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.
On our course you gain a wide-ranging knowledge of all aspects of European life, culture and politics, and you can spend your third year at another university in Europe, immersing yourself in European culture.
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.
Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities.
Studying abroad allows you 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.
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
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.
Some of the biggest names in politics work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.
Our politics academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.
You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.
- Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
- The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
- Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
- Our Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence provides a forum for pan-European research
- Access a variety of textbooks and journals in our Albert Sloman Library which houses materials on Russia and Eastern Europe that are of national significance
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 work with the university’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
* Non-specialist higher education institutions with a survey population of at least 500.
Why we’re great
- Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication.
- You are taught by a team of international experts in a range of subjects at Essex and abroad.
- Each of our courses enables you to study at an excellent European university of your choice.
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. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
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.
- Taught through lectures plus classes of about twenty students
- You take a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your European Studies modules every week
- Lab sessions allow you to improve your technical research skills
- Opportunities to gain work experience on placements and internships
- Assessed through a combination of written coursework, presentations, class participation, and end-of-year examinations
- Politics modules weighted 50% coursework and 50% examinations
- If you undertake a placement, you will prepare an assessed report on this experience