Bachelor of Arts in East European Languages and Cultures

Political developments have led to a heightened interest in Eastern European countries. The focus of our programme not only is on language acquisition but also on a topical and vital insights into the evolution of the Eastern European countries, including their rich and varied cultural, political, socio-economic and academic heritage.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Postgraduate studies


Although it has been more than three decades since the Soviet Union has ceased to exist, Eastern Europe remains an exciting and relevant region. Not only do the Eastern European countries cover over half of the European continent, they also have a rich and varied cultural, political, socio-economic and academic heritage. Their history, as interesting and turbulent as it is, has influenced world history and culture, and will continue to do so in times to come. Even today, Eastern Europa takes up an important position on the geopolitical plane. While some Eastern European countries have become EU member states (Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia), others are still largely unfamiliar to us (Russia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Our programme focuses on Russia as well as on South-Eastern Europe, i.e. the Slavic cultures in the Balkan region. In addition to language acquisition we also focus on the study of culture (in all its aspects) and modern society. We pay special attention to the historical development of the Eastern European countries, their languages, and their cultures.
Ghent University is the only university in Flanders with a Eastern European Languages and Cultures programme that allows for a combination of two or more Slavic languages.

For whom

The Eastern European Languages and Cultures programme focuses on language acquisition as well as on the culture, history and modern society of the Slavic language area. In terms of culture and vocabulary, these languages differ greatly from Western European languages. A special aptitude for and insight into languages is therefore a must. A familiarity with case system languages (e.g. German, Latin, Greek) offers advantages but is not a prerequisite. You combine a special interest in languages, history and society with a willingness to immerse yourself into other cultures (their assumptions, their manifestations).


  • Bachelor

The Bachelor's programme offers a broad curriculum that includes the study of two (or even three, if you want) modern Slavic languages as well as the study of history, culture and society of Eastern Europe (Russia, South-Eastern Europe). An intensive theoretical and practical study of Russian, the most important Eastern European language, takes centre stage. This starts in the first term of the first year.
From the second term onwards, you start the study of a modern Southern Slavic language of your choice, i.e. Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian or Slovenian. By means of linguistics, literature, cultural history and current affairs, you will also focus on Russia and South-Eastern Europe as a cultural region. The first-year curriculum also contains five general course units covering the basic theoretical knowledge and skills of the Humanities. These course units are part of the core curriculum of the Faculty of Arts & Philosophy. From the second year onwards, you acquire the necessary skills and tools to conduct independent research through the learning path on methodology. In addition to the cultural areas of Russia and South-Eastern Europe, the second-year curriculum also introduces the study of the common written language of the orthodox Slavic world, Old Slavonic. The second year also offers you a choice of minors (possibly an additional South-Eastern European language) and the means to hone your research skills. The third-year curriculum contains a study-abroad term which allows for an immersion into the language and the culture of your field of study. The Bachelor’s curriculum culminates in a research paper, i.e. the Bachelor’s dissertation.

  • Master
The Master’s curriculum brings together specialization in Slavic languages and an in-depth study of Eastern European cultures and society. The integrated study of languages and cultures offers an unmediated access to the historical developments that have led to the unicity of Russia and South-Eastern Europe. It will enable you to understand this unicity but also to occupy a critical position vis-à-vis the region’s specific place in Europe and the world, and any ensuing issues. We also focus on a broadening and in-depth knowledge acquisition in the fields of literature, linguistics, and history. The Master's dissertation is the final component of the Master’s programme. Our programme’s curricular flexibility allows you to tailor the curriculum to your interests, with a focus on social engagement, advanced academic research, a study-abroad experience and/or a professional experience (via the work placement).

A Bachelor’s degree in Eastern European Languages and Cultures also gives access to other Master programmes than the ones mentioned here. Please take a look at the tab “Postgraduate Studies”.

Labour Market

Great (political, social) changes in Eastern Europe have resulted in increased job opportunities for Eastern Europe experts or Slavists. Slavists are being recruited to receive and accompany trade missions, to establish solid trade contacts, or to work at international branches of Belgian companies and banks. Other job opportunities include journalism, radio and television, the cultural sector, or socio-political organisations concerned with the fate of migrants and refugees. In the education sector, jobs in adult education, at university colleges and universities are among the possibilities. There are opportunities in academic research (universities), the library sector and museums as well.