EUROPEAN STUDIES AT NUS
As we enter the 21st century there is a renewed awareness of the political, social, cultural and linguistic interrelationships among the nations of Europe. Understanding Europe involves not only commerce, politics and trade, but also all other areas that contribute to international links like culture, technology, media and communication. Recognising the importance that Europe plays on the global stage, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a curriculum in European Studies that aims to use an inter-disciplinary approach to develop a comprehensive understanding of the societies and cultures of contemporary Europe.
European Studies is an exciting cross departmental programme administered by the Office of Programmes. Students have the option to pursue the European Studies program as a single major [B.A.(Hons) or BA], a shared major or a minor. The interdisciplinary course will take students through the history, politics, economics, language, literature and philosophy of the European continent, and examines the making of modern Europe, the European Union and their influence on the world today be it in international relations, institution building, trade or security.
Students will take French or German language modules that are offered by the Centre for Language Studies, as well as history, political science, philosophy, literature and geography modules that focus on Europe and the European Union. Prior knowledge of either French or German is not required for admission to the program and students may embark their European studies experience through taking elementary language modules. Subject to a placement test, those with prior knowledge of French or German may be admitted to a higher level module. Students who qualify for the Advanced French/German II or a higher module will be granted exemptions ranging from 4 to 8 MCs.
The programme has developed strong ties with the French and German embassies in Singapore as well as the Asia-Europe Foundation in Singapore. It also has links with the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and premier academic institutions such as the IEP Paris. With the support of these institutions, European Studies majors and minors can benefit from sponsorships and participation in summer schools, exchange programmes, internships, immersion programmes and cultural trips in Europe.
Career prospects for NUS graduates in European Studies are bright. Public sector bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Communications and Information, IE Singapore, the Economic Development Board and the Singapore Tourism Board provide good career opportunities for graduates seeking a career in the Singapore Public Service. With several thousand European companies in Singapore and the continuing growth of trade ties between Singapore and Europe, graduates will no doubt find their skills in demand by private sector entities seeking to strengthen trade links between Europe and Asia.
Many of the programme’s graduates have also proceeded abroad to pursue postgraduate qualifications; a good grounding in French or German in the program has allowed graduates to gain entry into elite European universities outside of the United Kingdom.