Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

Politics, Sociology and East European Studies BA

This degree programme combines training in politics, international relations and security issues with specialist modules studying Russia and Eastern Europe. These are of contemporary relevance in the context of an enlarged EU and the changing international situation.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects.
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 total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects, 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

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) 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,M1in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

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

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-AAB.

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

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: Good

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

Degree benefits

  • This is an exciting time to study the almost continuously changing region. Many central European countries are now part of the enlarged European Union while Russia is re-emerging as an assertive power with major international consequences, not least on other countries in the region and the rest of Europe.

  • You will learn about major approaches in social and political science and how to use them to understand political and social change in Russia, the former Soviet Union and central and Eastern Europe.

  • You will be taught by leading experts in the field, all of whom speak one or more of the languages of the region.

  • The department is regularly consulted by the media as well as organisations such as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Union.

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).

You will take compulsory modules in politics, sociology and international relations in years one and two—including courses on the political developments of Russia and other parts of the former USSR, as well as central and south-eastern Europe.

In your final year you will write a dissertation based on an independent research project. You will choose additional optional modules in economics, history, language, politics and sociology to match your interests.

You are strongly encouraged to learn Russian or another east European language as part of your degree. As well as making use of our excellent language learning opportunities, you will also have access to the rich foreign language resources of the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) Library.


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

Core or compulsory module(s)

Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Understanding Politics: The Big Questions in Contemporary Europe
Understanding Politics: How Politics Works
Understanding Society: Introduction to Political Sociology
Understanding Society: Introduction to Social Theory

Optional modules

You will select 1.5 credits of optional modules which may include the following:

Introduction to Macroeconomics
Introduction to Microeconomics
War, Trauma and Memory in East European Cinema 
Introduction to International Relations

Other optional modules are available in east European languages and culture, history, or Russian. Language module options are available within SSEES or the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Comparative Political Analysis
Researching Politics and Society

Plus at least two modules from:

Post-Soviet Politics and Society
Russian Politics and Society
South-East European Politics and Societies
Politics and Society in Central and Eastern Europe

Optional modules

You will select up to 2.0 credits from a range of additional modules. Options may include:

Contemporary Polish Cinema
Culture in Eastern Europe: Anthropological Approaches
Democracy and Democratization
History of European Political Ideas
Language Module
Migration and Health
Political Economy of European Integration
Topics in Microeconomics

Other optional modules will be available in east European languages and culture, history or Russian.

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Core or compulsory module(s)


Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of module options. Options may include:

Corruption and Governance
European Security
History of European Political Ideas
Baltic Politics and Society
Parties and Elections in a Global Perspective
Soviet and Russian Foreign Policy

Other optional modules will be available in Russian, history, east European languages and culture.

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Your learning

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and classes. You will be expected to prepare presentations and papers on selected topics for classes, sometimes as an individual and sometimes as part of a group, followed by class discussion. You will also receive regular written work, including essays, exercises and case study analyses.


You will receive feedback from tutors on both your oral and written work and your presentation skills to help develop your analytical ability in these areas. Your assessment will be based on unseen written examinations, coursework and a supervised final-year dissertation.


You will acquire a solid understanding of politics and sociology, specialist knowledge of a region whose changing politics, economics and international relations are rapidly reshaping our understanding of the world, as well as a raft of transferable skills.

Career destinations of previous graduates include government service, international agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), consultancy (economic, political risk, security, marketing), banking, financial services, law, media, teaching and the leisure industry, as well as further study.


First destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:

  • Business Development Executive, Pareto Law
  • Education Co-ordinator, Free the Children
  • Business Analyst, Accenture
  • Full-time student, MA in Business Management at Imperial College London
  • MA Business Management, Imperial College London

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

We use your qualifications, predicted grades and personal statement to assess your suitability for this programme. Your personal statement should explain your motivation for applying to this programme, what it is that interests you about the study of Russia and central and Eastern Europe, and provide evidence of an interest in politics or sociology (for example, from background 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


On the basis of our assessment of your application we will decide whether to make you an offer. If you are successful, you will be invited to a post-offer open day (if you live in the UK).

The applicant open day will include introductory talks providing more information about SSEES, our language options, our facilities and your chosen degree. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and take a tour of UCL led by current students.

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