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European Studies
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Study programme

The Bachelor's European Studies provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage with Europe’s complex present and future, and is taught entirely in English.

Programme structure

In this programme you are introduced to a number of mandatory subjects, including the study of a modern language. You will choose a major that will provide the basis for further specialisation in European Studies. Alongside the core programme, you may choose from a range of electives or opt for another specialisation in the form of a minor. You can also decide to study abroad for a semester or do an internship.

The first year

The first year of the programme serves as an introduction to European Studies. Your courses will offer an overview of the entire discipline. You will explore the history of Europe, the development of European cultures, the rise of nationalism, and the creation and workings of the European Union. You will choose a modern language (other than English) in which you will become proficient by the end of your studies. You can choose to study Arabic, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish), and Spanish. Dutch native speakers may also opt for one of the following languages: Modern Greek, Serbian and Croatian. You will develop specific academic skills, such as academic writing and conducting independent research. At the end of the first year, you will visit Brussels to get a firsthand look at the day-to-day workings of the European Union.

The second and third year

The second and third years of the programme build on the foundations laid in the first year, allowing you to specialise in your area of interest. In the second year, your course selection will be devoted to your major. You will choose to specialise in one of five majors: European Culture, European History, East European Studies, European Law and European Economics. In the course, ‘Philosophy of the Humanities’, you will explore the historical and philosophical background of the Humanities. You will continue to develop the language you selected in the first year. In the third year of the programme, you can tailor your own curriculum by specialising in a second major, opting for a minor or choosing electives in a wide range of subjects. You also have the opportunity to use your elective credits to study abroad or do an internship for a semester. You will conclude the programme by writing a Bachelor’s thesis, your first major piece of independent research.

Webinar European Studies

What is the European Studies study programme like at the UvA? What are the main topics? These (and more) questions will be answered in this in-depth webinar.


Please note: This is the study schedule of the shared programme of the Bachelor's European Studies. View the UvA Course Catalogue for the programmes of the specialisations.

  • National Thought in Europe
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  • Turning Points in Modern European History
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  • The Other Europe
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  • European Integration
  • Economic and Legal Integration of Europe
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  • European Literary History
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  • First Year Seminar European Studies
  • Restricted-choice electives: Language Proficiency 1a
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  • Restricted-choice electives: Language Proficiency 1b
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UvA Course Catalogue: European Studies
  • Learning and assessment

    European Studies is a three-year Bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS credits. An academic year accounts for 60 credits that are spread across two semesters, with each comprising two 8-week blocks and a 4-week block.

    As a Bachelor’s student, you are expected to spend an average of 42 hours a week on your studies.

    • In your first year, 12 to 15 of those hours will be spent attending lectures, while in your second and third years you will have approximately 8 to 10 hours of class. 
    • The remaining time will be spent on self-study, preparing for lectures and seminars, completing coursework and assignments, as well as exams.
    • You will attend both lectures and small group seminars.
    • Lectures generally introduce the main topics of the course, discussing and explaining course readings and literature.
    • In the seminars, you will work closely with your fellow students, collaborating on assignments, presentations and talks.
    • You will be tested by means of written and oral exams, presentations, essays, reports and assignments.
    • Your final grade for a course is determined by the results you receive for each of these.
  • Honours programme

    Highly-motivated students may qualify to take part in a selective honours programme. This programme accounts for an additional 30 ECTS and will help familiarise you with various other aspects of academic research and prepare you for a subsequent Research Master's degree.

Accreditation and academic title

The Bachelor's programme European Studies forms part of the broad label European Studies. The quality of this programme has been positively accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that after successful completion of the programme you will receive a recognised Bachelor’s degree in European Studies and the title Bachelor of Arts (BA).