European Social & Political Studies


Sciences Po Institute in Paris (Photo credit: Huffington Post)



European Social & Political Studies (ESPS) combines specialisation in one of nine humanities and social sciences, with a broad base in European history, law, politics and philosophy, fluency in a European language, and a year spent in a continental European university.

ESPS attracts applicants from many different countries; the degree produces graduates who go on to undertake research or professional training and take up employment in a range of fields such as journalism, government or business, in the UK and internationally.

Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

European Social and Political Studies BA

This challenging, flexible and diverse programme offers specialisation in any one of ten 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.

Sciences Po, Paris

European Social and Political Studies: Dual Degree BA

Students on this dual degree will benefit from the reputation and teaching specialisms of both UCL and Sciences Po in France. The programme offers specialisation in a humanities or social science subject, combined with a broad base in history, law, politics and philosophy, and fluency in a European language.

SSEES student

A Research-Led Degree

ESPS courses draw on the research of specialists in the fields of study covered by our degree programmes. In addition, students research and write a 6,500-8,000-word dissertation for the single degree or a 4-5,000-word extended essay for the dual degree.

Such projects, which are supervised by ESPS staff or experts in other social science or humanities departments, are written in English but typically drawn on research in another European language, allowing students to develop linguistic competence alongside specialist in-depth knowledge of a topic. The research is undertaken during the year abroad, while the dissertation or extended essay itself is written up in the fourth year.

La Grand Place Brussels

Study Abroad

Students on the dual degree spend their first two years in one of the campuses of Sciences Po – in Paris, Nancy, Dijon, Poitiers or Menton – and their final two years at UCL. ESPS students on the single degree spend a year abroad in the country of their major language, normally in a university department devoted to the humanities or social science subject in which they are specialising.

Thanks to the programme’s links with leading institutions in continental Europe, students can expect the same diversity of choice in their year abroad as they enjoy throughout their degree.

London Signpost


ESPS students are highly ambitious and go on to pursue careers throughout the world. In any given year, about half of our students continue their studies at graduate level, having left ESPS with excellent degrees.

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The percentage of our students graduating with a First or high 2.1 is amongst the highest in UCL. 15 percent of ESPS graduates have gone into European, international or British politics, 20 percent into law, business and commerce.