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European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives

Course Description

This interdisciplinary programme offers you a specialised analysis of Europe as a transnational community and as an actor in a globalised world. The programme provides insight into the functioning of Europe both today and in a historical perspective. Interaction with staff members from various disciplines (social sciences, history, arts, law, economics, and theology) exposes you to a wide range of theoretical approaches and helps you to acquire the necessary methodological skills. The programme strongly encourages critical debates about the internal and external challenges that Europe faces today.

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

- Module 1: European History, Diversity, and Culture focuses on how transnational movements and institutions function in a continent characterised by deep historical diversities.

- 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.

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.

The Master of Arts in European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives is a specialised, top-level interdisciplinary programme. We advise you to only apply if you graduated cum laude or higher in your previous studies.

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 programme engages students to study Europe as a transnational community in constant interaction with other world regions. Its courses develop in-depth knowledge about the functioning of Europe both in the contemporary world and from a historical perspective. Students are stimulated to bridge disciplinary boundaries and assimilate fresh perspectives. By choosing one of two modules, students specialise either in the internal, transnational functioning of Europe or the participation of Europe in globalisation and global governance. Students participate actively in scholarly research about Europe by acquiring knowledge and specific research skills and by producing original research and communicating research results to a broad audience using various media. Interaction with staff members of various disciplines and faculties exposes students to a wide range of approaches to scientific study and research about Europe. Supervision by individual staff members provides students with focus and guidance for in-depth specialised research. Students acquire skills that enable them to identify and assess issues and problems regarding how Europe functions. The programme provides students with templates to contextualise these issues and problems in order to suggest adequate solutions. The programme strongly emphasises the need to engage in critical debate about the options and alternatives that have confronted, confront and will confront Europe in its dealings with other world regions and with respect to its internal, diversified identities.

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 lobby 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 MAES's MA degree in European Studies as a decisive factor in their career success.

Entry Requirements

The programme Master of European Studies admits holders of the following university degrees:Bachelor of Political and Social Sciences, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of European Studies, Bachelor of History, Bachelor of Communication, Bachelor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Educational Sciences, Bachelor of Theology and Religious Studies; any Master's degree in the Humanities; a Master's degree in other disciplines, if the candidate has professional experience in the field of study of MAES. Students who are not native English speakers are required to provide an evidence of proficiency in the English language. More: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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