UCL-IoE merger

UCL and the Institute of Education merged on December 2, 2014. Learn about the study options available to you.


Admissions Tutor

Dr Richard Mole

Senior Admissions Officer

Miss Lisa Walters

Email: l.walters@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8830

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

45% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Politics and East European Studies with a Year Abroad BA

UCAS code: LRF7

This degree programme combines training in politics, international relations and security issues with specialist courses studying the region which are of contemporary relevance in view of the enlargement of NATO and the EU and the changing international situation.

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA-AAB
Subjects No specific subjects.
AS Levels For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs 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

IB Diploma

Points 36-38
Subjects A total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

Other qualifications

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

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International applicants

International qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Select country above, equivalent grades appear here.

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: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. 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 a region that is in a process of almost continuous change with many central European countries becoming members of the European Union.
  • Gain insight into the theoretical, conceptual and analytical tools of social science and their application in understanding the processes of political and social transformation in Russia, the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe.
  • The programme is taught by acknowledged experts in the field, all of whom speak one or more of the languages of the region.
  • The department is regularly consulted by organisations such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Union.

You will take compulsory courses in politics, government and international relations including courses on the political developments of Russia and Eastern Europe in years one and two, with a dissertation in your final year. Beyond this you can choose additional courses in economics, history, language, politics and sociology, as your interests dictate.

You will be strongly encouraged to learn an East European language with a view to spending a year in a country of the region. Not only will you be able to make use of our excellent language teaching resources, but you will also have access to the foreign language resources of the SSEES Library.

Your third year is spent abroad studying at a university in the region. During your year abroad you will be expected to develop your language skills where appropriate, to sit courses (in English) related to your degree and to develop an enhanced understanding of relevant country-level issues.

Your learning

You will be taught by a combination of lectures and classes. You will be expected to prepare presentations on selected topics for classes, sometimes as an individual and sometimes as part of a group, and these are followed by class discussion. You will be set regular written work, including essays and exercises involving qualitative methods.


You will receive feedback from tutors on both your oral and written presentation skills to help develop your ability in these areas. Your assessment will be based on unseen written examinations, coursework and a dissertation. For the final-year dissertation you will have a supervisor to provide advice and guidance.

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).

Year One

Compulsory courses

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

Optional courses

You will select 1.5 c.u. in optional credits, which may include the following:

History of Eastern Europe since 1856
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Introduction to Microeconomics

Other optional courses are available in East European Languages and Culture, History, or Russian. Language course options are available within SSEES or the UCL Language Centre.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Comparative Political Analysis
Researching Politics and Society

At least two courses from:

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

Optional courses

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

Contemporary Polish Cinema
Culture in Eastern Europe: Anthropological Approaches
Democracy and Democratization
History of European Political Ideas
Language Course
Migration and Health
Political Economy of European Integration
Topics in Microeconomics
Other options will be available in East European Languages and Culture, History or Russian.

Year Three

Year abroad at a university in the region

Performance Certificate
Progress Portfolio
Year Abroad Assignment

Final Year

Compulsory courses


Optional courses

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

Corruption and Governance
European Security
History of European Political Ideas
Political Economy of European Integration
Soviet and Russian Foreign Policy
Baltic Politics and Society

Other options will be available in Russian, History, East European Languages and Culture.

Further details on department website: Politics and East European Studies with a Year Abroad BA


After graduating from this programme you will have expert knowledge relating to a region where complex issues of political change, economic development and international relations are reshaping national and social expectations.

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


First destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of this programme include:

  • Full-time student, MA in Journalism at Goldsmiths (2012)
  • Corporate Intelligence Analyst, PricewaterhouseCoopers (2011)
  • Civil Servant, Westminster Council (2011)
  • Full-time student, MA in International Security at Sciences Po, Paris (2011)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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 for 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, 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.


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 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.

Video: applying to UCL through UCAS

Fees and funding

UK & EU fee

£9,000 (2014/15)

Overseas fee

£15,200 (2014/15)

General funding notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Playlist: funding for UK/EU and overseas students

Undergraduate playlist

Video channels

Page last modified on 26 feb 14 08:05