UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


IMESS Programmes

Programme Tracks:

There are four pathways you can choose on the IMESS programme:

Details on the modules and structure can be found in the IMESS Handbook



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How the Programme Works                         

The International Masters in Economy, State and Society (IMESS) is an established two-year double degree Masters programme, taught in English and offered by a consortium of leading European universities, headed by UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).

The consortium also includes Associate Partners from the corporate sector (banks, businesses, libraries, NGOs etc) and besides academic excellence we emphasize the value of internship experience for our students.

The programme offers four distinct study tracks (Economics and Business, Politics and the International Economy, Politics and Security, History and Society), reflecting the unique multidisciplinary expertise of the consortium institutions. Each student spends year 1 at UCL before progressing to one of the consortium partners in Central and Eastern Europe for the second year. Only after successfully completing both years of study can students be awarded a degree from either of the partner universities.

Following year one at UCL SSEES all students must spend year two at ONE of the following IMESS partner universities.

Year 2 UniversityEconomics & BusinessPolitics & the International Economy Politics & Security History & Society 
University of Belgrade, Serbia ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ 
Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary ✔ ✔ ✔ X
Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ 
Helsinki University, Finland X✔ ✔ ✔ 
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ 
University of Tartu, Estonia ✔ ✔ ✔ X


The research dissertation is the most important part of the IMESS programme and showcases the sum of your achievements during the two-years of study. For more informaiton, visit our Dissertation page.

Languages of Eastern Europe

IMESS is very proud to offer an unparalleled range of training in the languages of Central and Eastern Europe. Whether you take language in both years of the programme or in just one year, we know from experience, that it will be an excellent investment in your future.

Knowledge of languages makes travelling to the region easier and more pleasurable. It allows you to gain more insight into the places you visit, and the people you meet there and will open doors to new research and career opportunities.

Indeed, as the countries of Central and Eastern Europe deepen their European and global integration, knowledge of the languages and cultures of Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Finland and Serbia can really make the difference in the job market, as well as in any further research you do.

You can learn lots more about our language courses on our dedicated IMESS Languages page. 

Degree Benefits 

IMESS is a uniquely rich double degree Masters programme offering you the chance to study the economies, states and societies of Central and Eastern Europe over a two-year period across a consortium of powerful European universities coordinated by UCL – one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary universities.

Our graduates have taken leadership positions in distinguished private and public sector organisations (including the IMF, EBRD, Risk Control, banks and financial institutions, diplomacy and media, civil service, self-employment) and many have continued with doctoral studies.


What is the language of instruction?

The programme is taught in English during both years of the programme. 

I already speak an IMESS language (Czech, Hungarian, Finnish, Polish, Estonian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian), can I still apply?

Yes, you can learn another language (more details on IMESS languages page).

What degree will I be awarded upon graduation?

After successfully completing both years of study, the students will be awarded a double degree: one from UCL and one from the year 2 partner university. No degree will be awarded upon completion of only one of the years. 

What is a double degree?

In order to complete the IMESS programme and to be awarded a degree all students must complete both years, spending the first year at the coordinating university (UCL) in London and the second year at one of the seven partner universities.

For the successful completion of the programme, all students need to attain 60 ECTS during each year of the programme. Each of the two universities attended by the student will award a full 120 ECTS Masters degree based on a common Scheme of Award as follows:

Country Partner University Name of Degree Awarded
Czech RepublicCHARLES UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUEInternational MA in Economy, State and Society

MA in Social Sciences (Baltic Sea Region Studies)
(P&S, P&IE, and H&S tracks)


MA in Social Sciences (Quantitative Economics)
(E&B track)

FinlandUNIVERSITY OF HELSINKIMA in Social Sciences (Economy, State and Society)

MSc in International Economy and Business
(E&B and P&IE tracks)


MA in International Relations
(H&S and P&S tracks)

PolandJAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITYMA in European Studies: specialisation IMESS
SerbiaUNIVERSITY OF BELGRADEMA in History, Society, State and Transition
IMESS: Politics and the International Economy
IMESS: History and Society**
IMESS: Politics and Security

* not in conjunction with year 2 in Helsinki (Finland) 
** not in conjunction with year 2 in Corvinus (Hungary) 

What are my course options?

There are over 60 electives to choose from in year 1 and a good range of courses is also offered during year 2. See the programme structure for more details. 

Can I defer my offer of a place for one year if I cannot enrol in September?

We do not permit deferrals, unless there are severe mitigating circumstances. Each case will be considered on an individual basis. If a deferral is not permitted, you will need to reapply for the following year and will be assessed in line with the applicant pool for that year. Please email maadmissions@ssees.ucl.ac.uk if you wish to be considered for a deferral. 

Is there an age limit for the programme?

No, all ages are encouraged to apply.

What sort of visa(s) do I need?

The visa(s) you require will depend on your personal circumstances. IMESS students spend their first year of study in the UK, and so where a visa is required UCL will act as sponsor for a Student Visa during the period of study at UCL in London (Year 1). UCL cannot provide UK visa sponsorship to students during their studies abroad (Year 2). Depending on your placement for the year abroad, you may require additional visa(s).

When will I find out my second year destination?

All applicants are asked to complete the IMESS Supplementary Questionnaire which asks you to indicate your first, second and third preference for your Year 2 university. Some destinations are heavily oversusbcribed and we cannot guarantee you will get your first choice, although we try hard to accommodate everyone's preferences. Your year 2 place will be confirmed during enrolment week at UCL, in September, once we know exactly who has enrolled on the programme.