Hebrew & Jewish Studies


History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA

This four-year programme combines the study of Jewish cultural history with the study of the land (and associated languages and cultures) where many Jewish communities had their homes. The third year is spent abroad, in Jerusalem and/or in a relevant central or east European country.

History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA

Degree benefits

  • UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies is the only department of its kind in the UK and is highly regarded worldwide.

  • The programme is taught by acknowledged specialists in the field, all of whom are actively engaged in research. This will enable you to keep up-to-date with the latest debates, issues and discoveries.

  • UCL School of Slavonic & Eastern European Studies (SSEES) is the largest national centre in the UK for the study of central, east and south-east Europe and Russia. The SSEES library contains over 400,000 books, journals and film resources.

  • You will have access to a remarkable collection of Hebrew, Yiddish, and Judaica books in the UCL Library, as well as to the special collections of the British Library, the Wiener Library, and the National Archives.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

  • 78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


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History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year one introduces you to the study of central and east European history and Jewish studies at the university level. In years two and four you can focus on topics of specific interest to you by choosing modules that examine particular periods and themes in east European and Jewish history. You can also study one or more relevant languages such as Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Polish, or Ukrainian. Your third year is spent abroad, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and/or in a relevant central or east European country.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Year One
Core or compulsory module(s)

History of Eastern Europe since 1856
Modern Historiography
Seminars in History
Survey of Jewish History 2: From Medieval to Early Modern Europe
Survey of Jewish History 3: The Modern World

Optional modules

You will select 1.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules, including:

Elementary Yiddish
Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
Introduction to Biblical and Rabbinic Literature
Introduction to Hebrew Literature: Medieval to Modern
Introduction to Israeli Culture, Society and Politics
Introduction to Jewish Languages
Introduction to Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism
Introduction to Modern Hebrew
Introduction to Modern Jewish Literature
Introduction to the Study of Judaism
Survey of Jewish History 1: The Ancient and Medieval Near East

Year Two
Core or compulsory module(s)

All second year modules are optional.

Optional modules

You will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules within the department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies. A further 2.0 credits will be selected from SSEES.

Year Three

Year three involves studying a full-time programme at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and/or a central or east European university of your choice.

Final Year
Core or compulsory module(s)

All final year modules are optional.

Optional modules

You will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules in Hebrew & Jewish Studies and a further 2.0 credits from SSEES, including the option of taking a final-year dissertation of 10,000 words for the value of 1.0 credit.

Your learning

History modules are taught through lectures and seminars. Modern language study includes oral work, reading comprehension, listening comprehension and translation exercises.


Most modules are assessed by an end-of-year written examination, several essays and/or other types of coursework. Language modules are also assessed by oral examinations.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA.


For information on syllabi and bibliographies:

Search ReadingLists@UCL for the course code or title.

History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA

Entry requirements

A Levels
History required.
English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
IB Diploma
A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects including History, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. History required.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). History required at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades ABB. History required.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA


Together with subject-specific knowledge, you will acquire discipline-based skills in historical research, methodology and analysis, in addition to transferable skills such as working as part of a team, analysing and solving problems, organising your time and resources, and structuring and communicating your ideas verbally and in writing.

Our graduates take up employment in diverse fields including banking and finance, journalism, publishing, the museum sector, and librarianship. Many choose to pursue further study, either continuing within the field or training in law or teaching (primary and secondary).


Please see first destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) from Greek & Latin programmes at UCL for a selection of representative careers.

  • Full-time student, Graduate Diploma in Law at the BPP Law School
  • Assistant Project Worker, Barnardos (2013)
  • Librarian, Brunel University (2013)
  • Librarian, the British Library (2012)
  • Full-time student, PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2011)

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

History (Central and East European) and Jewish Studies BA

Application and next steps

Your application

In your application we will be particularly interested in your motivation to study the history of central and eastern Europe, and your interest in broad matters of language, literature and culture. We will also be interested to learn of experiences you may have had relating to east European and Jewish studies, such as courses attended, travel, and wider reading.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2018


The selection process is conducted on the basis of your UCAS application and personal statement. If you receive an offer for a place on a programme, you will be invited to visit UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies and the UCL School of Slavonic & Eastern European Studies as well as tour the campus.

UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies and SSEES both attract students from a diversity of backgrounds, and our degree programmes reflect a range of cultures, ethnicities and religions. Consequently, we do not require you to have any prior knowledge of Hebrew, nor are you expected to have a Jewish background.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

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