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Bachelor of Arts in European Studies

Bachelor of Arts in European Studies
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

CAO points history:
Course code:
4 Years

Course leader:
Dr Joachim Fischer
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 202354
Tel: 00 353 61 202015

There is no ‘typical’ European Studies student. The main qualities that you need for success in the field are;

  • A healthy curiosity about how modern societies function
  • An interest in the European Union, and the issues facing the Union and its member states
  • a taste for languages other than your own
  • an interest in other cultures and
  • an ability to think independently and argue coherently for your ideas.

Neither do you have to know what you want to ‘be’ when you leave college in order to choose European Studies. The degree offers a very broad entrance into the worlds of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences.

Why Study European Studies at UL?

Brexit will mean more direct interaction with the EU and with individual member states on the continent. A better knowledge of the European Union, and Ireland’s place within it, is more needed than ever before. An understanding of Europe requires knowledge of its historical origins, of its economic, legal and societal aspects, and of its political institutions. The BA in European Studies develops knowledge and understanding of all of these areas linking them with knowledge of the cultures and languages of key member states. The University of Limerick has long led the way in Ireland in this field, with the result that this degree is one of the longest established European Studies degree programmes in Europe.

Jean Monnet European Studies Entrance Bursary

Students of the BA European Studies are eligible for the Jean Monnet European Studies Entrance Bursary. The Bursary to the value of €2,000 is awarded annually to an incoming student on this programme who achieves the highest CAO points.

Read about our students experiences

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"Back in Transition Year in school, my goal was to get into UL and then go to Boeing. For the next three years, my dream was slowly realised."

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What you will study

Electives and Pathways in European Studies

It is mandatory for all students to take a general European Studies module.

Students must also study one of the below European languages. Click on each language to learn more:

Along with the mandatory modules, there are a number of electives available, as you will have the freedom to select 3 of the below subjects. Click on each subject for more information:

What you will study

The BA in European Studies offers you a core European Studies programme and a wide degree of choice between options in European History, Sociology, Politics, Economics, Marketing, Law and European Literature & Film, as well as the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of French, German, Irish / Gaeilge and Spanish languages and cultures. Language teaching takes place in small groups and many of the teachers are native speakers of the languages concerned. Language skills are further developed during the period of study abroad at one of our partner universities on the continent, completion of which is mandatory for students of the BA in European Studies.

The BA in European Studies is a four-year programme. Six semesters, including all of the first and final years, are spent in UL. A further two semesters, in the spring of Year 2 and autumn of Year 3, are spent off-campus on the Study Abroad programme and on the Cooperative Education programme, which provides work experience.

In year 4, students continue with Language 1 and the Final Year Project. They are otherwise free to choose from a range of modules available in the participating subjects.

* NB: Students choosing Irish / Gaeilge must also study a continental language.

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2
ES4001 Introduction to European Studies ES4002 European Studies Workshop
  Language 1 (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  Language 1 (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  Students Choose 3 Electives:   Students Choose 3 Electives:
  Language 2 (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Irish
  Language 2 (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Irish


HI4112 History: Sources for History HI4081 History: Early Modern Ireland
EC4111 Economics: Microeconomics EC4112 Economics: Macroeconomics
LA4901 Law: Principles of Law LA4012 Law: Comparative Legal Systems
PO4051 Politics/Public Admin: Introduction to Politics and International Relations 1 PO4052 Politics/Public Admin: Introduction to Politics and International Relations 2
EC4111 Marketing: Microeconomics EC4112 Marketing: Macroeconomics
SO4001 Sociology: Introduction to Sociology   Sociology (choose 1)
  • Introduction to Sociology 2
  • Gender Sociological Perspectives
  European Literature and Film (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  European Literature and Film (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4
PO4023 Comparative European Politics   Cooperative Education
  Language 1 (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  Students Choose 3 Electives:  
  Language 2 (choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish 
  • Irish
HI4061 History (choose 1)
  • Reformation & the Modern State: Europe in the Sixteenth Century
  • Warfare and Diplomacy: Europe in the Seventeenth Century
EC4027 Economics: The European Economy  
LA4033 Law: Law of the European Union 1    
  Politics/Public Admin (Choose 1)
  • Sub-national Government in Europe
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Government and Politics in Ireland
MK4603 Marketing: Marketing    
SO4047 Sociology: Sociology of the Welfare State    
  European Literature and Film (Choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6
  Erasmus Study Abroad PO4015 Government and Politics of the EU
    Language 1 (Choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
    Students Choose 3 Electives:
    Language 2 (Choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • - Irish
    History (Choose 1)
  • Europe: Enlightment and Revolution 1688-1815
  • Europe: Society and Governance, 1890-1990
  EC4014 Economics: International Economics
  LA4044 Law: Law of the European Union 2
      Politics/Public Admin (Choose 1)

- Public Policy Process

- Theories of Distributive Justice

- Global Political Economy

    MK4025 Marketing: Marketing Communication
      Sociology (Choose 1)
  • Sociology of Globalisation
  • Inequality and Social Exclusion
      European Literature and Film (Choose 1)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
      Available as an Additional Module:
    TE4106 Teaching English to speakers of other languages - TESOL 1

Entry requirements

CAO points history 369
Minimum grades

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include:

Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation Maths is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

Subject requirements

Applicants must hold a H3 grade in a language other than English.

Students wishing to take the two language options with Irish/Gaeilge must hold a minimum H3 grade in Irish/Gaeilge.

Additional considerations

Mature Students

We welcome applications from Mature Students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

QQI Awards

Certain QQI awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Go to for more information and a full list of modules.

Fees & funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Centre Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA paysTuition Fees€2,558
SUSI paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA paysTuition Fees€2,558
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student paysTuition Fees€2,558
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Non-EU Students

Student paysTuition Fees€12,178
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Student course fees are comprised of three components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The curent student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Centre Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Centre Levy of €90. Please note the Student Centre Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website


These scholarships are available for this course

Title Award Scholarships available
Louise Newman Prize
Jean Monnet European Studies Entrance Bursary
The Noel Ryan Scholarship
€2,000 per year for 4 years
1 per year

These scholarships are available for all courses

Title Award Scholarships available
Plassey Campus Centre Scholarship Programme
All Ireland Scholarships - sponsored by J.P. McManus
Higher Education Grants & VEC Grants
Financial Aid Fund
Elaine Fagan Scholarship
Stuart Mangan Scholarship
Provincial GAA Bursaries Scheme
The Michael Hillery and Jacinta O’Brien Athletics Scholarship
Various benefits equating to over €7,000 in value
Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship
UL Sports Scholarships
Varies depending on level of Scholarship
Cooperative Education Award
1 award per faculty
UL 40 Entrance Scholarship

Your future career

Employability skills from this degree

  • Gathering, assessing, and interpreting information
  • Leading and participating in discussions and groups
  • Developing opinions and proposing ideas
  • Reading text to pick out the essential points
  • Adapting to new and changing surroundings
  • Working in teams and independently
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Organisation and working to deadlines

The year after graduating with this degree

The University of Limerick Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) is a detailed review of the employment outcomes of UL graduates conducted annually by the University and supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The survey forms part of a nationwide review of the employment outcomes of Irish University Graduates. The table below illustrates a five-year trend for UL graduate employment levels and location the year after graduation.

Employed in Ireland Employed abroad Further study Not available Seeking employment No. of responses Total no. of graduates Year
25% 50% 25% 0% 0% 12 14 2014
33% 25% 33% 0% 8% 12 12 2015
25% 25% 38% 0% 12% 8 10 2016
67% 33% 0% 0% 0% 18 11 2017
44% 19% 25% 0% 13% 16 19 2018

Further Study Options

Job titles for graduates with this degree

Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:

  • Collections Agent
  • Commercial Clerk
  • Customer Care Agent
  • Customer Service
  • European Commercial Assistant
  • Language Assistant
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Recruitment Agent
  • Sales Representative
  • Secretarial Assistant
  • Trade Development Executive

Student Profile - Aideen Ginnell

I chose UL for many reasons but the main attraction for me was mostly the campus itself, along with the charming and friendly feeling I got when I first visited on the open day. European studies appealed to me because the course included politics, languages, law, and history – all in one degree.

The added bonus of my course was the extraordinary opportunity to go on work experience (coop) and also to study abroad (Erasmus) whilst still receiving credits here in UL. I took the opportunity to study in Seville, Spain for one whole term. The university was situated right in the heart of the city and hosted many Erasmus students from all around Europe which really made the experience truly diverse. This mix, along with the small classes and fantastic weather, made for a great atmosphere around this lovely old Spanish campus.

For my coop, I was offered a job in Mexico, teaching English in a school in Mexico City, to kids aged from 4 up to 18. We also taught them about Irish music and dancing and organised a little show to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Apart from the invaluable experience I gained from my teaching work, I also availed of the opportunity to travel around Mexico and experience its culture and richness. My time on co-op was one of the most eventful and valuable experiences of my life and it couldn’t have happened without the opportunities that were presented to me by my degree in European studies at the University of Limerick.

Jennifer Ess

Coming from Kilkenny, I chose UL because of the affordable costs of living, the amazing campus and its location, and the facilities that UL offers. What I like most about European Studies is the variety of subjects to study, as well as the inclusion of languages. Having the option to study a language throughout the four years was also desirable as I had a keen interest to continue German from school. UL’s Language Learning Hub is a great resource for language students and allows you to embrace the language even further.

Choosing to study at UL has provided me with several opportunities, the most important ones being ERASMUS/Study Abroad and Coop work experience. I really enjoyed my ERASMUS experience in Germany where I studied at the Ruhr Universität Bochum for 6 months. While there, I travelled a lot and visited cities like Aachen, Essen and Düsseldorf. I embraced the German culture and language and really tried to immerse myself in the country. My command of the language also improved even further.

My Co-Op placement in Hamburg was my first time working in a professional environment. As a Content Management intern with Dreamlines GmbH, my role was tasked with managing the data on their busy website. The experience prepared me for future employment, and gave me confidence and independence as I was living abroad alone for the first time. I improved many skills while on my placement such as problem-solving and communication, and learned so much as part of an international team. Because of Co-Op, I know what is expected of me as an employee, and what it is like to work in a professional environment. I am now better prepared for the workplace and for a career with both a European and international focus.