UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


University of Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade is one of the most dynamic cities in South-Eastern Europe, offering exceptional life quality and an exciting and vibrant student experience. The former capital of Yugoslavia has developed in recent years into one of Europe’s most interesting and attractive tourist destinations, and especially so for young people. Through its historical heritage it belongs to both Middle and Eastern Europe, even to the Mediterranean area. The city is divided by two large rivers, the Danube and the Sava; rivers that have inevitably shaped its development over the ages. Along these rivers the many different faces of Belgrade can be seen, from Middle European in Zemun to – Novi Beograd – the socialist city built upon Le Corbusier’s principles and to old Belgrade, springing from the old Ottoman town and retaining that spirit into the twenty first century.

The latest member of the IMESS consortium, the University of Belgrade (UB), joined IMESS formally in 2011 and is ready to accept its first cohort of students in 2013/14 (enrolling at UCL in 2012-13). At UB, IMESS is hosted by the Faculty of Philosophy and offers a pathway in the socio-humanistic sciences dedicated to society, state and transition. The Faculty of Philosophy, founded in 1838, is the oldest and most prominent institution of higher education in Serbia and among the oldest in the South-Eastern Europe. Today it is a modern school in compliance with contemporary trends in European academic space and upholding a high standard of academic excellence. It employs 255 teaching staff and has approximately 6000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled across nine departments: Department of Philosophy, Department of Classics, Department of History, Department of Art History, Department of Archeology, Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Department of Psychology and Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy. The Faculty is situated in the heart of the city and is accessible by students from any part of Belgrade.

Within the IMESS programme, students studying at UB, will be eligible for a Master in State, Society and Transition (or in Serbian Društvo, država, tranzicija – DDT) as well as the UCL IMESS degree. At UB, the programme is divided into three modules that enable students further specialization according to their IMESS pathway. The programme is focused around themes in society, state and transition, promoting independent scientific research, as well as on developing the skills and capability needed for the students’ subsequent career. Specifically, the core goals of the IMESS/DDT programme are:

  • Mastering specific knowledge in focused areas within the socio-humanistic sciences, across three tracks;
  • Mastering basic knowledge from related scientific areas in order to qualify for independent scientific research;
  • Acquiring methodological knowledge and skills specific for certain narrower areas within the socio-humanistic sciences;
  • Familiarization with application of acquired scientific and specific methodological knowledge and skills in a practical scientific process;
  • Developing skills of identifying and defining research questions related to scientific problems;
  • Developing written and oral skills.

In the first semester students choose electives from across three pathways (defined as ‘society’, ‘state’ and ‘transition’), alongside common electives based around language acquisition and regional expertise concerning Southeast Europe, from the time of modern state formation to the post-conflict era of the 21st century. This combination equips students with the basis for practical scientific research and the writing of independent scientific papers. The second semester, with fewer lecture commitments, is then largely devoted to the preparation of the final paper, through consultative meetings with their mentor.

Belgrade is an exciting city, UB is one of the leading regional universities with a rich academic tradition and IMESS is a truly exciting development for studies in this region.

Further information:

We look forward to welcoming you to Belgrade!