ESPS

Fees and funding

UK & EU fee

£9,000 (2014/15)

Overseas fee

£15,200 (2014/15)

General funding notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

European Social and Political Studies BA

UCAS code: R990

This challenging, flexible and diverse programme offers specialisation in any one of nine humanities and social sciences, combined with a broad base in European history, law, philosophy and politics, and fluency in a European language. Year three is spent at a European university.

Degree benefits

  • Benefit from UCL's world-class teaching system and the insights of its renowned humanities, language and social sciences scholars, and from the expertise of their European counterparts.
  • A year abroad at a continental university - exchange places with partner universities in Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Seville and Rome.
  • Undertake a dissertation on an independently chosen research topic, with specialist supervision. Outstanding dissertations are published as articles in European Social and Political Research, the ESPS journal.
  • Wide ranging employability: 15% of ESPS graduates have gone into European, international or British politics, 20% into law, business and commerce.

Introductory courses in the first year allow you to develop your interests and identify an area of specialism for later years. Your courses then fall into three groupings: common core courses; language (and culture) courses; and a specialism in the humanities or social sciences.

The European common core involves working in a multidisciplinary environment, gaining insights into a range of academic disciplines and engaging critically with competing analytical perspectives.

You will undertake language study throughout the programme, selecting one language, or in some cases two, on which to concentrate.

Your third year is spent abroad, in a country where your European language is spoken. In your final year you return to UCL to continue with advanced courses in your language(s) and your humanities/social science subject, and also write your dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff.

You may specialise in any of these major subjects: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Urban Planning.

The major European languages that you can study include: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

You may also take a second language as a minor language from those listed above, as well as from a wide range of other languages (e.g. Arabic, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Mandarin, Polish, Serbian, Yiddish, Classical Greek or Latin).

Your learning

Your formal timetable will involve a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops. As well as the core courses, and courses designed specifically for ESPS students, you will choose options in other departments according to your area of specialisation. This gives you access to a range of UCL's successful teaching approaches.

Assessment

Your work will be assessed by written examination, assessed essay and presentation.


Programme Structure

Students choose between one major language, two major languages and a major and a minor language, plus a specialism from the humanities or social sciences.

There is a maximum of two languages throughout the degree. Two ab initio languages are not normally allowed.

It is possible to take more than one specialism within the humanities and social sciences provided the chosen subjects form a coherent pathway.

Language Routes


Language Options


Humanities and Social Science Specialisms

  • Sample pathways taken by former students can be viewed by clicking on each specialism below.
  • The difference between the Full Economics and the Element of Economics pathways is that the former prepares you for postgraduate work in economics whilst the latter does not.
  • Specialising in Law will provide an understanding of legal issues which is particularly advantageous when applying for law conversion courses - the necessary step before training as a solicitor or barrister.
  • Visit individual department websites using the Quick Links on the right.
PDF Icon Anthropology PDF Icon International Relations
PDF Icon Economics (Full) PDF Icon Law

PDF Icon
Economics (Element of) PDF Icon Philosophy
PDF Icon Geography PDF Icon Politics
PDF Icon History PDF Icon Urban Planning

ESPS Courses

Core
ESPS1001 - Introduction to European History, Law, Politics and Philosophy
ESPS9001 - Dissertation

Optional

ESPS2101 - European Integration in Historical Perspective (not running 2014-2015)
ESPS2102 - The Politics of European Integration (not running 2014-2015)
ESPS2103 - Political Violence and Intrastate Conflicts
POLS6010/ESPS2104 - International Relations Theories
ESPS2107 - Food: Consumerism and Globalisation from Free Trade to Fair Trade
ESPS2103 - Co-operation and Co-operatives
ESPS2301 - EU Law
ESPS2302 - Principles of Public International Law
ESPS6101 - Political Economy
ESPS7101 - German Political and Social Thought
ESPS7104 - Ideologies and Political Hegemony
ESPS7209 - Nietzsche
ESPS7401 - War & Peace
ESPS7402 - Political Theories of Self-Government (not running 2014-2015)
ESPS4401 - Anarchism, Marxism & Beyond


Year Abroad and Dissertation

The year abroad is spent in a country where the student's (major) European language is spoken and in a university which offers courses relating to the student's  humanities or social science specialism. Students taking two major languages will divide the year between two countries where their languages are spoken. The year abroad cannot be spent in a country where the minor language is spoken.

Research on a dissertation topic derived from the field of your specialisation is carried out during the year abroad, utilising foreign sources.

Students return with an added maturity which proves a key attraction in the job market, and transferable skills in the form of independence, capacity to communicate and intercultural experience.

  • Boost fluency and confidence
  • Become immersed in a different culture and society
  • Develop new interests and aptitudes
  • Make valuable contacts

ESPS has established placements in leading institutions in continental Europe including:

  • Paris: Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
  • Bordeaux: Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux (Sciences Po Bordeaux)
  • Brussels: Universite Libre de Bruxelles
  • Madrid: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Seville: Universidad de Sevilla and Universidad Pablo de Olavide
  • Milan: Università degli Studi di Milano
  • Rome: Universita di Roma La Sapienza
  • Berlin: Humboldt Universität and Freie Universität
  • Hamburg: Universität Hamburg

ESPS students are also eligible to apply for Erasmus placements at a range of European universities including:

  • Université Sorbonne Paris IV
  • Université Lumière Lyon II
  • Universität Wien in Vienna
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze in Florence
  • Università degli Studi di Bologna
  • Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale in Naples
  • Universidad de València
  • Universidad de Granada
  • Universidad Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam

Unfunded exchanges are available for students taking Russian as their major language. These include St Petersburg State University and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).


Entry Requirements

Students whose first language is not English must meet UCL's English language requirement in addition to achievement in their qualifying examinations. Advanced level is required.

UK Qualifications

  • A Levels

3 A levels, minimum grades A*AA, including an A grade in French or Spanish if one of these is the chosen major language. No previous knowledge is required for other languages. An A level in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is normally a requirement.

An A* grade in Mathematics is required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen. A pass in a fourth subject at AS level or equivalent is also required.

  • Scottish Advanced Highers

3 Advanced Highers at grades of A1AA, including French or Spanish if one of these is the chosen major language.

A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is normally a requirement.

An A grade at Advanced Higher in Maths is required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen.

Alternatively, a combination of 2 Advanced Highers at grades A1A (including French or Spanish if one of these is your chosen major language, and a humanities or social science subject or Maths) and 3 Highers at grades of AAA.

  • University Foundation Programme

High achievement is required, although offer conditions will be tailored to the specific foundation course which the applicant is enrolled upon. For example, for the UCL University Preparatory Certificate in the Humanities (UPCH) a minimum overall score of 72% is required, with 75% in one humanities unit, and 72% in a second humanities unit. Completion of the UPCH Academic English course with a mark of 75%, with a minimum of 65% in each subtest is also required.

  • Bachelors Degree From A UK University

2.1 overall

International Qualifications

  • International Baccalaureate

39 points overall. A score of 19 points in three higher level subjects to include French B or Spanish B if one of these is to be studied as the major language.

A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) at higher level is normally a requirement.

Mathematics at grade 7 at higher level is required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen.

  • European Baccalaureate

87.5% overall, plus a grade of 8.5 in French or Spanish if one of these is to be studied as the major language.

A grade of 8.5 in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

A grade of 9 in Mathematics is required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen.

EU and Overseas Qualifications

  • Australia

A high ranking in the relevant state university admissions index - UAI, TER or ENTER - normally in the top 1.5%.

  • Austria - Matura

An average of 1.2 overall in examination subjects, with one subject passed with high distinction and two subjects passed with distinction. A distinction in French or Spanish if either of these is to be studied as the major language is required. A high distinction in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is normally a requirement.

  • Belgium - Diploma van Secundair or Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Superieur (CESS)

An overall grade of 9/90%. A grade of 9/90% in French or Spanish is required if either of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 9/90% in a humanities or social science (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement. A grade of 9.5 in Mathematics is required for the full Economics specialism.

  • Bulgaria - Diploma Svidetelstvo za Profesionalna Kvalifikasiq

Diploma Svidetelstvo za Profesionalna Kvalifikasiq with an overall mark of 5.65 including a grade of 5.5 in a humanities or social science (or Mathematics) and in French or Spanish if either of these is to be studied as the major language. Alternatively, successful completion of one year of a Bachelor's degree at a recognised university.

  • Cyprus - Greek Apolytirion

An overall grade of 19.2 plus grades of AA at A level including French or Spanish if one of these is to be studied as the major language. An A grade in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement. An A* grade in Mathematics at A level is required for the full Economics specialism.

  • Denmark - Studentereksamen

An overall average of 10, plus grades of 12, 10, 10 in high level subjects. A grade of 10 in French or Spanish (taken at high level) is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 10 in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) taken at high level is also normally a requirement. A grade of 12 in Mathematics (taken at A-level) is required for the full Economics specialism.

  • Finland - Studentexamen

Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen with at least four subjects, three of which must be at grade 7. A grade of 7/L in French or Spanish if either of these is to be studied as the major language, plus a mark of 7/L in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics). A mark of 7/L in Mathematics is required for the full Economics specialism.

  • France - French Baccalaureate

An overall average of 15.75, plus a grade of 15 in Spanish if studied as the major language. A grade of 15 in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement. A grade of 17 in Mathematics (spécialité Mathématiques in the case of the Social Sciences Bacc (ES)) is required for the full Economics specialism. English Language proficiency requirement: in the Baccalaureat General, 13 in English, where the co-efficient applied to the subject is greater than 1.

  • Germany - Abitur

An overall average of 1.3, including two LK subject marks of 14. A mark of 13 in French or Spanish is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A mark of 13 in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement. (The language and humanities or social science subject need not be taken as a LK subject.)

  • Hungary - Erettsegi/Matura

Mark of 5 in all subjects, including two subjects passed at advanced/higher level at 75% or above. A grade of 5 (70% or above) in French or Spanish taken at advanced level is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 5 (70% or above) in a humanities or social science subject (or mathematics) taken at advanced level is also normally a requirement.

  • India - Indian School Certificate (from CISCE or CBSE)

95% in the Year 12/Standard 12 Indian School Certificate (when awarded from CISCE or CBSE) including 95% in French or Spanish if one of these is to be studied as the major language, and 95% in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics). No other examination board qualification is acceptable.

  • Ireland - Irish Leaving Certificate

Award of the Irish Leaving Certificate with six subjects of grade D or above at Higher Level, to include four subjects at A1,A1,A1,A1. A grade of A1 in French or Spanish is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of A1 in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

  • Israel - Bagrut

Bagrut with grades of at least 90 in seven subjects, including two five-unit subjects with one at 95. A grade of 90 in French or Spanish taken as a five-unit subject is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 90 in a humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) taken as a five-unit subject is also normally a requirement.

  • Italy - Diploma di Esame di Stato

An overall score of 95, including one subject with a score of 14 in the written exam or with a score of 10 in final year at school. A score of 10 in French or Spanish in final year at school is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A score of 10 in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) in final year at school is also normally a requirement. (To take the full Economics specialism the Scientifica Diploma is a requirement.)

  • Netherlands - Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs

An overall average of 8.3, with a grade of 9 in one subject. A grade of 8 is required in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics), as well as in French or Spanish if one of these is to be studied as the major language.

  • Norway - Vitnemal fra den Videregaende Skole

An average of 5.3 in the common core subjects and grades of 6,5 in two relevant final year subjects. A grade of 5 in French or Spanish is required if either of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 5 in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

  • Poland - Matura

Matura with at least 3 subjects passed at Extended Level with one at 90% and two at 85%. A score of 85% in French or Spanish taken at Extended level is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A score of 85% in a humanities or social science subject (or mathematics) taken at Extended level is normally required.

  • Portugal - Certificado de Fim de Estudos Secundarios/Diploma de Ensino Secundario

An overall grade of 19, with a grade of 20 in one subject and a grade of 19 in two subjects. A grade of 19 in French or Spanish if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 19 in a humanities or social science subject (or mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

  • Romania - Diploma de Bacalaureat

An overall grade of 9.3, with a grade of 10 in one subject. A grade of 9 is required in French or Spanish if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 9 in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

  • South Africa - National Senior Certificate (NSC)

The National Senior Certificate is not acceptable as an entrance qualification to UCL. Applicants must successfully complete one year of a Bachelor degree at a South African university recognized by UCL, with Second Class Division 1 or 70% (equivalent of 2.1).

  • Spain - Titulo de Bachillerato

An overall score of 9.3, including a grade of 10 in one subject studied in year 2. A grade of 9 in French studied in year 2 is required if taken as the major language. A grade of 9 in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) studied in year 2 is also normally a requirement.

  • Sweden - Slutybetyg fran Gymnasasieskolan/Avgangsbetyg

An overall average of MVG in 2000 points. MVG in French or Spanish is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. MVG in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

  • Switzerland - Federal Maturity Certificate (Maturitazeugnis or Certificat de Maturite or Attestato de Maturita) or the Federally Recognised Cantonal Maturity Certificate

An overall average of 5.5, including a grade of 6 in one subject. A grade of 5.5 in French or Spanish is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 5.5 in a humanities or social science subject (or mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

  • USA - Advanced Placement (AP) examinations

Grades of 5,5,5,5,4 in five AP subjects, taken in the final two years of high school. A grade of 5 in French or Spanish is required if one of these is to be studied as the major language. A grade of 5 in in a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) is also normally a requirement.

Or:

High School Graduation Diploma plus SAT I with a minimum score of 1950/2400 or an ACT of 29 in the Composite Score and 29 in the Combined English/Writing Score. In addition the successful completion of one year of study at a recognized US university, Community or Junior College is required, with an overall Cumulative GPA of 3.3/4.0 (equivalent to a 2.1).

For other equivalent foreign qualifications, please email Patricia Kelly.


Opportunities

ESPS gives you the wide-ranging employability of graduates in PPE or International Relations, but with the added maturity of a year abroad, and the advantage of fluency in a European language - essential for anyone seeking a career in a European context, and increasingly valuable for the financial sector or media posts.

ESPS graduates combine specialised knowledge of a humanities or social science with a broad foundation in European philosophy, law, history and politics and, importantly, proficiency in another language or languages. On top of this, they have the independence born of a year studying abroad. In particular, students are able to demonstrate their aptitude for research by writing a dissertation.

This unique combination yields a significant advantage when it comes to securing funding for further research or getting a foothold on a competitive career ladder.

Outside academia, potential careers may include politics, law, business, commerce, teaching, public relations, journalism or IT.

Destinations

First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of this programme include:

  • Financial Analyst, HSBC (2012)
  • Full-time student, DPhil in Political Science at Oxford University (2012)
  • Civil Servant (Fast Track), UK Government (2012)
  • Junior Associate, Laven Partners (2011)
  • Full-time student, Master in Communications at Sciences Po, Paris (2010)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


Procedure for 2015 Entry

  • Applications should be made through UCAS
  • Applicants who live in Europe and fulfil our entry criteria are invited to an Assessment Day
  • Out of an average of 450 applicants, 200 are usually selected for assessment
  • We accept approximately 40 undergraduates each year

In the 'Choices' section of the UCAS form, under 'Further Details' indicate clearly:

  • Your major modern language choice
  • Both languages if you intend to take two major languages

It is not necessary to indicate the minor language at this stage. You may indicate the humanities or social science subject in which you propose to specialise.

You may not apply for the language in which you have completed most of your schooling, or for English.

Your application must include predicted grades supplied by your teachers. If you are not taking A levels this information should consist of both an overall grade and a breakdown of grades for the individual subjects being taken. Past performance in the form of achieved grades in preceding years should also be stated. If predicted grades cannot be provided, as a minimum we require a transcript for the last two years.

How to Apply

About the Assessment Day

If you live in Europe and you meet (or are expected to meet) our entry criteria you will receive an email inviting you to an ESPS assessment day, which you will be expected to attend. If you are resident in a country outside Europe you will be interviewed by telephone and asked to submit an essay on a set topic written under exam conditions. Applicants resident in Europe taking a gap year are expected to attend an Assessment Day.

The Assessment Day provides an opportunity for you to find out more about the structure of the degree programme and meet current students. It also involves:

  • An introduction to the degree by the Admissions Tutor.
  • The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) test.
  • Participation in one of several discussion groups chaired by ESPS members of staff.

You will be asked to give an indication of your choice of humanities or social science subject on the Assessment Day.


Assessment Days

Assessment Days in 2014-15 will be from 13:00 - 17:30 on:

Wednesday 3 December 2014
Wednesday 14 January 2015
Wednesday 4 February 2015
Wednesday 4 March 2015
Wednesday 18 March 2015

You may wish to arrive earlier so that you can take a Self-Guided Tour of UCL during the morning. Tours led by ESPS students will be offered in the afternoon, after the TSA test. View information on the Assessment Day schedule:

PDF Icon Assessment Day Programme  

Entry Qualifications

Average points score for the most common ESPS entry qualifications in recent years.

Qualification 2009 2010 2011 2012  2013  2014
A-levels 30 32 33 33 33
 
IB Diploma 41 41 41 40 41
 
French Baccalaureate 16 17.27 17.32 17.55 16.85
 
European Baccalaureate - - 88.52 - 88.56
 
Abitur 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.1