Information on the exam and assessment


The exam has the same content both for students attending the course and for students not attending classes. Students attending the course have the advantage of having more time between the two parts of the exam (the first part can be taken during the course). Moreover, they can obtain a “bonus” of up to 3 points for class attendance and participation to debates.

The first part of the exam (to be done in class in two hours), covers the whole programme until Week 7, and consists of:

  • 10 “short” questions (3-5 lines for each answer)
  • 2 “long” questions (between ¾ and one page for each answer; two questions to choose out of three)

The second part of the exam, which covers the whole programme, consists of a paper (home assignment) that you will have to write according to the following instructions:

  • maximum 4,000 words (title, abstract, keywords and bibliography included)
  • use an author-year reference format (APA, Harvard, Chicago, etc.)
  • the paper must have:
    • title
    • abstract (maximum 200 words)
    • from 3 to 5 keywords
    • at least 4 sections (introduction and conclusion included), each one with its title
    • a list of references
  • the paper must be submitted as a document (*.odt, *.doc, *.docx) or as a pdf
  • the submitted file should be named as follows: “SURNAME NAME − INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC POLICIES PAPER − PAPER NUMBER #”
  • the paper should be sent to the professor ( before the deadline:
    • students attending classes will receive the titles in the last week of the course and they will have 8 days to submit the paper
    • students taking the exam in the following sessions should write, at least nine days before the written exam, to the professor (, asking for the titles of the paper, which will have to be submitted the day before the written exam by 1pm.

IMPORTANT: all papers will be checked with anti-plagiarism software. Check this web page to find out what constitutes plagiarism.

Students taking the mid-term exam during the course must hand in the final paper by the first exam session in January. After that session, they will have to take the entire exam. If a student wants to re-take the exam, she or he can avoid re-writing the paper, if this was already submitted and marked. This can be done only once, in the following exam session. If the student wants take the exam three times, she or he will have to re-write the paper.



Besides the grade obtained from averaging the marks of the two parts of the exam, up to 2.5 points can be achieved by students who will participate to debates and presentations. These will be held in six seminar sessions reserved to students attending classes.

Each presentation must be based on the readings listed in the syllabus. These readings must also be integrated with additional material (e.g. academic articles, research notes, newspapers articles). The aim of the debate is to present and critically discuss specific case studies, and proposing possible policy recommendations to be implemented. The debate between groups should be mainly focused on these recommendations.

In Debate 3 (“The Euro Crisis”) each student will present and critically discuss one of the recommended articles listed in the syllabus.

Each student can obtain up to 2.5 points that will contribute to the final grade depending on:

  • Class attendance;

  • Slide show presentation;

  • Oral presentation.

Students attending the course who could not sign up for debates and presentation can obtain additional points by writing a paper on one of the topics of class debates. The paper will have 2,500 words maximum (title, abstract, keywords and bibliography included) and will be structured as a policy paper: you have to identify a current issue in international politics related to the topic you have chosen, and present a particular policy solution. The topic and the point of view argued in the paper (e.g.”Military Intervention and Human Rights: Is Foreign Military Intervention Justified by Widespread Human Rights Abuses? (yes)”) must be communicated in advance by 27 October. Papers will be checked with anti-plagiarism software. Check this web page to find out what constitutes plagiarism. The paper must be submitted (to before the beginning of the debate in which the chosen topic will be presented in class (for instance, if the topic is “Military Intervention and Human Rights: Is Foreign Military Intervention Justified by Widespread Human Rights Abuses?”, the paper must be submitted by 20 November at 9am).



All papers will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Originality/argument. Does the paper avoid plagiarism? Does the author develop a clear argument? Are the conclusion based on the evidence illustrated in the paper?
  2. Structure. Does the paper have a clear structure? Are the different sections of the paper balanced in terms of length and content? Are sections homogeneous?
  3. Sources. Does the paper use enough academic literature? Does the author use more sources than the ones provided in the course?  Are non-academic sources properly referenced?



Students who take the mid-term exam during the class will have to hand in the paper by the first session of January 2018. In future sessions, they will have to take the whole exam. The points obtained with class presentations and participation will no longer be included in the final assessment after the winter session.

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