Work methods

These are the different types of class you can take at Sciences Po.


Lectures are one of the great educational traditions of Sciences Po. Lectures are for large groups and are almost always given in one of the institution's large amphitheatres. Delivered by a professor, it is an invitation to relflection and further reading. The class gathers once a week over a twelve-week period, and is always linked to a methodology tutorial. Evaulation is a final exam.

Methodology tutorial

The methodology tutorial is the class associated with a lecture and takes place in parallel with it, but in a smaller group of around twenty students. It allows students to acquire knowledge and familiarise themselves with methodology through participation in the tutorial and completing exercises at home. The tutorial group meets once a week for 12 weeks. It is led by a tutor who is also a go-to person for students about the course in general. The mark for the tutorial is through continuous assessment, a series of exercises that must be ocmpleted either in class or at home.


The seminar meets every week in groups of around sixty students. It is often a more specialised class and is given by an area specialist who aims to develop the questions and themes integral to the discipline, while also emphasising diverse methodology. The class is divided into two parts, a session reserved for discussion between students and professors, which is often led by the professor's assistant. The course is evaluated by questions on the course reading and one or more written exercises completed at home.

Elective class

An elective class aims to explore precise questions on a given subject. Like the other types of class, it involves 12 two-hour sessions and meets once a week. The elective class is often based on a list of set texts assembled in a booklet that the student must acquire at the beginning of the semester. It is in small groups of around twenty students and requires a great deal of participation. Students are asked to complete exercises in class and at home, which will make up the final grade.