Honours in European Studies

‘Honours’ is an intensive year-long program of advanced study with research at its centre. The Honours year enables students to engage with the subject of their major in depth by undertaking research of their own, under the supervision of an expert in the their field. For some students, Honours is the culmination of their formal education while for other students, Honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics.

Entry Requirements

Honours is an intensive year-long program of advanced study based around research on an aspect of European politics, society, history or culture. Honours is undertaken after successful completion of a Bachelor degree and where the overall mark is a minimum 70% in your European Studies major. Entry into Honours is selective and work at this level is challenging, but very rewarding!

For some of you, the Honours year will be a critical step on the path to further study – a first-class Honours degree will equip you to undertake a PhD here or anywhere in the world. For others, it will be the culmination of your formal education, an experience that helps you refine your skills in research, analysis and writing, extend your intellectual range and in-depth knowledge of things European and develop the body of personal and professional skills you need to see a major project through to completion.

Intending Honours students must complete 48 credit points with an average of 70% or above in the European Studies major.

Honours in European Studies may lead to careers in diplomacy and the public service, journalism and the media, Europe-based businesses and cultural institutions, the non-government sector (eg Oxfam, Medecins sans frontiers) or academia.

NB Students who started their bachelor degrees before 2018 are eligible to do Honours if they have completed a major in European Studies and have an average mark of 70% or higher in their European Studies units.

If you are beginning your undergraduate study in 2018, you’ll do Honours as the fourth year of the new combined degree of BA/BAS. To be eligible to undertake Honours as part of the BA/BAS you’ll need a major in European Studies and a second major in your bachelor degree. Your second major might complement your European Studies major–a relevant European or Middle Eastern language, for example. We encourage Honours students to develop and utilize their language skills.

Program Structure

The Honours program consists of two seminars and a research thesis. As with the undergraduate European Studies major, all units and the thesis will be studied in English. However we encourage you to utilise your European language skills for your thesis research.

You take two advanced seminars, one tackling methodological questions and one exploring a particular field, and you write a thesis on a research question that you devise and formulate yourself, with the guidance of a supervisor. (Recent topics have included: Political Implications of Brexit for the EU, or European Identity in Contemporary Cinema). In the first semester Honours Methodology unit you will join students from across the School of Languages and Cultures to work on aspects of research methodology in either literary and cultural studies, social sciences, or language and linguistics. In the second semester you will undertake a unit in your area of study. In European Studies this involves either a dedicated EUST-coded unit (e.g. Europe in the Global Age), or a unit taken at honours level in a relevant European or Middle Eastern language department.

As soon as you have decided that you are interested in taking Honours, you should contact the Director of the European Studies Program to discuss your potential enrolment.


The Honours program in European Studies consists of:

  1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. two seminars that meet weekly for two hours for one semester.

The thesis should be of 18000 words in length. Each seminar requires 6000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 60% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%. While you will receive marks for all pieces of assessment, your academic transcripts will record only your final, overall Honours mark.


The honours thesis constitutes an original piece of research and writing in a field that can be supervised by a member of staff. It must demonstrate both a command of a wide range of secondary source material in European studies, as well as a command of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to the topic of the research.

The European Studies program accepts topics such as the following:

  • Greek-German Relations after the Crisis: The social and historical background.
  • Brexit’s Quiet Supporters: Middle-Class Support for the Exit Proposition.
  • The Europeanisation of French foreign policy after the Treaty of Lisbon
  • Unexpected Residents: Turkish Migration and Settlement in the Netherlands
  • Concord in Kosovo? A Balance of the Prospects for Peace ten years after the Ahtisaari Proposal
  • Northern Ireland's New Hero: Cinematic Representations of the IRA Volunteer in the Films, "The Boxer," "In the Name of the Father" and "The Crying Game."
  • An Exploration of Literature, Post-Totalitarianism and and Civil Society through Vaclav Havel's Essay, "The Power of the Powerless" and his plays
  • The Laboratory of Twilight: Milan Kundera and Central Europe


In the first instance you should discuss your intention to apply for Honours with the Director of the European Studies Program.

Enrolments are completed online. Go to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours webpage for further information on the online enrolment application procedure.


The Director of the European Studies Program will answer your queries relating to the Honours program.