Asia
4United Nations and its Organizations
5Security in Contemporary World
6Environment and Natural Resources

Part B: Politics In India Since Independence

1Challenges of Nation-Building
2Planned Development
3India’s Foreign Policy08
4Parties and Party System in India
5Democratic Resurgence
6Regional Aspirations
7Indian Politics: Recent Trends and Development

Must Read: Political Science Class 12 Sample Paper

Course Content

Part A: Contemporary World Politics
1.The End of Bipolarity: Disintegration of Soviet Union, Unipolar World, Middle East Crisis – Afghanistan, Gulf War, Democratic Politics and Democratization – CIS and the 21st Century (Arab Spring).
2New Centres of Power: Organizations: European Union, ASEAN, SAARC, BRICS. Nations: Russia, China, Israel, India, Japan, and South Korea.
3Contemporary South Asia: Conflicts and efforts for Peace Democratization in South Asia: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives.
4United Nations and its Organizations: Principal Organs, Key Agencies: UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, ILO, Security Council and the Need for its Expansion.
5Security in Contemporary World: Security: Meaning and Type; Terrorism.
6Environment and Natural Resources: Environmental Movements, Global Warming, and Climate Change, Conservation of Natural Resources.
7GlobalizationGlobalization: Meaning, Manifestation, and Debates.
Part B: Politics in India Since Independence
1Challenges of Nation-Building: Nation and Nation Building. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and Integration of States. Nehru’s approach to nation-building; Legacy of partition: the challenge of ‘refugee’ Resettlement, the Kashmir problem. Political conflicts over language. Linguistic Organisation of States.
2Planned Development: Changing nature of India’s Economic Development Planning Commission and Five Year Plans, National Development Council, NITI Aayog.
3India’s Foreign Policy: Principles of Foreign Policy; India’s Changing Relations with Other Nations: US, Russia, China, Israel; India’s Relations with its Neighbours: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar; India’s Nuclear Programme.
4Parties and Party System in India: One Party Dominance, Bi-Party System, Multi-Party Coalition System.
5Democratic Resurgence: Jaya Prakash Narayan and Total Revolution, Ram Manohar Lohia and Socialism, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Integral Humanism, National Emergency, Democratic Upsurges – Participation of the Adults, Backwards and Youth.
6Regional Aspirations: Rise of regional parties. Punjab Crisis. The Kashmir Issue, Movements for Autonomy.
7Indian Politics: Recent Trends and Development: Era of Coalitions, National Front, United Front, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) – I & II, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) I, II, III & IV, Issues of Development and Governance.

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Bachelor’s Degree Syllabus

A Bachelor’s degree like BA in Political Science, BSc in Politics, etc, is crucial to understand the rights and duties of being a citizen of a particular country and the first thing that one learns through this 3-4 year-long course is to be aware of the major political issues and how the government decisions can be shaped accordingly. The Political Science syllabus of undergraduate programs sheds light on the topics necessary to understand the socio-political scenario and the political processes happening around the world. You can pursue this degree with certain specializations such as Government and International Politics, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Public Policy, Global Studies, Public Administration, International Economics, and Commercial Diplomacy amongst many others. To get a better hold on the key concepts covered under a course in Political Science, here is a list of subjects that form a crucial fragment of the syllabus: 

Political Science Syllabus for First Year

  • Foundational Understanding of Political Science 
  • Understanding Classical Political Thought 
  • Politics; A Vocation 
  • International Relations – An Introduction 
  • Understanding the Political Economy 

Second-Year Political Science Syllabus

  • Political World Analysis 
  • Different Political Thoughts – Modern & Feminist 
  • Comparative Politics 
  • Diplomatic History After 1945 
  • Foreign Policy Comparison 
  • Global Governance 
  • Roar and Fall of a Superpower – Soviet Union 

Third And Fourth Year 

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  • World Politics 
  • Body Politics: Security and Economy 
  • Gender in World Politics 
  • Politics and Social Justice
  • Capitalism and Welfare State Models 
  • Politics of Diaspora, Migrants, and Refugees 
  • Contemporary Politics in the light of Populism

Note: This is a general overview of the major subjects covered in the Political Science syllabus of the undergraduate courses and may vary from one university to another.

Political Science Syllabus: Master’s Level

On a Master’s degree level, one can pursue courses such as MA in Political Science, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, International Security and Development, Human Rights, Race, Media and Social Justice, International Affairs, Diplomacy, and Global Governance, Peace and Conflict Management Studies, International Law and Energy Politics, etc. Most of these degree programs, which generally run for 1-2 years, are built to provide a fundamental understanding of different socio-political and economic thoughts that lead to different systems of policies, political structures, and governance. The Political Science syllabus of these postgraduate courses enriches a student with an understanding of various forces and factors that help in shaping society through different political decisions. Mentioned below is the year-wise division of major subjects which form a part of these programs: 

1. World Politics
2. Political Theory
3. Comparative Politics
4. Administrative Theory
5. Political Philosophy
6. Ancient Political Thought7. Political Thinking Since Marx
8. International Relations Theory
9. Political Sociology
10. International Political Economy 
1. Public Administration
2. Western Political Thought
3. Research Methodology
4. Comparative Political Analysis
5. International Political Economy
6. Political Institutions; Democracy Social Movements and Revolutions
7. International Relations; Post-Cold War Parties, Elections, and Political Process   

Note: This is a general overview of the major subjects covered in the Political Science syllabus of the postgraduate courses and may vary from one university to another.

Must Read: MA Political Science Syllabus

UPSC Political Science Syllabus

Paper I

Section A: Political Theory and Indian Politics

  • Political theory: meaning and approaches.
  • Theories of the state: Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial, and feminist.
  • Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
  • Equality: Social, political, and economic; the relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
  • Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; the concept of Human Rights.
  • Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy-representative, participatory, and deliberative.
  • Concept of power: hegemony, ideology, and legitimacy.
  • Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism, and Feminism.
  • Indian Political Thought: Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy.
  • Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arend

Section B: Indian Government and Politics

  • Indian Nationalism
  • Political Strategies of India’s Freedom struggle: constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; militant and revolutionary movements, Peasant and workers’ movements.
  • Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical humanist and Dalit.
  • Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
  • Salient Features of the Indian Constitution: The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review, and Basic Structure doctrine.
    • a. Principal Organs of the Union Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature, and Supreme Court.
    • b. Principal Organs of the State Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature, and High Courts.
  • Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; the significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  • Statutory Institutions/Commissions: Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
  • Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of center-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  • Planning and Economic Development: Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; the role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.
  • Caste, Religion, and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  • Party System: National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behavior; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
  • Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements

Paper II

Section A: Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics

  1. Comparative Politics: Nature and major approaches; political economy and political sociology perspectives; limitations of the comparative method.
  2. State in comparative perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and, advanced industrial and developing societies.
  3. Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups, and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
  4. Globalization: Responses from developed and developing societies.
  5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
  6. Key concepts in International Relations: National interest, Security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy, and globalization.
  7. Changing International Political Order:
    • Rise of superpowers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;
    • Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;
    • The collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
  8. Evolution of the International Economic System: From Bretton woods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
  9. United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; the need for UN reforms.
  10. Regionalization of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.
  11. Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

Section B: India and the World

  1. Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; institutions of policy-making; continuity and change.
  2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement: Different phases; current role.
  3. India and South Asia:
    • Regional Co-operation: SAARC-past performance and future prospects.
    • South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
    • India’s “Look East” policy.
    • Impediments to regional co-operation: river water disputes; illegal cross-border migration; ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; border disputes.
  4. India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
  5. India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China, and Russia.
  6. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
  7. India and the Nuclear Question: Changing perceptions and policy.
  8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign policy: India’s position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq, and West Asia, growing relations with the US and Israel; the vision of new world order.

Must Read: How to Prepare for UPSC?

Entrance Exams for Political Science

The general criteria for choosing a political science course is extremely simple: admission is based on 12th board exam results. Colleges of Delhi University, for example, have cutoffs in terms of marks, and if a student has the required marks, he or she can apply for admission to that college.

However, some colleges/universities do have entrance exams, including the following:

Political Science as a Career 

A career in Political Science opens the door to innumerable opportunities across industries. Not only do the programs impart extensive knowledge in various subjects but also equip you with excellent communication and leadership skills, broadened sense of understanding, and critical thinking. This, in turn, will help you become a refined writer and a debater. The Political Science syllabus prepares the students to be well suited for the profiles such as Policy Analyst, Political Consultant, Academician, Campaign Organizer, Political Commentator, Political Writer, Corporate Social Policy Issues Analyst, and Public Opinion Analyst, amongst many others. Apart from these jobs, there are a whole lot of career prospects in the field of Political Science that one can enter through government exams of the State, Union Public Service Commission, United Nations, other national and international organizations as well as non-governmental organizations.  

Must Read: How to Make a Sure-Shot Career in Political Science


Q1. What is the political science syllabus?

Ans. The curriculum includes subjects like India’s Constitution, the world economic system and trade, international organizations, India’s foreign policy, and peacekeeping, among others. It also covers issues like freedom fights and Indian politics. The General Studies curriculum includes these subjects as well.

Q2. Which subject is best for IAS?

Ans. Choosing Arts or Humanities in your 11th, 12th, and graduation years can be very beneficial for your UPSC examination. This is because subjects like history, politics, and so on are part of the UPSC syllabus and will help you in your UPSC examination.

Q3. What is the syllabus of Class 10 political science?

Ans. The NCERT Syllabus for Class 10 Political Science includes topics such as Power Sharing, Federalism, Gender, Religion, and Caste, among many others that students should be familiar with as Political Science Class 10 students.

We hope that this blog helped you in grasping the coursework that forms an integral part of the Political Science syllabus. If you are planning to kickstart a career in this field but are confused about which course to pursue then take the assistance of Leverage Edu’s AI-based tool that gauge your skills and helps match your interests to the courses and colleges that are perfect for you. Thus helping you take an informed step toward a rewarding career!

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