Programme Duration: 2 years
Language of Instruction: English
Academic Supervisor: Doc. Ing. Vladimír J. Benáček, CSc.,
Programme Coordinator: Mgr. Martin Riegl, Ph.D.,
TThe IEPS programme offers new perspectives for students interested in studying globally interdependent economic and political dynamics by accessing knowledge and skills at a level comparable with the most prestigious universities in Europe. IEPS belongs to a revolutionary family of interdisciplinary Master’s studies known as PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and IPE (International Politics and Economics). The programmes earn their popularity not only due to the prestige of universities offering such comprehensive programmes, but also due to the subsequent success of their graduates in labour markets throughout the world. Charles University is proud of its history lasting since 1348 and also of its current international academic prestige. Charles ranks in the 201st-300th position out of more than 12,000 internationally recognised world universities ranked by the Shanghai Global Ranking of World Universities in 2019. The academic ranking of its economics (teaching and research) is in the world´s top 100. In political sciences in top 200. Charles University came 5th in the popularity ranking of European universities, based on the Erasmus Programme for student exchanges.
IEPS is a two-year English-language Master's degree programme that is accredited by the Czech Ministry of Education. The programme investigates international political, economic and social issues from a multidisciplinary perspective predominantly through the fields of economics and political science. Through their studies, students will also be expected to explore philosophical, historical, legal and sociological aspects to master the principles of non-conventional critical thinking and cultivate the ability to make decisions within supra-national institutions, states, regional governments, corporations, firms and as individuals.
Fundamental courses consist of economics/finance, political science/ international relations and philosophy/humanities, which enables students to achieve a wide range of knowledge in all three topics. Through core courses, students will gain a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge, historical background, and methodological tools required to engage in strategic analysis of the world, in which they live. IEPS students benefit in their education from the courses provided by five institutes of the Faculty of Social Sciences: economics, political science, sociology, communication and international area studies. While building a broad foundation, students are also encouraged to take account of their professional goals and utilise the Faculty’s highly varied elective courses to track towards an intended career. More detailed information about the course outlines for the IEPS programme can be found at https://karolinka.fsv.cuni.cz/KFSV-1245.html
The global nature of the IEPS programme provides an incentive for study abroad. Interested students can take advantage of a wide selection of international academic exchange programmes arranged with renowned universities in the EU, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.
A typical week for an IEPS student might look as follows: class-time divided between five lectures and two tutorials or seminars, 20-30 hours of private study, including time for course readings, essays or team research reports. But, just as importantly, free time for exercising private interests such as sports, culture, discussion and entertainment, which Prague offers in abundance. A cosmopolitan and diverse city with more than 8,000 foreign students at Charles University alone and over 8 million tourists per year, Prague certainly provides students with the ability to live actively between “gown and town”.
The careers open to IEPS graduates are boundless. Due to the broad foundation of the discipline students often choose a wide range of profession paths including international organisations, financial services, business, politics, information systems, marketing, academia, social work, management consultancy and many branches of public services. Prague is ideally located in the heart of Europe for internships, networking and conferences, since there are many of international corporations and foreign agencies situated right in the city and offering opportunities for students looking to work and study.
Tuition for the IEPS programme is 6000 EUR per year. The tuition fee covers the attendance of courses, seminars and supervisions at Charles University without limits on the extent of attendance, examinations and participation in international exchange programmes.
The IEPS programme offers two internal fee relief opportunities. In the first opportunity, 20% of students are eligible for a fee reduction on grounds of their academic merits by grade point average scores: the top 10% receive a waiver of 4000 EUR per year and the next 10% a waiver of 2000 EUR. In the second opportunity those students who have fulfilled all study requirements in two years, except for one course, and want to continue in their research (e.g. in fine-tuning their master thesis) are eligible for a 90% fee reduction in their studies, which is often in the third year. Of course, not all students use this relief and many prefer to get their degree in two years. Students with excellent grades in the first year are eligible for an additional bursary at the level of the whole faculty. It amounts over 1000 EUR a year. Information on additional scholarships through the Faculty of Social Sciences and Charles University, can be found here.
Some statistics for your deliberation: The average total tuition fees per IEPS programme has been 9,280 EUR (excluding personal scholarships received outside of Charles University) in 2018/2019. That makes the average fee 2,320 EUR per semester. Total tuition fees for the best students can potentially be as low as 3000 EUR (top 10%) and 7000 EUR (next 10%) for the whole 2-years´ study.
Calculations should also consider the living costs for students in Prague, which are by 43% lower than in London or Paris and by 28% lower than in Berlin or Vienna. In addition, IEPS students can take advantage of a part-time job close to their professional specialisation since Prague is a cosmopolitan city with the lowest unemployment rate in Europe and eager to employ bright-minded English-speakers with international experience.
IEPS applicants come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. It is not necessary to have previously studied politics or economics. Admission may be granted to students whose previous studies were in the humanities, commerce, law, or even mathematics, technical, or natural sciences. Although a mathematics background is not formally required for admission, it is a great advantage for IEPS applicants to have an aptitude for maths and statistics, particularly for those who wish to specialise in economics and finance. All students must have a good command of the English language to complete all of the course requirements, including the ability to write intelligibly, absorb academic texts, create presentations and participate in a detailed discussion of specialised topics. Applicants without a credible proof of their English proficiency cannot beadmitted.
Application for the IEPS programme is open year-round, but applications are recommended between January and April. Applications submitted before the 28th of February will be processed early, while the standard deadline is the 30th of April. Successful applicants will be informed by the beginning of April or June, respectively, to allow time to apply for the student visa (if required). In the academic year 2018-2019 there were admitted to IEPS 33 students from the total of 72 applicants.
The following application submissions are required either in English, Czech or Slovak. Diplomas and transcripts must be translated into English if originating from a language outside of the three approved.
Certified diploma of concluded studies (at least at the bachelor level).
Transcript of their grades.
Structured CV on one page (personal information, education, training, employment, extracurricular experiences such as internships, international mobility, community service, competences, level of English and other evidence of intellectual curiosity and capacities for leadership)
Proof of English proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, CPE or similar - essential for the non-native English speakers only). The scores of TOEFL above 75 or IELTS above band 6 (implying high proficiency) are preferred. Students with less sufficient English may be admitted on an exceptional basis. There will be required enrolment in the intensive advanced English course through our faculty (free of charge but done in parallel with standard programme studies), which must be concluded successfully in the first semester.
Motivation letter (in the form of an essay of approximately 500 words - explaining why you are interested in this interdisciplinary study programme).
Recommended additional documents:
· Letter of recommendation: optimally from a person acquainted with the applicant´s academic skills and creativity.
There are no entrance examinations or in-person interviews. Therefore, pay close attention to the documents submitted to the admissions committee. Your application should address essential points for admission and avoid uploading any excessive material. Applicants will be evaluated based on the submitted materials, and ranked according to the numerical scale below.
IEPS programme applicants are subject to the following admissions criteria with a maximum total potential score of 100 points:
· Rigor of previously attended academic institutions: international and national ranking; goodwill of its educational standards. 0-30 points.
· Academic history: grade-point average; structure of curricula (maths, economics and political science are preferred but definitely not exclusively). 0-30 points.
· Proof of English proficiency: 0-20 points (native English speakers automatically receive 20 points). Low level of English vetoes the admission.
· Additional highlights: motivation letter; letter of recommendation; extra curricular experiences and a strong CV. 0-20 points.
Applicants are ranked according to the total number of points scored within the scale (0 - 100) reflecting the revealed potential for Master’s level coursework in social and economic disciplines modelled on the studies of PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics). The top ranking applicants will be offered a fee relief of 4000 € (top 10%) or 2000 € (next 10%). Accepted students are invited to participate in the yearly Student Orientation Programme beginning mid-September each year, and must be ready to attend classes by the end of September. The applicants for visa are advised to act without delay since in some countries the process of application lasts up to 3 months.
Assess your suitability to study with the IEPS programme at Charles University:
1) You enjoy studying, working and living in an international and multicultural environment.
· The IEPS programme attracts students from all parts of the world, while Prague is traditionally, and currently, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
2) You consider education a worthwhile investment.
· You welcome the prospect of challenging readings, homework and courses, which present alternative theories and expand your present knowledge.
· You appreciate lecturers who task you with materials and projects that lift you to new horizons through demanding efforts.
3) You like participating in social events, such as those associated with culture, arts, sports and discussions.
· Hard study needs regular periods of decompression enabling you to keep fit in body and spirit through the quest for new achievements. Prague is a place for those who wish to expand their horizons and gain new experiences and perspectives through a wide range of available activities.
4) You put a high value on personal initiative, independence, improvisation and self-reliance.
· You shy away from taking a passive approach to learning, relying only on short-term memory and expected paternalism from the side of the faculty.
· We expect that the IEPS students will act as researchers as well as students in fulfilling the assignments for each course.
· You are purposeful in targeting your professional competencies in an arena of international standards for creativity and development.
5) Individual’s personality is a sign of authenticity and uniqueness; as such it should be developed and not levelled-out.
· You consider different personalities and diversity an essential component of life.
· You embrace your unique personality, ideas, style and ambitions as well as those of others, and utilise those skills to enhance your learning and the learning of your peers as well.
6) Your worldview (“weltanschauung” or the “cognitive model of society”) is consistent with the idea that humans are as much cooperative as they are competing or conflicting with one another. You understand that agents are subject to the conditions in their environment (such as incentives or institutions), as much as to their own capacities.
· IEPS is designed to fit the PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) concept of education where these three disciplines interact, which involves examining processes of conflict resolution that can be quite painful for many members of the community. You must acquire skills for coping with such situations.
Bottomline: If you agree with at least 5 out of these 6 points, please consider yourself a suitable candidate for enrolling in the IEPS programme. We look forward to reviewing your application.
For students who would like to test the IEPS programme prior to enrolling in the full Master’s programme there is an option to become a provisional student through the Short Studies Visit Programme. This allows you to enrol into IEPS tentatively, starting in late September or February. Applications for the Short Studies Visit Programme are open year-round. Course credits earned in the Visiting Programme can be transferred into further studies within the IEPS or another programme within the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The IEPS students devote full 12 months to their own research under the supervision of a tutor.
The choice of the topic rests on the student and it usually depends on the intended professional career. See some of the topics of research for the Master´s Thesis in the last 5 years. You can see that we are not living in an ivory tower.
Economics and Finance
Can the agricultural backwoods in Africa benefit from international trade?
Can we measure the effects of geopolitics on commodity prices? An empirical analysis of oil market and the credibility of its predictions.
How can the trade within the triangle US – EU – China evolve in the near future?
How is the Bitcoin cryptocurrency organised and what are its prospects for the future?
Is the banking regulation in the EU and Eurozone promoting growth and are their banks viable without rescue bailouts?
Is the Chinese foreign exchange policy compatible with the Forex equilibrium perspective?
Migration and remittances: Are they hindering the development in countries of Latin America?
What are the institutional effects on the EU trade with South East Asia? A gravity model of trade analysis.
What lessons we learned and should have learned from the world financial and European sovereign debt crises?
Which countries are supposed to trade more and which less with China as the transaction costs of trade along the New Silk Road keep decreasing?
Who is benefitting more from the buildup of the New Silk Road: is it the EU or China?
Why is the Czech trade with neighbours so exceptionally intensive and why is it so much less with more distant countries? A gravity model empirical testing.
Politics and Policies
Are natural resources a barrier to economic transition in Myanmar? Lessons of the political economy.
Are the Atlantic democratic societies on a path of geopolitical and economic decline?
How is it with the international trade in human organs in India?
How the economic sanctions and trade embargoes function: do they ever achieve their economic and political aims? The case of Russia.
How the public choice theory can explain the exposure to corruption of public servants: the Czech case analysis.
How to negotiate security in the Israel-Palestine peace process: Buying a broken car with counterfeit money?
Is Brexit a solution to the EU´s stability or a start of disintegration?
Policies of protectionism and local development: are they compatible? An empirical analysis of regions in Central Europe.
What is the role of vested interest groups in the financing of healthcare and what kinds of games do they play?
What kind of geopolitical challenges there are between US, EU and China: Just competitors or with some space to complementarities and alliances?
When can the US – Iran relations in context of nuclear deal lead to a mutual rapprochement and when they cannot? An approach by political and economic cost-benefit analysis.
Philosophy and Humanities
Are the policies of curbing climatic change reflecting reality or are they a product of intellectual speculation?
Can we explain why the Communist regime in Cuba resisted the transition to capitalism for so long?
Effectiveness of the human rights protection: Case study of Roma population in Europe.
Fortress Europe: What kind of ideas form the future of the EU?
Is cheating at university exams an effect of the current educational system?
Is the green growth a myth and the green de-growth a reality?
Music and politics: How musicians and music become factors in political discourse.
The clash of cultures: What is the role of language in nation-building, and the ideological and political discourse?
The nature of authentic entrepreneurship: Society, the individual and the firm.
Share a meeting with one of our alumni ... back in Prague few years after
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