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European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives MA

Course content

What is the Master of European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives all about?

This interdisciplinary programme engages students to study Europe both as a transnational community and as an actor in a globalised world. The programme offers insight and knowledge about the nature and functioning of Europe both in the contemporary world and in a historical perspective. Interaction with staff members from various disciplines and faculties (Social Sciences, Arts, Law, Economics, and Theology) exposes students to a wide range of theoretical approaches and allows them to acquire the necessary methodological skills. The programme strongly emphasises the need to engage in a critical debate about the challenges that confront Europe with respect to its internal, diversified identities and its interaction with other actors in the world. 


The programme consists of five interdisciplinary modules. You choose four courses from one particular module.

  • Module 1: European History, Diversity, and Culture focuses on historical diversities and transnational movements and institutions in Europe.
  • Module 2: EU External Relations analyses the external policies and relations of the European Union within the context of globalisation and new forms of global governance.
  • Module 3: Globalising Europe investigates different dimensions of globalisation and their relevance for contemporary European society, politics, and culture.
  • Module 4: Europe - Asia: Interactions and Comparisons offers students the possibility to complement their European perspective with knowledge of developments in contemporary Asia.
  • Module 5: Russia, Wider Europe and the EU unveils connectivities and dynamics in the history and current affairs of wider Europe and its relations with Russia.

In addition, you will be asked to select two courses from the list of electives. Finally, all students take the course 'Transnational and Global Perspectives on Europe' and write a master's thesis.

This initial master's programme can only be followed on a full-time basis. All courses are taught during the day and for most courses your attendance is required. It is therefore not possible to combine a job with this demanding programme.


The multidisciplinary ‘Master of European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives’ engages students to study Europe as a continent of strong interactions across national boundaries and constant exchanges with the outside world. By choosing one of the five modules, students focus on

  • transnational perspectives on European history, society, diversity and culture;
  • the external relations and policies of the European Union;
  • the position and interactions of Europe in a context of globalisation and global governance;
  • the interactions and comparisons between Europe and Asia or the connectivities and dynamics in the history and current affairs of Russia, wider Europe and the European Union.

The multidisciplinary and research-based education enables students to acquire skills to understand, contextualize and assess complex challenges that transcend disciplinary boundaries as well as national and regional borders. It allows students to engage in a critical debate about Europe within a context of complex internal and external dynamics, and formulate alternative options. Interaction with staff members of various disciplines and faculties exposes students to a wide range of academic approaches in the study of Europe. Supervision by individual staff members, particularly in the context of their master thesis, provides students with focus and guidance for their own research.

Career paths

 MAES graduates are equipped with in-depth knowledge of various aspects of European politics, law, history and culture, are schooled in various research methodologies, and are able to communicate their findings to a diverse audience. MAES graduates are thus well positioned for a wide range of professional pursuits.

Many alumni work for European institutions and interest groups, provide advice on European affairs to national, regional or local administrations and governments, or work as European affairs officers for private companies and non-governmental organisations. Others are engaged in national and multinational diplomacy.

Many hold academic positions in European politics, economy, history and culture at universities all over the world. Still other alumni inform the public about European affairs as journalists and cultural officers.

Having delivered its first graduates 20 years ago, MAES counts many prominent figures in European affairs among its alumni. Many of them attribute their MA degree in European Studies as a decisive factor in their career success.

Visit the European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives MA page on the KU Leuven website for more details!





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