Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

History (Russian and East European History) BA

The History BA at UCL SSEES is the fullest undergraduate programme covering the history of central and Eastern Europe and Russia available anywhere in the world. Ranging from the early modern period to contemporary history, it covers topics such as national identity, gender, social and cultural history, government, society, art and architecture.

Key Information

Degree Programme
History (Russian and East European History) BA
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
History (Russian and East European)
Total intake (by subject area)
30 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
4 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
64% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

History required.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and History 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

IB Diploma

A total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including History, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Edexcel Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF), or Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma (NQF) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18-23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

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

AAA-AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher), including History at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*A-AA, including History.

International applications

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: Good

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

Degree benefits

  • The programme is taught by acknowledged specialists in the field, all of whom are actively engaged in research, enabling you to keep up-to-date with the latest debates, issues and discoveries.
  • UCL SSEES is the largest national centre in the UK for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia. The SSEES Library contains over 400,000 books, journals and film resources.
  • Benefit from frequent visits and lectures by the most prominent political, artistic and academic figures - prime ministers, foreign ministers, professors and writers.
  • Enjoy the huge benefits of studying in London, a global city with sizeable east European communities, and a host of cultural events with an east European dimension.

Degree structure

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).

The first year of the degree principally consists of foundation courses, introducing you to the study of history at university level.

In the second and third years, you will take more specific courses which look at periods of history both thematically and in depth, and can also take history courses covering other regions, taught elsewhere in UCL and the University of London.

In each year, compulsory history courses are complemented by non-history options, including cultural studies, social sciences, languages and other humanities subjects.

In all years, you may undertake broad survey courses on the history of the region.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Eastern Europe Since 1856
Modern Historiography
Seminars in History
World Histories

Optional courses

A level 1 language course (1.0 credit)
An approved course(s) in another discipline (1.0 credit).

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Group Two History paper at UCL SSEES or another institution (subject to approval and availability). Options may include:

Crown, Church and Estates in Central Europe 1500-1700
Media, Culture and Society in the Soviet Union from Stalin to 1991
Successors to the Habsburgs: East-Central Europe 1914-1945
The Fall and Rise of the Polish Nation 1648-1921
The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of optional courses from the following:

  • 1.0 credit or 2.0 credits from History Paper Group One options
  • 1.0 credit or 2.0 credits of a language course (either level 1 or 2), or an approved course in another discipline

      History Paper Group One options may include:
      Between Politics and Culture: German Ideas 1890-1970
      Between Fascism and Authoritarianism in Eastern Europe 1918-1945
      Czechoslovakia in the Age of Extremes
      History of Modern Germany 1815-1990
      History of Russia 1598-1856
      History of Russia to 1598
      History of the Habsburg Monarchy 1700-1918
      The Age of the Extremes in the Balkans

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Group Three History paper at UCL SSEES or another institution (subject to approval and availability). Options may include:

East and West through Travel Writing: The Limits and Divisions of Europe
Ivan the Terrible: the Russian Monarchy in the Sixteenth Century
Mass Culture in the Age of Revolution: Russia 1900-1932
Monarchs and the Enlightenment in Russia and Eastern Europe
The Russian Revolution
Urban Culture and Modernity: Vienna-Prague-Budapest, 1857-1938

Optional courses

You will select one or two courses to the value of 2.0 credits from the following:

  • Approved History paper at another institution (subject to availability)
  • Group 1(a) or 1(b) History paper
  • Group 2 History paper
  • 10,000-word dissertation

      And one course from either:
      • A level 2 (or above) language course (if not already taken)
      • An approved course in another discipline

Your learning

You will be taught the essential skills required for the study and understanding of history. In addition to lectures, small-group classes and seminars form an important element of the programme, where you will discuss and analyse the subjects you are learning.


Coursework, including reports, essays and a final-year 10,000-word dissertation, provide you with an opportunity to develop and discuss your ideas. In addition to coursework, you will be assessed using a combination of examinations, extended essays, oral presentations and poster work.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: History (Russian and East European History) 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 are to be found in all walks of life, particularly those that cross international boundaries and utilise the languages of the region. Popular destinations are government service (both within the UK and Europe), international agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), consultancy, law, the media, teaching, welfare and rights work, and further study and research.


First destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Community Manager, tripbod.com (2013)
  • Financial Analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2013)
  • Associate, Deloitte (2012)
  • Full-time student, MA in History at the University of Chicago (2013)
  • Corporate PR Consultant, Red (2013

*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: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

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.

Application and next steps

Your application

We use your predicted grades, references, previous academic record and personal statement to assess your suitability for this programme. Your personal statement should demonstrate your interest in studying the history of the region, and indicate the measures you take to sustain your interest in history. Evidence of interests and activities beyond the school curriculum will also be of benefit.

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 2016


On the basis of our assessment of your application, we will decide whether to make you an offer and if you are successful, you will be invited to attend a post-offer open day.

The applicant open day allows you to meet tutors and current students, tour UCL and find out more about the degree programmes, resources and facilities we offer.

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