Study Abroad
Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses

European Studies,
Russian and East European Studies
European Research Institute
University of Birmingham


Address European Research Institute, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT UK
Tel. No. +44 121 414 6347
Fax No. +44 121 414 3423
E-mail address
Course Titles MA European Studies
MA (Research) European Studies
MA Russian and East European Studies
MSc Contemporary Russian and East European Studies
Postgraduate Certificate in Contemporary European Studies
Type of courses Full-time and part-time
Length of courses Full-time: 1 year; part-time: 2 years
For PG Certificate, 4 months (January-April)
Date of commencement/ Application deadlines 26 September 2005
Class size Varies
Cost / Fees Enquire with the School for up to date fees
Student grants / Financial assistance The MA Russian and East European Studies is recognised for funding by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. The department holds 2 ESRC quota awards for MA+PhD per year
Top recruiters of our graduates Graduates enter a range of employment, including government, European institutions, NGOs, research, and business
Exchange Partner Schools/Programmes Birmingham University is a member of Universitas 21. The ERI has Erasmus exchange agreements with the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki; Ost-Europa Institut, Freie Universitet, Berlin; Tichner Institute, Krakow. The ERI has formal links with the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
Admission requirements Equivalent of 2:1 from UK University. TOEFL 600 (paper based)/250 (computer based), to include a TWE of 4.5, or IELTS 6.5
Student profile 1.Countries of origin: United Kingdom (17), Turkey (9), Greece (2), Croatia (4), Cyprus (4), Bulgaria (6), Germany (2), Ukraine (1), Romania (5), Serbia and Montenegro (2), Czech Republic (2), Moldova (1), Italy (2), Macedonia (1), Spain (1), Canada (1), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1), China (1), Thailand (1), Japan (2), South Korea (1), Slovakia (1)

2. Ratio Men: Women: 4:5

3. Age Range: 22 to 38

4. Average Age: 26


About the Courses

MA in European Studies: The ERI adopts a broad and inclusive concept of European Studies, which goes beyond the traditional study of Brussels institutions. Subsequently, our work is focused on, but not confined to, the following key areas:

• East Meets West - looking at the processes of eastern enlargement.
• Organising Europe - examining developments in the European political economy, EU integration and Euro-Atlantic security governance.
• Comparative Governance - cross-national policy learning under the impact of globalisation.
• Changing Notions of Citizenship in Europe - examining evolving concepts of membership and participation.

Our students are fully integrated into our many activities, including a weekly seminar series and numerous workshops and conferences, which are often run in association with policy communities. The ERI offers two Masters programmes in European Studies, an MA and an MA (Research). Both programmes provide students with a unique opportunity to specialise in the subject. For students with an undergraduate degree in European Studies (or a related field) our MA programmes offer an opportunity to deepen and widen their knowledge, whilst for those without a background in European Studies our programmes can serve as a conversion course. Our MA (Research), with its research training focus, can also act as a stepping-stone to a research degree.

All students receive intensive individual supervision for their dissertation from an expert in the ERI, in addition to being assigned a personal tutor. Modules are taught via a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials and are assessed through presentations, essays, examinations and an independent piece of research. Students will acquire a range of transferable skills during the course, which will help them find employment in a wide range of professions that require sophisticated analytical and communication skills. The programme follows a modularised structure to suit specialist and generalist needs, and includes a range of optional language courses, with instruction starting at beginners and advanced levels. All students have the opportunity to take part in a study visit is to Brussels in the Spring term.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Contemporary European Studies: The Postgraduate certificate is an intensive programme which combines rigorous training in EU and European policies and institutions with a range of master classes, specialist seminars, visits and workshops. These will be complemented by a number of training sessions on subjects such as presentation skills, report writing and dealing with the media, which have been created specifically for officials working in or with EU institutions. The programme comprises taught Masters level courses on the political, economic, legal and social dimensions of European integration: a series of workshops, master classes and professional training courses; a week long study visit to key EU institutions; meetings and seminars at Whitehall departments and at the National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff; day placements in UK government organizations; and participation in the regular ERI seminar series and research activities.

MA Russian and East European Studies/MSc Russian and East European Studies: The programmes provide advanced training through a combination of one multi-disciplinary core course and a wide range of specialised options in the politics, sociology, economics, and history of Russia and Eastern Europe. The core course offers an area-study background for all students, while optional courses provide specialist disciplinary areas of expertise. The MA programme also provides courses in research methods in social science or history. Intensive language courses in Russian, Ukrainian or Polish are available to students on the MSc, and compulsory for students on the MA who do not already have fluent knowledge of an East European language. Our intensive course in Russian language for beginners has been especially designed to enable social scientists quickly to acquire the necessary vocabulary for their specialist fields of interest. Intermediate and advanced-level Russian language training is also available, and courses in Polish and Ukrainian have recently been introduced. Russian television is received in the Centre and extensive use is made of television and video material in language teaching. Students are encouraged to attend a one-month language course in Russia or Ukraine during the summer vacation.

By the end of the programme students will be able to: Understand contemporary developments in Russia and Eastern Europe; provide an overview of the developments and debates in the field of Russian and East European Studies; use generic skills (for example, make presentations, write reports, prepare case studies) of direct relevance to employment; and carry out an independent research project under specialist supervision, which involves the formulation of the objective of the project, collection and evaluation of data, development of a clear line of argument and presentation in an appropriate format.

The dissertation is designed as an independent piece of work under specialist supervision. Students will be encouraged to prepare their dissertations in collaboration with institutions, companies and organisations involved in Russia and Eastern Europe.

About the European Research Institute

With Europe high on the political agenda and an increasingly important issue for both business and the public, the European Research Institute has been created as the UK's foremost centre of expertise on European matters. With over fifty academic staff, the ERI provides an unparalleled source of high quality research and teaching as well as a European studies resource for government, business and the wider population. A part of the School of Social Sciences, it brings together two of the country’s leading research centres – the Institute for German Studies and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies as well as being home to one of the UK’s top Political Science and International Studies departments.

All of the constituent parts of the ERI received 5, 5* or 6* grades in the last Research Assessment Exercise. Thus, the ERI links experts on key states such as Germany and Russia with others focused on the international institutions and comparative politics and economics, not just of Western Europe, but also of Europe in the broader sense.

The ERI houses the Centre for Studies in Security and Diplomacy and the office of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies, in addition to an extensive European Resource Centre and a state of the art Conference Facility, with provision for simultaneous translation and video-conferencing.

The European Research Institute offers an unparalleled learning and research experience. MA students are based in the ERI building with access to desk space and computing facilities. In addition they have the opportunity to work in an environment fully dedicated to European Studies alongside some 200 other graduate students in the field. Students also have full access to the European Research Centre (ERC), which houses a state of the art collection of social science sources on European Studies. The ERC houses a range of printed, digital and audiovisual materials with a large proportion of its stock in networked electronic formats. The ERC also comprises the Baykov Library (a specialist collection on Russia and East Central Europe), the European Documentation Centre and the German Documentation Centre.

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