Study at the College of Europe

The College of Europe application period for the 2024 – 2025 academic year is now open. Applications close on 16 January 2024.

The College of Europe accepts students who wish to study at postgraduate level at its Bruges (Belgium) or Natolin (Poland) campuses.

Places at the College are open to Irish students studying politics, law, economics, European studies, etc., and offer an excellent opportunity for graduates to develop their knowledge and skills in a truly international environment.

You can read a copy of the 2023 College of Europe prospectus here.


Students can choose from the following Master’s programmes:

  • European Interdisciplinary Studies
  • EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies
  • European Economic Studies
  • European Political and Governance Studies
  • European Legal Studies

Detailed information about each of these programmes, and the academic and language requirements for each, is available here.

The College of Europe now also offers a joint degree in Transatlantic Affairs with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford/Boston in the US.  More information about this two-year Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (MATA) programme is available here.

Application Process

Irish applications to the College are reviewed by an independent National Selection Committee, with interviews usually taking place in the spring of each year. At EM Ireland, we administer the application process on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Applications for admission to the College of Europe must be completed online. Begin your application here!


Since September 2021, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has provided six full scholarships annually to Irish students who wish to study at the college. All applicants who apply to the Irish National Selection Committee will automatically be considered for these Irish Government scholarships and do not need to submit a separate application for scholarship funding.

In order to complete the online application, you will need the following information/documents:

  • Title of degree(s) already obtained: start and end date (university, faculty, etc.)
  • Title of degree(s) to be obtained: start and end date (university, faculty, etc.)
  • Other academic activities
  • Professional experience: type, employer, start and end date, job title
  • Language knowledge (French, English and other), see the language requirement pages for the Bruges and Natolin campuses
  • Motivation (max. 600 words)
  • Names and e-mail addresses of 2 university academics in order for you to send a reference request to them via the online application system – NB there is a separate, earlier date each year for referees to submit their references. You must ensure that they submit in time and that they receive requests for your application to be considered. You can check the reference submission date here.
  • CV in Europass format
  • Copy of your university degree(s) – document(s) in the original language and translation if not in English or French. If you are not yet in possession of your final degree, contact the Admission Office team here who will advise how to apply without copies at the time of submission. You will be required to submit them as soon as you receive them from your university.
  • Transcript(s) from your university, faculty, school, detailing results for every year of your studies and grades obtained – document(s) in the original language and translation if not in English or French
  • Passport or national identity card
  • Passport photo
Applying to the College of Europe: Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is there any flexibility regarding the word count of the personal statement?

Unfortunately, there is no flexibility with regard to word count. The word count is strict and the statement must be a maximum of 600 words.

Q2. I am currently completing the final year of my undergraduate degree, can I apply for the College for the next academic year, even though I don’t have my final exam results yet?

Yes, you can apply in your final year. If selected for a place at the College, you’ll be admitted on the condition that you graduate and pending the outcome of your final exam results.

Q3. When do interviews usually take place?

Interviews for the College of Europe usually take place in March/April, or late February in the case of applicants to the MATA programme. If you are selected for interview, you will be notified at least a week in advance. Interviews take place in-person, with the possibility of virtual interviews in certain exceptional cases.

Q4. Should I apply for the ‘Access to French’ track (European Political and Governance Studies) or the Summer Language Academy (European Interdisciplinary Studies) if I am concerned that my French language ability isn’t up to standard?

It is best to contact the College Admissions Office in Bruges directly regarding specific queries about the language requirements of the European Political and Governance Studies programme. Admissions Office staff can discuss the difference between the ‘Access to French’ track and the conventional track in more detail. For questions regarding the language requirements of the European Interdisciplinary Studies programme and accessibility to the Summer Language Academy, please contact the Communications and Recruitment Office in Natolin ( The level of French required also differs slightly depending on the course you are applying to.

Q5. Are there any special criteria applied to decide who is offered a scholarship, over and above the criteria used to decide who is offered a place at all?

If you apply as an Irish citizen, you will be automatically considered by the Irish selection committee, while being considered generally for admission, for the six full Irish Government scholarships. These are normally awarded to the top-performing candidates at interview, or are sometimes split between candidates at a similar ranking and partial scholarships are allocated to more than six applicants. There is no additional application process/criteria for being considered for these scholarships.

Q6. Can I appeal scholarship decisions?

There is no appeals process for scholarships. Students are selected for the scholarships by the panel and all decisions are final. Students may be awarded scholarships at a later date should another higher-ranking student decline their offer.

Q7. When will I find out if I have received a scholarship?

If you are successful in obtaining a scholarship from the Irish Government, you will be notified in the same email as your offer of admission from the College. This could be 1-2 months after completing your interview.

Q8. Will I be notified of the decision regarding scholarships in my acceptance email from the College?

Notification of the Irish-administered scholarships is almost always in the original acceptance email you receive, with the exception of late offers as per Q6 above. If you applied for any other scholarships separately with the College (e.g. ENP, Geremek), notification of these scholarships could come at a later date and you can enquire with the College Admissions Office directly regarding the awarding of these separate scholarships.

Q9. Can an Irish applicant be offered a place in the College without being offered a scholarship, or do the two mostly go together?

Yes, applicants can be offered a place without being offered a scholarship. While the top candidates at interview are offered Irish Government scholarships, all other candidates whom the Selection Committee deem as meeting the requirements to attend the College are also offered places.  Some students attain other College of Europe scholarships administered by the College itself (details of which can be found on the College of Europe website) and some self-fund, the numbers vary each year.

Q10. Are Irish Government scholarships awarded to students applying to the MATA joint degree programme?

Yes, but students should be aware that the scholarship is to a maximum value of €26,000. As such students may need to consider additional funding to support the second year of their programme.

Further details can be found in the College of Europe’s more comprehensive FAQs here.

In Conversation with Federica Mogherini

In this podcast, we sat down with Rector of the College of Europe, former High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, for a conversation about the College of Europe.

Economics Information Session

EMI, TCD and College of Europe’s Economic Studies department held an information session for applicants. The session provided information to those interested in the Economics department, and more broadly for all applying from Ireland.

Note: applicants must indicate their National Selection Committee on the application form.  In the case of Irish applicants, this is European Movement Ireland.

Before you get started, read the detailed application instructions and make sure you meet the academic and language requirements for your chosen Master’s programme.

If you would like more information on applying to the College of Europe, contact the EM Ireland team at or via our social media channels at the links below.