MA in European Union Studies


Program Description

MA in European Union Studies

Politics, Law and Economics are highly influenced by European decisions. Knowledge of European institutions, policies, decision procedures and law is therefore extremely relevant for everybody working in the public and private sectors. The unique master program in European Union Studies imparts students with a profound theoretical and practical knowledge in these areas, by connecting political science, law, economics, history, communication studies, and languages.

The program also provides opportunities for studying abroad, enhancing the international qualification and the language competences of its students. Also, the whole study program is taught in English (since Curriculum 2016), intensifying the international focus. The master program takes account of political and socio-economic processes and includes European practitioners and experts from the European institutions in its teaching program. By simulating decision procedures and moot courts students practice preparing bargaining positions and negotiating these position in the framework of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the Commission and the European Court of Justice.

The Master program provides students with:

  • a qualification as experts in European law, politics, and economics a profound knowledge of political processes and decision-making mechanisms within the European Union.
  • a first intensive contact with European institutions during the study visit to Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg.
  • the chance to acquire additional skills during a semester abroad.
  • the possibility to develop their cultural and language skills within an international educational environment.

The process of European integration changes the political, economic and cultural practice in all member states. It demands profound knowledge of European Union law, the underlying decision procedures and the implementation on the national level. Further knowledge on the legal and political settings in other member states, the social-economic background, and their positions is a prerequisite. In line with enlargement processes these demands have multiplied and with the transformation of the European Union into an internationally relevant actor, Foreign Policy is newly defined. This demands an academic reflection and a practice-oriented education, imparting this knowledge on transformation processes.

Relevance for the employment sector

Within this dynamic field, not only public actors play a role, but also private actors - including small and medium-sized businesses, interest groups, and civil society organizations - are required to present their demands within a constantly changing framework. European Union studies provide the necessary competence for this dynamic field. At the University of Salzburg, it complements the Bachelor program "Law and Economics", but also other bachelor programs in the area of social but also natural sciences. The relevance of this study program is underlined by the high number of students from neighboring countries. Graduates find their field of employment in the public (parliaments, public administration, EU institutions, UN) as well as in the private sector.

Didactically innovative

To fully implement its ambitious aim of providing a high-quality education –practice-oriented and interdisciplinary–, the master program has to advantages over other programs: on one hand, team-teaching includes perspectives from other disciplines; on the other hand, innovative teaching methods are introduced, particularly in the „simulation“ courses. These courses are taught by teams of teachers of different disciplines and experts from European institutions, and real European negotiation situations are simulated. This allows very effective and intensive capacity building for students.

Co-operation with Palacky University Olomouc (Czech Republic) – „Competences in Central Europe“ and LUISS – Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli in Rome (Italy)

Additionally to Exchange Programmes like Erasmus we offer two possibilities to gain some international experience and even acquire a Double Degree.

Based on intensive co-operation with the legal faculty at the Palacky University Olomouc, skills are developed with a focus on a specific geographical region, to highlight regional transformation processes following the requirements of EU-membership. Through lectures with world-renowned professors and hands-on training with corporate leaders and professionals, LUISS Master's programs constitute a valuable tool to kick-start an international career in entrepreneurship, business, finance, and international organizations.

More information:


Please note, that you need to follow a specific order in taking your classes. This is especially important at the beginning of the program. All info is to be found in our download-area in the curriculum and Study Guide.

Some special recommendations:

Qualifying examination European Union Law: this examination covers the content of several lectures. Because of the amount and the complexity of the examination material, thorough preparation is inevitable. It is also very much recommended to attend the tutorial course which is offered as an additional preparatory class. To make sure that an initial fail will not delay your study progress, we also recommend that you register for early examination dates.

Qualifying examination Basics of European Union Studies: This written examination covers questions on basic knowledge of the European Union. Infos for preparation are provided on the homepage of SCEUS (download-area).

Olomouc: The aim of these lectures, taught by experts from the Czech Republic, is to allow for a deeper understanding of the transformation process between the fall of the iron curtain and the Eastern enlargement of the European Union in 2004. In the units taking place in Salzburg, students are required to make their own contributions. At the Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech instructors will introduce the specific characteristics of the legal and political system.

Moot Court/ Case Studies: These lectures aim at giving a deeper understanding of processes within the European Union. In the Moot Court (Seminar EU Institutions in practice) you will take over the roles (of judges, advocate general, parties to the national procedure, European Commission) within the framework of a procedure in front of the European Court of Justice. The interdisciplinary seminars highlight the procedures leading up to the passing of legislative acts within the European Union. Besides a theoretical input, a lot of emphases is put on teamwork and simulation of negotiations.

Master thesis/examination: Starting at the end of the second semester you should start looking for a possible subject for your master. You will find a list of possible supervisors for your thesis on the homepage of SCEUS. Ideally, the master thesis will cover an interdisciplinary question. After the successful completion of the master thesis, it has to be defended in an oral exam.

Cost & Fees

Students from the European Union or European Economic Area currently do not have to pay any tuition fees. For further information on tuition fees, also for students of Non-EU-Members, please check further info on the webpage of the International Office and contact the studies service department: Mr. Alexander Jährig +43 662 8044 2252

Entry Requirements

To register for the Master Program in European in Union Studies, students have to hold a Bachelor’s (or higher) degree. In general, all university study programs qualify students for the master program (except the fine and performing arts). Students holding a degree from universities of applied sciences qualify for the master program in European Union Studies, if they have studied legal, social science or economic subjects. A certified proof of English language proficiency has to be submitted.

Interested students must follow a three-step process to apply:

  • Application Process at the SCEUS (students apply at the SCEUS)
  • Selection Procedure at the SCEUS (applications are assessed at the SCEUS and students are informed whether or not they are offered a study place)
  • Formal Admission at the Admission department (students who have been offered a study place from the SCEUS approach the Admission department and undergo the formal enrolment procedure)

Additionally, you need to be willing to take some effort in studying. Teachers and students find the master program challenging: many students have to familiarize themselves with new issues, disciplines, and methods in a short amount of time. Experience shows that most beginners successfully master these challenges. But from the first semester, this demands a willingness to acquire missing knowledge in the main topics through self-study, supported by tutorials and learning groups.

Visit our admission page for detailled information:

Last updated Jul 2019

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About the School

The Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) is an enterprise geared towards research as much as towards education of a new generation of academics. The creation of a priority programme in Eu ... Read More

The Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) is an enterprise geared towards research as much as towards education of a new generation of academics. The creation of a priority programme in European Union Studies was particularly propitious at this time given a series of developments. The European Union has become the crucial factor in the constitution of Europe's political and socio-economic order. Read less