Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Polish and East European Studies BA

Poland, with nearly 39 million citizens, is an increasingly important actor on the world economic and political stage. This programme offers the opportunity to gain excellent language skills and a profound knowledge of Polish literature, history and culture that will prepare you for a wide variety of careers in Europe.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Polish and East European Studies BA
UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Russian and East European Languages and Culture
Total intake (by subject area)
65 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
3 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
64% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C.

IB Diploma

A score of 16-17 points in three higher level subjects, 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

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 between 28 credits awarded with Merit and a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

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

AAB-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher - AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade B, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades AA-AB.

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: Advanced

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

Degree benefits

  • Gain a thorough grounding in the Polish language and culture, supplemented by a choice of optional culture, history and social science courses.
  • 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.
  • Students 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).

Your degree will train you to the highest level of proficiency in speaking, writing and understanding in your chosen language(s) whether you begin with no prior knowledge or already have a good command of the language. As you progress through the degree, compulsory language courses are tailored to your existing knowledge, and you also take a compulsory literature course each year.

You are encouraged to develop and pursue your own interests through choosing options from within three pathways:

  • Language and Literature
  • Social Science
  • History

Your third year is spent abroad, which not only brings the language and culture you are studying to life, but also strengthens your resourcefulness and self-reliance. You will normally spend this year studying at a university in your chosen country, but alternatives, such as work placements, may be possible.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Literature and Memory
War Trauma and Memory in East European Cinema
Polish Language

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of course options.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Polish Language
Polish Literature 1

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of course options.

Year Three

Year abroad

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Polish Language or Freestanding Dissertation
Polish Literature 2

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of course options.

Your learning

Language teaching benefits from dedicated resources, including technological support through computer-aided language learning facilities, video and DVD materials, and the internet. The methods we will use to teach and assess you are varied, to ensure that they are best suited to the knowledge and skills being imparted or measured.


Assessment will include written, oral and aural examinations, presentations, extended essays and the project you undertake during your year abroad.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Polish and East European Studies BA.


The programme is designed to equip you with language fluency, cultural competence, historical knowledge and social understanding. Your ability to consider issues from an international perspective will be greatly enhanced and you will learn how to conduct research and to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

With developed skills in critical reasoning, independent thinking and application of theoretical concepts you will be strongly placed to find employment in international organisations, particularly careers which cross international boundaries and use languages. Career prospects are likely to include finance, media, diplomacy, education, translation, research, and consultancy.


First destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) from related SSEES BA programmes at UCL include:

  • Full-time Student, MSc in Comparative Politics at LSE (2012)
  • Fashion Assistant, Wonderland Magazine (2011)
  • Full-time student, PGCE at the University of Cambridge (2013)
  • Accountant, Takeda SCE (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 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


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 will be particularly interested in your motivation for choosing this programme. In addition to academic requirements, you should demonstrate an aptitude for and interest in language study, and relate how your interest in Eastern Europe was initiated. Literature, history and culture are key elements of the degree, and your interest in and experience of these fields of study are important.

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


If you are successful in obtaining an offer and you live in the UK, you will normally be invited for an applicant open day, comprising introductory talks about UCL SSEES and your degree, and a tour of UCL. You will also meet with a member of the teaching staff on your chosen degree programme.

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