The Major in European Studies provides the core of the programme. It consists of obligatory courses in European Language in Context (French or German), as well as courses about European contemporary social, economic, political and cultural dimensions.
The Major in European Studies also includes a academic thesis on a self-selected topic in either one of these fields at the end of the four-year programme.
European Area Studies
Political science provides an important disciplinary focus. Students acquire knowledge and skills for the study of politics and society in two major states of Europe: France and Germany. Problems and prospects of European integration are introduced and the European Union is examined in detail. This is complemented by studies on European economic and business life so as to prepare students for future careers.
As part of the Major in European Studies, the language training of the programme is intensive and rigorous. Students must choose at the outset whether they wish to learn French or German. During the first two years students are trained to a level of fluency, which allows them to study, work and live in a French- or German-speaking environment. Language training on advanced levels is completed in the final year, so as to allow students to use French/German in a professional or academic environment either in Hong Kong or a French-/German-speaking country.
Students can choose elective subjects offered by the faculty of Social Sciences.
For the new "3+3+4" system, students can also choose elective subjects during their third year in Europe. Depending on the study location, there is the possibility to build up concentrations in Political Science or related social-science disciplines as well as business-related studies.
In accordance with the University's concept of Whole-Person Education, students must enroll in general courses, such as English, Chinese,Information Management Technology, Physical Education or Philosophy.
The aim is to equip all graduates with skills necessary to cope with a fast-changing social and economic environment and to enable them to become life-long learners.
Year in Europe
The students spend the third year of the programme fully in Europe. It consists of academic study at a French-speaking or German-speaking university and, when feasible, a placement with European companies or public institutions.
While the overall objective of the year is total immersion in the life of European societies, students must obtain credits in advanced language and academic courses, to be transferred back to HKBU. Study and work placements allow students to gain familiarity with European markets/societies and qualify them for further postgraduate studies in Europe.
Success in Year III is highly dependent on individual student achievements, demonstrated intercultural awareness and communication skills.
After returning from Europe, students write an extensive thesis in French/German based on their own research into a particular subject related to Europe. The Honours Project is a major component of the programme, which fuses capabilities of critical thinking, independent research and presentation skills as well as language proficiency in a coherent academic product.