Level: Master's Degree
Italian Ministry of Education designation: LM-62 Political Science
Language: English and Italian
Admissions: requirements and personal knowledge assessment
Location: Department of Sociology and Social Research, via Verdi 26, 38122 Trento (Italy)

Contents and Aims

The course aims to provide graduates with the tools to understand the complexity of global dynamics by focusing on local, urban, regional or national contexts, using quantitative and qualitative methods that characterise social and political research.

As public finances are increasingly under pressure, it becomes imperative to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in public policy. Effectiveness and efficiency depend, to a large extent, on the ability to understand the local context and its connection to the global processes affecting it. Developing this capacity is the central objective of the Masters in Global and Local Studies.

Learning Objectives

Students will build from the data collected in research methods component of the degree course, allowing them to acquire skills aimed at drafting research projects, research reports, position papers and public policy advice (policy briefs and consulting).

The degree course has two distinct tracks:

  • Policy advising – aimed at preparing those looking to the world of work as a public policy consultant (for example, as a policy analyst or advisor)
  • Community development and management – aimed at preparing those who looking to enter the world of work as a local project consultant(for example, as a community developer or community manager).

In the first year of the degree students acquire skills and knowledge common to the two concentrations:

  • quantitative and qualitative research methods: the acquisition of methods and techniques for the collection, processing and analysis of both statistical data (from the drafting of a questionnaire to the codification of results) and ethnographic data (from the conduct of interviews and focus groups to observation) that are the basis for empirical research.
  • planning and management of research, research-action and policies: the acquisition of skills for every phase in carrying out research projects, from design, planning, to public presentation of findings and implemented policies.
  • social, political, economic and historical processes related to globalization: the acquisition of knowledge that allows to identify, develop and document which multi-level challenges are affecting the local contexts.

Students in the second year follow courses that are specific to their chosen concentration and provide them with skills specific for

Transversal skills

The degree course aims to develop a range of transversal skills, both through the lectures and reading and through activities such as seminar courses, internships and opportunities to study abroad:

  • English language: the degree course offers lectures in both English and Italian to develop advanced written and verbal expression skills
  • ability to work constructively in a team
  • ability to work independently
  • ability to work in multidisciplinary contexts, cooperating with people with different disciplinary backgrounds and with different industry experts, professionals and stakeholders
  • communicative skills: being able to write and present orally a policy brief and/or a project proposal in a clear, structured and effective way
  • ability to search for information from online and offline sources, discerning reliability and reliability

The international dimension of the course is realized through:

Career paths

The degree course opens a number of career paths for students but two stand out in particular:

  • Policy advisor and policy analyst
    This is the path most likely to result from the Policy Advisingconcentration, aiming to form public policy experts and consultants working in local, national and international organizations, whether governmental or non-governmental. The public policy consultant works on behalf of institutions, interest groups,civil society associations, and think-tanks. Their task is to develop, analyse and evaluate public policy initiatives. The skills acquired lead to careers in the broadly defined field of 'advocacy', which concerns the complex set of actions undertaken by public and private actors to guide the definition and implementation of public policy. The tasks of the policy-advisor include the multi-level analysis of policies, the definition of proposals and the management of social and political consensus-building processes around them. Theyalso participatein the processes of policy proposal formulation and evaluation that take place within organised civil society institutions and networks.
  • Community developer and community manager
    This is the career path most likely with the Community development and management concentration, oriented to train consultants of local projects, providing analytical skills highly in demand for the design and implementation of development and governanceinitiativesatthe local level. The Community developer and community managerworks on behalf of institutions, companies or NGOs to design, coordinate and implement economic and social development initiatives, also enhancing synergies between public and private actors. The areas in which they find employment are therefore those of local development, community organizing and international cooperation, guiding and facilitating the implementation of networks between a wide range of public and private actors. The Community developer and community manager, building from the sociological analysis of the local reality, must be able to identify the needs and expectations of the community in which they intervene, formulate a sustainable project and follow its implementation.

The areas of action of the two pathsare distinct: a policy advisor intervenes in political decision-making processes while a community developer intervenes in local development and governance processes.

However, there is an area of complementarity between the two professional paths: many of the local development projects originate in the implementation of public policies (such as the use of European funds for territorial development, UN funds for sustainable development, or funds of the Autonomous Province of Trento for international cooperation or for the management of common goods); vice versa, specific territorial processes bottom up, starting from a local demand for political action and social intervention that needs to be interpreted and oriented in effective planning and development projects.

Future academic paths

The course provides methodological training appropriate to the pursuit of doctorates in the area of social and political sciences.

Aggiornato il
10 February 2022