European Studies

The European Studies Program is part of the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC). It is taught with participation from Languages, History, English, Political Economy, Economics and other departments.

About the major

Europe is in turmoil. Will it survive? Or will Europe collapse into socio-cultural conflict? As a major trading, political and cultural partner of Europe, Australia is watching developments in the world’s most advanced supranational organisation with interest and concern. European Studies will introduce you to the idea of Europe and the European Union, to European cultures and histories, and to contemporary society and culture. The focus in junior units is on current events, such as immigration, minorities and cultural conflict in Paris, Berlin, Moscow and other major cities, the exploration of European identity in gripping movies and novels, the social effects of the economic crisis in Greece, Spain and Italy, the re-emergence of authoritarian traditions in Russia and Eastern Europe, German advances in ecology and the environment, or ethnicity and co-existence in the Balkans.

The European Studies program is interdisciplinary, meaning that we look at aspects of European life from a variety of perspectives. This allows you to tie European Studies in with your interests in history, economics, politics and the social sciences and literary and cultural studies. All material is taught in English and no language other than English is required in order to take European Studies units.

Pathways through the major

A major in European Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 6 credit points at 3000 level from core units of study.

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for European Studies. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.

Junior units of study (1000 level)

There are no junior units of study specific to European Studies. Instead you take 12 junior credit points from any of History, Government and International Relations, European or Middle Eastern languages (including English).

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level)

Senior-intermediate (2000 level) units of study allow you to follow your interests in cultural, historical or social studies, gaining breadth and depth of knowledge and generic skills in research, analysis and writing.

In senior-advanced (3000 level) units you will study a broad defining aspect of Europe in terms of contemporary social theory and develop research, analysis and writing skills at a high level of development and learn to apply current theoretical frameworks to the analysis of Europe in terms of area studies and civilisational theory. A major in European Studies requires at least 6 credit points of core units of study completed at 3000 level.


Intending Honours students must complete 48 senior credit points in the subject area including the requirements for the major and 12 additional senior credit points with a credit average or above. 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.

Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.

Contact/further information

Department website:

Professor Peter Morgan
Phone: +61 2 9351 3146