Challenges of Democratic Development in Eastern Europe, Short Course

  • Application Deadline
  • 11 days
  • Tuition Fee
    690 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
    690 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
  • English
University rank #56 (ARWU) ,
The Challenges of Democratic Development in Eastern Europe course at the University of Helsinki is designed for advanced undergraduates or Masters level students of humanities and social sciences.



The Challenges of Democratic Development in Eastern Europe course at the University of Helsinki offers an overview of the current challenges of social and political development in Eastern Europe. Taught by a group of area studies experts in history, political science, media studies and sociology, the course views Eastern Europe as including the former Eastern Bloc countries, i.e., the Baltic states, East Central and South-Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Ukraine. Russia is discussed only as a reference point to the area of our concern: there wont be any specific lectures on Russian developments.

The course provides students with new, multidisciplinary approaches to the study of politics and society with a focus on issues that hinder democratic conduct. Addressed will be questions of nationalism, populism, corruption, authoritarian rule, poverty, the Roma situation, politics of history, cultural policy, civil society and environmental problems. In order to get a better grasp of Eastern European challenges in todays globalised world, the course offers insights into recent history and post-communist transition.

Learning objectives

The students will gain a broad overview of current societal and political developments in the region. The purpose is also to discuss critically the concept of democracy, which is sometimes understood normatively. The students will be acquainted with new multidisciplinary approaches and innovative pedagogical methods to understand the complexity of politics and society in this area. The course will also provide supplemental information for students looking to specialise in subjects and fields of research covered by the course. Ongoing cutting-edge research projects, carried out at the University of Helsinki, will be introduced by visits to several research centres.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 11 days
  • Credits
    6 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Course format and teaching methods

The course entails a total of 32 hours of teaching with various activating learning formats, such as lectures, flipped classroom, debates and small workshops. We apply new methods that promote critical thinking and discursivity. Every lecture includes mandatory pre-reading, and the class format will contain a 45-minute lecture and a 45-minute workshop. The syllabus with course readings will be disseminated to students before the course begins.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • A minimum of 2 years of university-level studies is required for all courses.
  • A motivation letter must be added to your application.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    690 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 690 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 11 days.
  • EU/EEA

    690 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 690 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 11 days.
  • tuition fee is 690-990

Living costs for Helsinki

910 - 1,400 EUR/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.