European Studies: Modern and Contemporary History (B.A.)

The Bachelor’s degree programme in European Studies: Modern and Contemporary History is concerned with Europe’s modern and contemporary history. In addition to looking into Europe’s past, the programme also focuses on how Europe is currently perceived in the world. Students learn to take different methodical approaches to historical questions, for example they learn to critically analyse literary sources and academic texts. In application-oriented exercise classes, they are, for example, introduced to the didactic approaches and methodologies used in history or learn more about archives and museums. Graduates are well qualified to enter the job market immediately after obtaining their Bachelor’s degree, but they can also go on to study for a wide range of interesting Master’s degree programmes, for example in the field of modern and contemporary history or the M.A. programmes Cultural Studies in Historical Perspective or Applied Cultural Studies at Saarland University.

The programme’s interdisciplinary core curriculum offers further insights into European issues across disciplines. Students acquire cultural and linguistic basic knowledge as well as knowledge in the field of history and law, which enables them to independently apply this knowledge and reflect on complex European issues.

Internationality and work-integrated learning are also important aspects of this degree programme: students need to learn foreign European languages, and the programme includes a compulsory study abroad period and a work placement or internship during which students address issues of European relevance.


The Bachelor's programme in European Studies: Modern and Contemporary History at Saarland University offers students the opportunity to choose an interdisciplinary degree programme focusing on development processes, current trends and perspectives regarding Europe. Historical knowledge and knowledge of current developments in the field of history, geography, politics, language, law, literature and media allow students to independently study and critically reflect upon complex issues. Students choose a specialist subject which supplements the basic knowledge of European contexts taught in the degree programme.

In order to understand Europe as we know it today, it is necessary to look into its past and learn how Europe is and has been perceived by the rest of the world. These matters are addressed in the area of specialization ‘Modern and Contemporary History’ offered in the Bachelor’s programme in European Studies. Basic subject-specific knowledge, methods and working techniques are taught on the basis of selected thematic focal points. During their studies, students learn and demonstrate that they are able to critically analyse literary sources and research texts and to present scientific findings in an accurate and linguistically appropriate manner. These basic skills allow students to trace and systematize European development processes.

As a result, graduates from the B.A. programme can go on to study for a wide range of subject-specific Master's degree programmes or enter the job market immediately after obtaining their Bachelor’s degree.


The three Bachelor's degree programmes in European Studies are composed of three areas (core area, specialist subject, mandatory elective section) and are identical except for the specialist subject. Students must earn total of at least 180 ECTS credits to obtain the Bachelor's degree.

  • Core area (102 ECTS credits) In the core area, which all students in the Bachelor’s degree programmes in European Studies need to complete, they are taught basic knowledge about Europe. These courses provide an interdisciplinary overview of historical and current development processes which will help the students understand how Europe became what it is today.

    Introductory events and advanced courses in the fields of geography, history, intercultural communication, media and cultural studies, political science and law create the ideal basis for the students to understand Europe:
    - Einführung in Geschichte, Entwicklungslinien und Raumkonstrukte Europas
    - Einführung in die Bevölkerungs- und Migrationsstudien
    - Einführung in die Bevölkerungs- und Migrationsstudien
    - Einführung Europa: Medienkulturen/Kulturmedien
    - Einführung in das Regieren im Mehrebenensystem Europas
    - Europäische Integration
    - Basismodul Interkulturelle Kommunikation oder 
    - Basismodul Französische Kultur- und Medienwissenschaft
    - Europarecht
    - Einführung in das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten

    The core area also includes language courses (9 ECTS credits), which prepare students for their stay abroad and represent an additional qualification.

    Students spend their fifth semester studying at a university in a European country (Erasmus semester or, for students of the 'European Studies: Geographies of Europe’ programme, a research stay; 20 ECTS credits).

    A work placement or internship (12 ECTS credits) with a European focus offers the opportunity to gain insights into working practice.

    At the end of their studies, students will have to complete a Bachelor's thesis in their specialist subject (12 ECTS credits).

    In total, the core area comprises 102 ECTS credits.
  • Specialist subject:
    The specialist subject (60 ECTS credits) chosen at the time of enrolment is studied in parallel allowing students to specialize in a specific field. When enrolling, prospective students on the European Studies programme can choose one of the following specialist subjects: Geographies of Europe, Modern and Contemporary History, Comparative Literature. In the specialist subject, students are taught subject-specific knowledge. By selecting their specialist subject according to their interests, students can qualify for further study and career opportunities.
  • Mandatory elective section
    In addition, students take courses from the mandatory elective section. Students are required to complete mandatory elective courses corresponding to 18 ECTS credits. In this section, the prospective researchers in the field of European Studies can freely select seminars from a course catalogue according to their individual interests and depending on the qualifications they wish to acquire to complete their profile.

    In the mandatory elective section,students can take courses from the following fields:
    - Business Administration
    - European Comparative Media Studies
    - Classical Archaeology
    - Modern and Contemporary History
    - Philosophy
    - Romance Languages and Literature
    - Comparative Literature Studies
    - Pre- and Protohistory
    - 'Optionalbereich' including certificates (e.g. Applied Pop Studies, Gender Studies, German as a Second Language and GSL Methodologies for Schools)
Postgraduate courses Documents and regulations

Regulations (available in German only)
Examination regulations

Study regulations
Subject-specific regulations

Programme content and additional information
Study plan
Module catalogue


Central Student Advisory Service
Campus Saarbrücken
Campus Center, Building A4 4, ground floor
Phone: +49 681 302-3513

Programme advisor
Carsten Geimer M.A.
Campus Saarbrücken
Building B3 1, Room 3.06
66123 Saarbrücken
Phone: +49 681 / 3 02 - 33 73

How to apply

Entry restrictions do not apply to this programme. Students can only join the programme in the winter semester. 

You can enrol in the first semester of this study programme directly via Saarland University's SIM portals. You do not need apply for admission beforehand. The enrolment deadline is the end of September

Please note: If you want to switch subjects and plan to enrol in a higher semester of the new study programme ('higher-semester entry'), you will also need to submit an RPL certificate (RPL: recognition of prior learning) from the relevant examinations office

Enrolment documents can only be submitted online during the enrolment application process in the relevant SIM portal.   

If you have any questions about using the SIM portals, please check out our SIM Saarland help pages where you will find lots of useful information, videos and step-by-step guides. 

Slightly different admission rules may apply to prospective students with a foreign higher education entrance qualification

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Central Student Advisory Service

Saarbrücken Campus
Building A4 4, Ground floor
Phone: +49 681 302-3513

Central Student Advisory Service

Accredited study programmes

Saarland University was one of the first universities in Germany to achieve Quality Assurance Accreditation and has held the Accreditation Council's official quality mark continuously since 2012.

Quality management