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East European Studies (European Studies)
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Study programme

The Master's in East European Studies is a one-year programme that provides deeper learning and specialisation in the history, politics and culture of Eastern Europe. The first semester comprises two core modules and a series of electives, while the second semester focuses on the Master's Thesis.

Programme structure

The Master's in East European Studies comprises 60 ECTS credits: 18 credits for core courses, 24 credits for electives, and 18 credits for a Master's thesis.

  • Alternative Modernities
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  • Post-Socialist Puzzles: Europe after 1989
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  • Thesis Seminar European Studies: East European Studies
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  • Restricted-choice electives: East European Studies
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  • Free-choice electives
  • Master Thesis
UvA Course Catalogue: East European Studies
  • Core courses

    The core courses unravel Eastern Europe’s past and present with through the prism of centre periphery relations to explain the current geopolitical tensions. We examine the Soviet Union and socialist Yugoslavia as multi-ethnic states, dominated by the Russians and the Serbs. How did these states meet the challenges of separatist nationalism? Which alternative routes of modernization were debated and implemented? The second part of the core course explores post-1989/91 developments in the same area. It discusses extent and limits of the political and economic transformation against the backdrop of Europeanization and globalization.

  • Electives

    You can tailor the programme to your own interests through a broad range of electives. A recent example of an elective is Memory & Conflict in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. This course studies the fault lines in contemporary Europe by focusing on memories of the European past. The legacies and memories of the Second World War, communism and the Yugoslav wars have become stepping stones for nationalist and political identity formation. This course explores the presence of the past in South-Eastern Europe, where memories of the Second World War and of communism have contributed to new political conflicts.

  • Internships

    In the second semester, you have the option to replace one elective with an internship at an NGO, academic institution or in the diplomatic sector. The internship will give you hands-on experience in working with issues related to Eastern Europe and will make you a more attractive candidate when you enter the job market. You are welcome to engage our vast networks of international contacts, but finding placement is ultimately their own responsibility. The grade and the internship credits (6 EC) awarded will be based on your final report or research paper.

  • Study trip

    A study trip to one East Europe’s (former) capitals, for example St Petersburg, is part of the core course programme.

  • Thesis

    The Master's thesis is an individual research project carried out by the student under the supervision of a staff member. During the first semester you identify your thesis subject and discuss it with your supervisor; the broad range of our faculty's expertise allows you to investigate almost any region and topic. In the Research Seminar of Block 3 you begin to explore your project in depth. The thesis writing takes place in the second semester. The final product will be evaluated by your supervisor and a second faculty member.

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a research Master's programme. Once students are admitted to the research Master's programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for transfer.