Our five-year BA European Studies with Italian (including foundation year), will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the four-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills in order to support your academic performance.
This five-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further four years of study including a study abroad year. During your Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with our Interdisciplinary Studies Centre.
Switch on the news any day of the week, or pick up just about any national newspaper, and you will be sure to come across an item on Europe. It is clear that the future of Europe is a geo-political question of profound importance for the future of the world we live in. Yet, few of us truly understand the complex phenomenon that is modern Europe.
You’ll examine Europe’s economic, legal, and sociological context, as well as its historical origins whilst acquiring an understanding of Europe’s rich cultural traditions. The artists, writers, musicians, composers and film-makers of Europe have exerted a cultural influence that even now is not eclipsed by the dominance of America on the world’s stage.
Alongside your European studies modules, you also become fluent in Italian. You spend your fourth year in Italy, immersing yourself in the Italian culture. Language is fundamental to our thought, our relationships, and our civilisations. Through language we transmit knowledge, from inviting someone for coffee, to promoting the latest scientific theory, to settling global political disputes. How could speaking another language change the way you think about and describe the world?
Here at Essex, our teaching and research offers maximum flexibility for you to study areas that interest you, so you can pursue a wide range of topics including:
- European identity and the development of the EU
- Representations of non-Europeans in art
- Europe’s colonial history
- Religion in Europe
- EU law
The study of Europe is vital for ongoing discussion of what Europe’s future ought to be; a discussion that will profoundly affect every European citizen. Through a course in European studies, you can acquire the knowledge, skills and experience to make an active contribution to one of the most important political and cultural processes of the century.
Based within our Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC), you will have access to expertise in modern languages, literature, film, history of art, history, politics and sociology, with experienced staff in all disciplines.
We have one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the Top 10 departments in the UK for research quality (REF 2014).
Your education extends beyond our University campus. You can spend your fourth year at one of the Italian universities with whom we have an exchange agreement, such as:
Studying abroad allows you to explore and become immersed in European culture, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
Our expert staff
We have some of the best teachers across the University in our Essex Pathways Department, all of whom have strong subject backgrounds and are highly skilled in their areas.
In our Interdisciplinary Studies Centre you are taught by a highly qualified, enthusiastic team with wide-ranging research interests and proven academic track record.
Our European studies staff teach in departments across the university, and specialise in a wide range of topics including European politics, economics, law, societies, history, literature, film, philosophy and art.
Current research is exploring EU-China relations and security operations, the analysis of civil security systems in Europe, and EU social policy.
In addition to helping you acquire practical foreign language skills, our modern languages staff share their expertise with you in the areas of professional translation, interpreting and subtitling, film and art, business, and culture.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials.
- Our Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends.
Take advantage of our other extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- Access to two multimedia language teaching labs which are equipped with state-of-the-art Sanako and Melissi Digital Classroom software, and fitted with computers integrating audio-visual projectors and large screens
- A new 20-position Interpreting Lab
- Meet other linguists and practice your language skills at our Language Cafés
- Experience world cinema at our Modern Languages film club
- Our Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence provides a forum for pan-European research
As a graduate in European Studies, your year abroad will have developed your confidence, independence, maturity and other invaluable life skills. You will have the opportunity to gain the combination of skills and experience most in demand from a wide range of employers.
This provides excellent preparation for areas which includes import/export management, banking and financial sectors, academia, airlines, information technology, management, museums, teaching, non-governmental offices, and development agencies in the UK and abroad.
Our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of organisations including:
- The Civil Service (especially the Foreign Office)
- Embassies around the world
- The European Council on Foreign Relations
- The Europe Direct Contact Centre in Brussels
- The Spanish Congress of Deputies
- LEAD Europe
Other recent graduates have also undertaken traineeships with the European Commission, for the Directorate-General for Education and Culture, and various internships in journalism and with NGOs.
We also work with our Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
- Guarantee a place on your chosen course upon successful completion of your foundation year.
- Small class sizes allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
- Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
- A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
- Any language classes involve language laboratory sessions
- Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
- Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, book reviews, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects