University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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European Studies

European Studies is an area-studies program administered by the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) with participation from Languages, History, English, Political Economy, Economics and other departments. European Studies is designed to provide information on and analysis of the identities, societies and cultures of contemporary Europe and on the social, cultural, political and intellectual developments which generated the Europe of today, including both the European Union and the Europe of tradition and history. Europe is Australia's largest trading and investment partner and an understanding of Europe and its institutions is important for immigration, tourism, commerce, trade and strategic and cultural alliances.

Program structure and content

The undergraduate program in European Studies offers students:

  • an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to understanding Europe, its nations, cultures, societies and identities;
  • an introduction to the institutions of the European Union and to its successes and failures in the current environment;
  • pathways in social sciences political-economic, and socio-cultural studies of contemporary Europe;
  • an introduction to social and cultural theories and methodologies as tools to understand Europe.

While the undergraduate units cover broad aspects of European society, literature, culture and history, the main theoretical basis lies in
understanding Europe and the concept of Europe and of European civilization through the study of long-term historical, cultural and socio-political developments. In the upper-level European Studies units we study the context and intellectual history of key aspects of contemporary Europe, such as the state of European society and civilisation, origins and development of the European individual, regional, national and ethnic identity in contemporary Europe, European and western modernity, aspects of European socio-economic policy, such as environment and the financial crisis of the Euro, and other features of European life.

Interesting course materials are drawn from literature and film, history, politics, economics and sociology in order to monitor and critically examine European identity, civilisation and culture. Optional units may be chosen from a broad range of cross-listed units in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. European Studies (EUST) units do not require any ability in a language other than English.

Students do not need to speak, read or write a European language to enrol in units of study offered in the European Studies program, as all classes are conducted in English and use English-language texts. Students are encouraged, however, to gain competence in at least one European language and to deepen their cultural knowledge and understanding through a period of exchange study at one of the many University of Sydney partner universities in Europe during their degree.

Students wishing to take EUST units of study at senior level must have completed 48 junior credit points. There are as yet no specific EUST units of study at a junior level.

EUST senior units of study can be credited towards the major, taken as electives or can be cross-listed towards other majors in SLC, or towards a major in other departments, in accordance with the cross-listed requirements of those departments.

The following EUST units of study will be offered in 2013:

  • EUST2607 Comparing Cultures: Europe and the East
  • EUST2610 Europe and its Others
  • EUST2613 Romanticism and Revolution
  • EUST2616 European Modernity and the Greek Ideal

Requirements for a major
In order to complete the requirements for the major in European Studies, students need to have done the following:

Completed at least 36 credit points in senior units of study comprising:

  • a minimum of thee units of study (18 credit points) of European Studies units (ie with EUST coding); and
  • a maximum of three units of study (18 credit points) of Europe-related study selected from specified Cross-listed units of study (see Table A of this handbook).

No language units of study may be counted towards the major.

Summer and Winter School
Relevant units of study offered as part of Summer and Winter School may be counted towards a major in European Studies.

Intending Honours students must obtain a credit average in the units taken for their European studies major and 12 additional senior credit points. Students intending to do honours are encouraged to make use of their proficiency in relevant European languages and to consider cognate units in relevant language disciplines.

The Honours program consists of two seminars and an 18,000-20,000 word thesis. As with the undergraduate European Studies major, all units and the thesis will be in English. However we encourage students with European or other relevant language proficiency to utilise sources in that language for their thesis research, and to substitute European-language Honours-level coursework in their coursework component.

Contact/further information
Department website:

Professor Peter Morgan
Phone: +61 2 9351 3146