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 Programme
- European Social and Political Studies BA
- UCAS code
- 4 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2016
- A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A* required for full Economics specialism if chosen. French or Spanish required if taken as a major language.
- AS Levels
- For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
- English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C 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
- A score of 19 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5. Higher level subjects to include French B, or Spanish B at grade 6 if either of these are to be studied as a major language. A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at higher level at grade 7 is required for the full Economics specialism if chosen.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. French or Spanish required if taken as major languages, plus a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at D2 required for full Economics specialism if chosen.
A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). French or Spanish required at Advanced Higher if taken as a major language, plus a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A1 required for full Economics specialism if chosen.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*A*. French or Spanish required if taken as major languages, plus a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A* required for full Economics specialism if chosen.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
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.
- 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.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses 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).
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 choice of major 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, including Arabic, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Mandarin, Polish, Serbian, Yiddish, Classical Greek or Latin.
Introduction to European History, Law, Philosophy and Politics
If you are taking the full Economics specialism you will also take 1.5 credits from Economics, and will take no optional courses, or minor language.
You will select 1.0 credits in a humanities or social sciences subject, or in a minor language.
1.5 credits in the department of your major language. (For students taking Danish, Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish or Swedish as a major language, this can include a 0.5 credit ELCS optional course in the School for European Languages, Cultures and Society.)
You will select 2.5 credits in your chosen area of specialisation.
You will select 2.0 credits in your chosen area of specialisation.
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.
Your work will be assessed by written examination, assessed essay and presentation.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: European Social and Political Studies BA.
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.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:
- Commodities Analyst, Macquarie (2013)
- Full-time student, MSc in Economic Policy at UCL (2013)
- Full-time student, MPhil in International Relations and Politics at University of Cambridge (2013)
- Financial Analyst, HSBC (2012)
- Civil Servant (Fast Track), UK Government (2012)
*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 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
- UK & EU fee
- £9,000 (2015/16)
- Overseas fee
- £15,660 (2015/16)
Details about financial support are available at: Fees and funding
The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.