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European studies

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

What is European studies?

European Studies is a broad-ranging and integrated programme that offers students the chance to learn European languages, and also to study history, political science, sociology, and economics. This programme encourages students to think about our Continent in all its complexity, and to analyse Europe’s cultures, literature, and politics.

Is this the right course for you?

If you enjoy studying languages, and have an interest in history, politics, and the workings of contemporary society you will enjoy this course. European Studies is designed for students with a broad intellectual appetite and who are interested in a range of disciplines and subjects.

Why study European Studies at Trinity?

European studies at Trinity offers a unique and broad range of languages and subjects for study and draws on the expertise and dedication of lecturers from a range of subjects. Staff from different departments work together to deliver a fully-integrated programme that offers flexibility and choice for students. European Studies attracts students with strong potential from Ireland and abroad. Trinity is ranked in the top 50 in the world for Modern Languages, Political Science and History (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015).

What will you study?

You will study two out of six available European languages: French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, or Spanish (Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Russian can be studied from beginner level). Both languages are studied equally in the first two years, after which one becomes your major, and the other your minor language. As well as languages, you will study European History, the History of Ideas, and Social Sciences (Politics, Economics, and Sociology). Assessment is conducted through a mixture of course-work and examinations.


In first year, students study their two chosen languages. They also study European History (1500-1800), An Introduction to the History of Ideas, and An Introduction to Social Science.


In second year, students continue to study their two chosen languages. They also study European History (1800-), The Making of Modernity (1750-1820) and can choose from options in history, politics, sociology and economics.


The Junior Sophister year is spent at a university abroad studying through the language you choose as your major language. Exchanges have been established with history and political science departments in universities in France (Paris, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Bordeaux), Germany (Hamburg, Tübingen, Freiburg, Vienna), Italy (Pavia, Siena, Florence), Poland (Cracow), Russia (Moscow) and Spain (Seville, Salamanca, Alcalá, Oviedo, Zaragoza). The year abroad may entail additional expenses for students but support funding, under the European Union’s Erasmus scheme, partially offsets this (with the exception of Russia, which is outside the Erasmus scheme).


In fourth year, language work focuses on your major language. Coursework for your minor language concentrates mainly on comprehension and textual analysis. The core course in your final year is a history of ideas course: Modernity and Society: Ideas and Culture in Europe since 1850. Additionally, you will choose options from a wide range of modules from history, political science, sociology, and a number of culture and literature options from the language departments. Students who wish to do so may write a ten thousand-word dissertation (replacing one of the options) on a subject of their own choice under the supervision of a member of staff.

If you would like more detailed information on all the modules offered, please visit:


Recent graduates are employed in international organisations both in Ireland and abroad, in the EU, in the civil service and the diplomatic corps, in business, finance and marketing. Other popular career paths are in consultancy, teaching (in Ireland and abroad), translating and interpreting, journalism and tourism. Many students go on to do postgraduate courses.

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1808


Specific Entry Requirements

Applicants must present with at least one European language (other than English and Irish) in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

If candidates are presenting one language (other than English or Irish), they must attain a grade of HB3 or higher

If candidates are presenting two or more languages, they must attain at least the following grades:

Leaving CertificateHC in two of French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Polish, Russian, Spanish
HC1 If presenting French or German
HC2 If presenting Spanish and taking Spanish as a non-beginner
HC3 If presenting any other language
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade B in one language other than English or Irish
Grade C in two languages other than English or Irish (as listed above)

Students study two languages from French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish.

Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish are available from beginner level. No student may study more than one language as a beginner.

Other EU examination systemsSee

Student Profile

Aisling Beamish

As a second-year student of European Studies, I have been lucky enough to interact with professors who are experts in their fields, and they have instilled in me a deep passion for the disciplines I have chosen. In European Studies, we benefit from the chance to discuss our work in tutorials and on an individual basis with lecturers. Trinity is a great place to study and to exchange ideas with enthusiastic staff and students. Trinity also offers a brilliant environment which fosters success for students.