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UCL European & International Social & Political Studies

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UCL European & International Social & Political Studies

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European Social and Political Studies (ESPS) and International Social and Political Studies (ISPS) combine specialisation in one of nine humanities and social sciences, with a broad base in history, law, politics and philosophy, fluency in a foreign language, and a year spent in a university abroad. ESPS and ISPS attract applicants from many different countries. Graduates go on to undertake research or professional training and take up employment in a range of fields such as journalism, government or business, in the UK and internationally.
Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

European Social and Political Studies BA

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. The third year is spent at a European university.

Sciences Po, Paris

European Social and Political Studies: Dual Degree BA

Students on this dual degree will benefit from the reputation and teaching specialisms of both UCL and Sciences Po in France. The programme offers specialisation in a humanities or social science subject, combined with a broad base in history, law, politics and philosophy, and fluency in a European language.

Old Bailey

International Social and Political Studies BA

Our new programme in ISPS has the same structure as the BA in ESPS, combining specialisation in any one of nine humanities and social sciences, but it focuses on regions such as the Americas, East Asia and the Middle East. The third year is spent at a foreign university.

SSEES student

A Research-Led Degree

ESPS and ISPS courses draw on the research of specialists in the fields of study covered by our degree programmes. In addition, students research and write a 8,000 word dissertation for the single degrees or a 5,000 word extended essay for the dual degree. 

Such projects, which are supervised by EISPS staff or experts in other social science or humanities departments, are written in English but typically draw on research in another language, allowing students to develop linguistic competence alongside specialist in-depth knowledge of a topic. The research is undertaken during the year abroad, while the dissertation or extended essay itself is written up in the fourth year. 

La Grand Place Brussels

Study Abroad

Students on the dual degree spend their first two years in one of the campuses of Sciences Po – in Paris, Nancy, Dijon, Poitiers or Menton – and their final two years at UCL. ESPS and ISPS students on the single degree spend a year abroad in a country of their major language, normally in a university department devoted to the humanities or social science subject in which they are specialising. 

Thanks to the programme’s links with leading institutions in continental Europe, ESPS students can expect the same diversity of choice in their year abroad as they enjoy throughout their degree. ISPS students can spend their year abroad in China, Japan, Israel, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil or Canada, depending on their major language.

London Signpost

Employability

ESPS students are highly ambitious and go on to pursue careers throughout the world. In any given year, about half of our students continue their studies at graduate level, having left ESPS with excellent degrees. It is anticipated that ISPS will follow similar career paths.

The importance of learning foreign languages cannot be overstated in the current political climate. Knowing a foreign language increases your employability in every sector. Please read the article Five languages Brexit Britons should learn for more information on the importance of learning a foreign language. 

The percentage of our students graduating with a First or high 2.1 is amongst the highest in UCL. 15% of ESPS graduates have gone into European, international or British politics, 20% into law, business and commerce.