Politics, Sociology and East European Studies BA

London, Bloomsbury
Politics, Sociology and East European Studies BA (2024)

This degree programme combines the study of politics, international relations and sociology with modules focusing on Russia and Eastern Europe.The degree provides graduates with the skills to analyse contemporary issues in European and international politics and society.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

D3,D3,M1in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

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

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

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

Course overview

This programme offers modules in politics, sociology and international relations including some with a focus on political developments in Russia and the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. 

We use this region as a focus to study real life examples of how politics, sociology, and international relations work in practice. We believe this gives our students the best possible preparation to enter a diverse and complex job market and opt for a range of career paths. 

You can choose from a wide range of options in politics, sociology, international relations, economics, and history to match your interests. Themes cover include security and conflict, governance and corruption, migration, and democracy and authoritarianism. In your final year you will write a dissertation based on an independent research project.

If you want, you can also learn a language as part of your degree, including an East European language like Russian, Ukrainian or Polish. As well our excellent language learning opportunities, you will also have access to the rich resources of the SSEES Library.

What this course will give you

This is now a crucial time to study Russia and Eastern Europe. Many Central and East European states are part of the European Union but, instead of consolidating democracy, are witnessing the rise of right-wing populism. At the same time, Russia has re-emerged as an assertive authoritarian power with major global consequences. The war in Ukraine has upended European and international politics.

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

You will be taught by leading experts in the field. Our academics are 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.

Teaching and learning

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).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Politics, Sociology and East European 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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

You will take compulsory modules in politics, sociology and international relations—including modules on the political developments of Russia and Eastern Europe—in years one and two, with a dissertation based on an independent research project in your final year. Beyond this you can choose additional 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.

Your learning

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will be expected to prepare presentations and papers on selected topics for your seminars and tutorials, 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.

Each student will engage in 1200 learning hours every year, made up of teaching time (lectures, seminars and workshops), independent study, assessment and feedback.


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.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

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.

SSEES alumni regularly return to meet our current students to talk about their careers and offer advice. Employers seeking experts on our region often approach SSEES to publicise their vacancies.


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.

Our students learn to challenge traditional western perspectives of politics, sociology and international relations and to develop the ability to see these issues from the point of view of different cultures. Able to develop understanding and empathy for other ways of lives and their perspectives, we believe this gives our students the best possible preparation to enter the diverse and complex worlds of diplomacy, foreign policy, consultancy and think-tanks, to name a few.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 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 2024/25 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.

Additional costs

This programme has no additional costs.

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).

Funding your studies

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.


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.

Next steps

Your application

We are looking for applicants who express a genuine interest in studying politics and sociology, and who can evidence independent engagement with the subject. We are interested in hearing your own views and opinions. For instance, if you have undertaken additional reading, tell us what you thought about the topic discussed. Relevant skills include: communication, critical evaluation, creative thinking.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

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, module 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.