The BECES interdisciplinary programme offers a deep and versatile exploration of “the East”, understood as the territory composed of Central Europe, the Balkan peninsula, and the countries of the former Soviet Union, including the those in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The programme provides the students with tools for social science analysis and allows them to build their own thematic and territorial profile according to their individual needs and future career plans within two study tracks – Balkan and Central European Studies and Russian and Eurasian Studies.
The director of the programme is Dr Jiří Vykoukal who can provide further information about the academic content of the programme.
Why should you study the Balkan, Eurasian and East European Studies programme? Here are the key aspects of the programme that will help you develop and prepare for your future career:
The interdisciplinary programme will teach you how to grasp everyday problems in their context. You will understand the social, institutional and historical underpinnings of current issues of the chosen region and be able to recognise what is and what is not relevant for finding a working solution. You will become area studies expert who is capable of orienting yourself in the vast territory of „the East“ understood as the territory composed of Central Europe, the Balkan peninsula, and the countries of the former Soviet Union, including the those in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Your language skills will provide you an insider’s perspective into local and regional debates.
You will have a large flexibility to adapt the curriculum to your specific needs and interests. The core compulsory courses provide an overview of crucial aspects of the area from an analytical and multidisciplinary perspective, while elective classes allow students to create their own specialisation. This allows you to build your own personal academic and professional profile that helps you find an appropriate job in future.
The two specialised tracks of BECES – Balkan and Central European Studies and Russian and Eurasian Studies – will allow you to create a regional focus and expertise that increases your value on the labour market in future. An internship related to the track as well as own research for the master thesis will ensure that you will be able to use your knowledge and skills in both academic and practical context.
BECES is delivered by the dedicated and friendly faculty of the Institute of International Studies. The faculty provides a broad spectrum of disciplinary and territorial knowledge that ensures that you make as much as possible from your studies. Our faculty mebers are experts in their field, advising public institutions, participating in international research consortia, and regularly appearing in the media.
You will become a member of a cohesive body of international students connected in our Prague Area Studies, or PRAREAS, group. PRAREAS connects all international programmes of the Institute and organises social activities throughout the year, including trips outside of Prague. You will be able to establish long-lasting ties with fellow students from other programmes.
The Balkan, Eurasian and East European Studies graduates will become highly skilled employees in the civil service and diplomacy, NGOs and international institutions as well as in private companies and mass media. They will be well prepared for a variety of academic pursuits and will possess a wide range of knowledge and skills required in various social science fields.
They will be able to analyse individual topics arising within the region of their interest from a multidisciplinary point of view in terms of social sciences (sociology, economics, political science, and international relations) and modern history. Programme graduates will be able to understand current issues in their historical, societal, political, and economic context. Mastering several foreign languages, they will be capable of reflecting local debate and local perspectives on global level. They will be capable of open but critical understanding and conceptual thinking, and of appreciating cultural diversity. Thanks to a systematic focus on academic writing, graduates will be capable of producing texts of a high professional and formal quality. They will be able to deliver qualified comments on the developments of states and societies of the studied region.
Having completed an internship, which is an integral part of the programme, the graduates will have a first work place experience and will be able to employ the academic knowledge in practice.