Since April 2014, Kobe University Programme for European Studies (KUPES) has provided an integrated and structured curriculum for students from B2 to master’s level with a view to fostering interdisciplinary knowledge of Europe and in particular insight into the EU and its relations with Japan. KUPES is designed for students from the faculties and graduate schools of Intercultural Studies, Global Human Sciences, Law and Economics at Kobe University.

Under the interdisciplinary KUPES curriculum, enrolled students will not only acquire expertise, insight and analytical skill, they will also develop the capacity to analyse and research issues pertaining to Europe and international society from various viewpoints. KUPES provides a structured curriculum for students to learn about the history of Europe and the creation of the EU, from social, political and economic aspects in Japanese and English languages.

KUPES includes an opportunity to study abroad as a key component of its curriculum; B3 students as exchange students at a university in Europe (half year) and master’s students as degree students (for at least a full academic year) before obtaining a master’s degree from a European university.

KUPES offers a complementary foreign language education in English as well as French and German. Students will receive support in developing their language skills which are vital in completing their period of study abroad and other activities such as internship.

KUPES Curriculum Outline

Outline of KUPES five-year programme

Outline of KUPES five-year programme

Curriculum Structure

Curriculum Structure

Objectives of KUPES curriculum


Students will:

  • Acquire a specialised knowledge on the EU through the courses provided at each faculty/graduate school to which students belong.
  • Acquire insights and analytical skills over developments in the EU and its effects on international society (at undergraduate level) through exercises and assignments given at each faculty/graduate school to which students belong. At master’s level students gain the capability to analyse more complex problems.

Multidisciplinary perspective

  • Through KUPES common- and specialised courses provided at other faculty/graduate schools, students are able to obtain interdisciplinary knowledge on the EU as well as improving their ability to analyse current issues that the EU and international society are facing from multiple perspectives (undergraduate) and analyse and research those issues by taking cross-sectoral approaches (master’s).

Global perspective

  • Through the courses provided by foreign lecturers, language courses for academic communication and writing as well as study abroad at a summer language school and as exchange students, undergraduate students will deepen their understanding about different cultures as well as develop their practical foreign language skills through communication, presentation and discussion.
  • Through specialised courses provided by foreign lecturers and study abroad at a partner university, students’ language capabilities will be sufficient to engage in both specialised and interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations.

KUPES English leaflet