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This challenging, flexible and diverse programme offers specialisation in any one of ten humanities and social science subjects, combined with a broad base in European history, law, philosophy and politics, and fluency in a European language. Year three is spent at a European university.
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
UCL 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: ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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.
Benefit from UCL's world-class teaching system and the insights of its renowned humanities, language and social sciences scholars, and from the expertise of their European counterparts.
A year abroad at a continental university - exchange places with partner universities include Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Seville and Rome.
Undertake a dissertation on an independently chosen research topic, with specialist supervision.
Wide-ranging employability: approximately 15% of ESPS graduates have gone into European, international or British politics, 20% into law, business and commerce.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Introductory modules in the first year allow you to develop your interests and identify an area of specialism for later years. Your modules then fall into three groupings: common core, language (and culture), and a specialism in the humanities or social sciences.
The European common core involves working in a multidisciplinary environment, gaining insights into a range of academic disciplines and engaging critically with competing analytical perspectives.
You will undertake language study throughout the programme, selecting one language, or in some cases two, on which to concentrate.
Your third year is spent abroad, in a country where your choice of major European language is spoken. In your final year you return to UCL to continue with advanced modules in your language(s) and your humanities/social science subject and also write your dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff.
The major European languages that you can study include: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian/Croatian, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian
You may also take a second language as a minor language from those listed above, as well as choose from a wide range of other languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin, Yiddish, Classical Greek or Latin.
Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in European Social and Political Studies.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
You will select 30 credits in a humanities or social sciences subject, or in a minor language.
45 credits in the department of your major language. (For students taking Danish, Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish or Swedish as a major language, this can include a 15 credit ELCS optional module in the School of European Languages, Culture & Society.)
You will select 75 credits in your chosen area of specialisation.
You will select 60 credits in your chosen area of specialisation.
Your formal timetable will involve a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops. As well as the core modules and modules designed specifically for ESPS students, you will choose options in other departments according to your area of specialisation. This gives you access to a range of UCL's successful teaching approaches.
Your work will be assessed by written examination, assessed essay and presentation.
Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.
ESPS gives you the wide-ranging employability of graduates in PPE or international relations, but with the added maturity of a year abroad, and the advantage of fluency in a European language – essential for anyone seeking a career in a European context, and increasingly valuable for the financial sector or media posts.
ESPS graduates combine specialised knowledge of a humanities or social science with a broad foundation in European philosophy, law, history and politics and importantly, proficiency in another language or languages. In addition, they gain independence from a year studying abroad. In particular, students are able to demonstrate their aptitude for research by writing a dissertation.
This unique combination yields a significant advantage when it comes to securing funding for further research or getting a foothold on a competitive career ladder.
Outside academia, potential careers may include politics, law, business, commerce, teaching, public relations, journalism or IT.
UCL is committed 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.
“The strategic London location of the campus, the reputation of the university, combined with the international nature of the programme, made European Social and Political Studies the perfect degree for me.”Sophie Aversa - European Social and Political Studies BA Fourth Year
“I loved that European Social and Political Studies allowed me to have a go at different things and then still pick from modules across the university.”Sophie Majoribanks - European Social and Political Studies: Dual Degree BA Fourth Year
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.
In addition, please note that if you wish to study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the UCL Study Abroad website.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
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.
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
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.
When we assess your application, we will be looking for a firm interest in social and political issues, including a demonstration of your ability to grasp theoretical concepts and analyse social trends. Your achievement in examinations is crucial but we also pay careful attention to your motivation and interests as expressed in your personal statement, and your referee's report.
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: 26 January 2022
There is a two-stage selection process for this programme. The first is based on your UCAS application, which we use to select candidates for the second stage, our online Thinking Skills Assessment Test (TSA). A limited number of exceptional candidates may be given an offer on the basis of their UCAS application alone, during the first stage of selection.
You should state clearly on your UCAS application which modern European language you wish to study as your major language. Please state both if you are taking two major languages. It is not necessary to state the minor language if you choose one. Further information about the languages offered and their specific requirements can be found on our website.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
Page last modified on 15 September 2022